fbpx Visiting Photographer: Exploring Macro with Mike Moats | The Morton Arboretum

Visiting Photographer: Exploring Macro with Mike Moats

Schedule and location

Following state recommendations to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), this program has been cancelled. For refund and more information, visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness and Prevention webpage.   

Saturday, May 2, 2020, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Thornhill Education Center

Fees and registration

$79.00 member
$90.00 nonmember
(Fees include admission to the Arboretum)

Course description

Learn the art of macro photography with award-winning photographer Mike Moats. Macro photography, or extreme close-up photography, captures very small subjects in larger-than-life size. This type of photography is an excellent way to celebrate the tiniest elements of nature, such as insects, flowers, and more.

This one-day seminar will cover the range of topics any photographer will need to achieve striking results, including:


  • Cameras, lenses, tripods, heads, and accessories


  • How to control light with diffusers, reflectors, and LED lights
  • Working with natural lighting

Depth of Field:

  • How to control depth of field with f/stops and special techniques
  • Using focus stacking with Helicon Focus


  • Learn how to compose properly, and what not to do when composing
  • How to find character in nature
  • Use elements of design, textures, contrast, lines, light, visual weight
  • Learn to work camera angles for blurred backgrounds
  • How to create two-subject compositions

Finding Good Subject Matter:

  • Learn when, where, and how to find good subjects throughout the four seasons, both outdoors and indoors

Course number



Mike Moats, professional photographer

"Mike Moats is an international award-winning, professional macro photographer from Sterling Heights, Michigan. Mike's love of photography, which started out as a hobby in 2001, has since evolved into a full-time business. In addition to creating his own images, Mike added "Close-up/Macro Photography" workshops into the mix in 2006, and he now also makes speaking appearances at photo conferences nationwide, leads intensive Macro Boot Camps around the country, and now has an online Macro Photo Club to assist photographers with their macro goals.

Recruited as a member of the Fuji Pro Talent Team in 2006, Mike is also honored to be a Tamron "Image Master" and a Vanguard Pro. He has won numerous local, national, and international awards. Mike's first book, Tiny Landscapes, was released in 2008, and his images and how-to articles have been published in various magazines, including Outdoor Photographer, Nature's Best Photography, Shutterbug, PC Photo, Nature Photographer, Photo Life, Whisper in the Woods, and Michigan Fish and Game Finder; in photography collections such as the North American Nature Photography Association's (NANPA's) Expressions book and the Pure Michigan tourism companion; and in various corporate collateral, including on the Tamron USA blog and in Fujifilm newsletters."

Course details

  • Notes: Held indoors. No equipment required. Morning refreshments provided. Bring your own lunch. Limit 100
  • Prerequisites: This seminar is intended for an intermediate/advanced audience. A foundational understanding of composition and exposure will be helpful.

Arboretum class weather, cancellation and refund policies