Macro and Close Up Photography - Sylvan Grove Native Gardens Picnic Point

Spoil yourself this spring, and learn creative Macro and Close-Up Photography in one of the most beautiful and intimate native gardens in Australia, most of the native plants will be bloom, it is a great opportunity to learn something new and hone your camera skills. You’ll be shown how to set up your camera properly, for Macro and Close-Up Photography, using your lens / macro lens and or extension tubes and or close-up filters.

You will learn; How to do handheld creative Macro and Close-Up Photography, how to focus and recompose properly, Interpret natural light-both high key and low key light, framing, composition and negative space, Depth OF Field DOF; maximum DOF and minimum DOF, Hyperfocal Distance, Using a live view to focus your photograph and How to review/check your photographs properly. You will be taught by a Professional Photography Tutor, with over 44 years of experience in Photography, in a relaxed but informative atmosphere.

Students are advised to have either have a lens with close-up capability, and or a close-up filter, and or a set of extension tubes and or a macro lens, any of these will enable you to take detailed photos of some of the extremely small flowers and plants. Even if you do not have any of the additional equipment, this field trip is a great way to learn the techniques and secrets of creative Macro and Close-Up Photography.

What you will learn:

Comprehensive Macro / Close-up Photography Set up;
Setting up your camera properly;

  • Image settings large fine Jpeg and or RAW
  • ISO Film speed
  • Light meter settings
  • Colour Space settings; ARGB or SRGB
  • White Balance
  • Picture styles / Filters
  • Setting up your lens, macro lens, and or extension tubes (recommended), close up filters
  • Setting up properly for manual focus
Comprehensive Macro / Close-up Photography Tuition including;
  • How to do handheld creative macro / close-up photography
  • How to focus and recompose properly
  • How to interpret natural light-both high key and low key light
  • You will also learn; framing, composition, and negative space
  • Depth OF Field DOF; maximum DOF and minimum DOF
  • Hyperfocal Distance
  • Using a live view to focus your photograph
  • How to review/check your photographs properly

Skill level:

This field trip is suitable for students who have a thorough working knowledge of their camera and controls, shutter and aperture settings, and or have completed either a;

  • Beginner’s Photography Course or similar
  • Basic DSLR / Digital Photography Course or similar
  • Intermediate Photography Course or similar
  • Landscape Photography Course or similar

What to bring: Camera Equipment;

Any adjustable digital camera; DSLR / 4/3rds / Mirrorless with;

  • RAW / JPEG image capability
  • adjustable ISO/film speed settings
  • with adjustable exposure settings; shutter, aperture, and manual exposure i.e. S or TV, A or AV, and M,
  • with manual/autofocus capability
  • also if your camera has adjustable picture control/picture style settings i.e. monochrome standard, neutral, etc
  • A spare camera body if you have one
  • Batterie(s) charged and ready x 2 if you have them
  • Memory card(s) x 2 if you have them

An extra battery and memory card, are strongly recommended, as your camera will be ON, for most of this field trip, and also reviewing your photographs frequently

You need either;
At least one Zoom lens(es) with manual focus capability
18 – 55 mm , 18 – 135 mm , 16 – 35mm , 28 to 80 mm, 10 – 20mm , 40 – 150mm , 70 – 200 etc
and or
Prime lens(es) with manual focus capability
if you have them i.e. 35 mm, 50 mm, 85mm, 105mm, 135mm, 200mm
and or
A macro lens with manual focus capability
Most of the above lenses from approx 35mm and higher in focal length can be used in conjunction with the following to greatly increase magnification;

  • A set of close-up filter(s) the stronger the magnification the better
and or
  • a set of extension tubes in 2 or 3 sizes (in each set); 12mm, 20 mm, 25mm, and 30mm

Please follow this link for more detailed info regarding close-up filters and extension tubes

place link here

Lens notes;
*any lens with a fast aperture of f1.4 / f1.8 / f2.0 / f2.8 / f4.0 etc will be very useful for creative Macro Photography

Please note
Some Zoom lenses have a close-up/macro function built-in (please check the specifications of your lens)

Macro or Close-Up Photography equipment special note:

  • To do Macro or Close-Up Photography properly with a DSLR / 4/3rds / Mirrorless camera, you will need either;
  • A lens with manual focus or a camera which enables manual focus, this is essential to do macro close-up photography (this is usually a switch either on the lens or on the camera) please check your instructions for detailed information
  • Some Bridge cameras have a manual focus setting either in the menu or a button controllable function, some have a macro / close-up photography button setting, please check your instructions for detailed information.

