Big Shots, Small Creatures: Macro Photography With Joseph Saunders - Atlas Obscura Experiences
THE GASTRO OBSCURA BOOK An eye-opening journey through the history, culture, and places of the culinary world. Just released! The Gastro Obscura book is here! Order Now

Big Shots, Small Creatures: Macro Photography With Joseph Saunders

$215 per person Online Experience
4 sessions
Up to 25 people
See Dates
$215 per person
$215 per person
See Dates
What We’ll Do

In this four-part seminar, learn how to engage and photograph the small creatures around you.

Course Description

Some of the most stunning creatures are also among the smallest, and aren't always easy to spot. In this course, join photographer Joseph Saunders and see insects, amphibians, reptiles, and small mammals in a new light—up close—using the art of macro photography. Over the course of four sessions, we’ll cover everything from camera gear to photography techniques, as well as post processing, including focus stacking. We’ll discuss the best ways to find, engage, and photograph your subjects, which you’ll be able to practice on your own and workshop during our final session together. By the end of this course, you’ll not only have a growing portfolio of small creatures, but also the unique ability to bring into focus some of the planet’s most extraordinary species, many of which are rapidly disappearing—and showcase why preserving them is important to the survival of our planet.

Syllabus At A Glance

There are four total sessions included in this purchase, each lasting for 1.5 hours on four consecutive Tuesdays beginning August 3.

Session 1 (Tuesday, August 3, 7:00–8:30 PM ET): Equipment & Small Subjects: Camera gear and subject material approach

Session 2 (Tuesday, August 10, 7:00–8:30 PM ET): Photography Techniques: Composition & lighting

Session 3 (Tuesday, August 17, 7:00–8:30 PM ET): Post Processing: Software and how to use it

Session 4 (Tuesday, August 24, 7:00–8:30 PM ET): Macro Exhibit: Submissions and workshop

Between Sessions

Outside of class, students will be encouraged to spend time outdoors engaging with the subjects. (This can include taking photographs—or not!)

Course Materials

Students are encouraged to own a camera and flash diffuser. These items are not absolutely necessary; students using cell phone cameras will benefit from the course, too.

Pricing Options

If you are unable to pay the ticket price for this course, a limited number of no-pay spots are available to increase accessibility for students, regardless of economic situation. Please note that this option is first-come, first-served, and reserved for those who would not otherwise be able to take this course. To learn more about our approach to pricing, including no-pay options, please visit our FAQ page. 

Atlas Obscura Online Courses

This online course is offered by Atlas Obscura. Founded in 2009, Atlas Obscura created the definitive, community-driven guide to the most incredible places on the planet and is now an award-winning travel company that shares the world’s hidden wonders in person and online. Our online courses offer opportunities for participants to emerge with new skills, knowledge, connections, and perspectives through multi-session classes designed and taught by expert instructors. Courses can take one of two forms: Seminars are intimate, interactive classes—capped at nine to 25 students—exploring topics and crafts through discussion, workshops, assignments, and in-class activities. We also offer lecture series that can be attended live, or viewed via a recording that will be shared within 72 hours after each session airs. Class recordings for lecture series will be available with a temporary password for up to two weeks following the final session of the course.

To learn more about our current course offerings, please visit

For answers to commonly asked questions, check out our FAQ page here.


Where We’ll Be

Once registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite that will provide access to the class meeting. Please save the confirmation email as you’ll use it to access your course via Zoom on each scheduled date and time.

About Your Instructor
Joseph Saunders
Joseph Saunders

Joseph is a life-long lover of nature and wildlife. After becoming an adult he began using photography to document his experiences outdoors. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Sociology with an emphasis on inequality. His life goal is to inspire others, and exemplify how compassion, empathy, and integrity directed toward all living things is necessary for