Tutor’s Macro photography kit to share:

The Tutor will have the following, which can be used and shared by the students for the duration of the field trip (*please bring an extra blank SD card if you need to use the Tutor’s share camera equipment).

  • One spare DSLR camera
  • 50mm standard lens
  • 2 x extension tubes

If you have any of these items, please bring them along too;

  • 5 in 1 reflector or a reflector and or diffuser
  • Led light(s) and batteries
  • LED torch(es) and batteries

What to wear:

Please note; as there are some uneven and loose surfaces within the gardens, to participate you must wear enclosed footwear only, NO open footwear i.e. sandals can be worn for this field trip. For safety purposes acceptable footwear is as follows; walking shoes, running shoes, bushwalking shoes, or hiking boots, (weather-proof footwear is advisable).

Weatherproof clothing/clothing for warmer or cool weather

  • Cool / wet weather warm clothing / jumper / rain jacket
  • Warmer weather – comfortable clothing, hat, and sunglasses

Other items to bring:

  • A towel for yourself and your camera
  • Mini umbrella
  • Note pad and pen
  • Bug repellent/sunscreen
  • A flashlight / LED torch
  • Water
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Disposable gloves
  • Antibacterial wipes (camera)
  • Camera (LCD) screen cleaner
  • Face mask

Lunch/food: We will be having a short break for lunch and help for students during the break

It is advisable to bring your ample water, food, and snacks, as there are no vending machines, cafe facilities within Sylvan Grove.

Other additional items:
for our break open question and answer session

  • Seat cushion
  • Notepad and pen
  • Glasses if you need them


  • Entry to Sylvan Grove Native Gardens is subject to Venue availability

Special notes:

Safety precautions;

Please note hygiene safety precautions, and Government advisory will be in place
Spring bloom info: Not all native plants and flowers will be in bloom, September is the optimal month to photograph most flowering species
Students must stay on the marked tracks at all times as these gardens are sensitive, many plants are near or on the actual pathways and tracks.


This field trip will be held in wet weather as it can allow students to capture photographs that are not normally available in fine weather.
A field trip will only be postponed to a future date if heavy weather/thunderstorm is forecast or it is continuously raining.

Please note; parking fees / transport to and from / coffee / drinks / breakfast / lunch /morning tea are not included in cost of class.

Location: Sylvan Grove Native Gardens, Sylvan Grove, Picnic Point

Time and where to meet:
Meet the Tutor at 9 am at the entrance of Sylvan Grove Native Gardens, Sylvan Grove, Picnic Point, the nearest cross Road is Henry Lawson Drive

Getting there: The closest bus route is the 923 bus route. Buses leave from Revesby, Panania, and Bankstown railway stations. *Please check public transport info for more information

Parking options
Off-Street (near the entrance) and on-street parking is available in Sylvan Grove, Picnic Point

About the Tutor:

"My name is Neoklis Bloukos, and I have had a passion for photography since I was 14 years old, with over 44 years of experience in Photography and camera equipment, over 25 years of experience as a Press Photographer, and over 15 years of experience of Digital Post Processing.

I am now a Professional Photography Tutor, teaching Beginners, Intermediate, and Advanced Photography Courses, One Day Classes, and bespoke Photography Field Trips including; Landscape, Macro, Night, Action, and Black and White Photography at SGSCC.

I am passionate about photography, I love to teach and share both classic and modern photography techniques, and believe it is the most significant visual medium on this planet.

My Courses, Field Trips, and Classes are not just about learning photography, but experiences with like-minded people, who want to share and enjoy the experience of learning Photography together, in a formative, but relaxed and comfortable atmosphere." Neoklis

Other Information:

  • To ensure resources are ready for you at the start of your course, we ask you ideally enrol at least one week before the course commences.
  • All courses need a minimum number of students to run ("we try our hardest to get those") . If your course does not have enough students it will be cancelled before the commencement and you will be informed.

This course has no current classes. Please the waiting list.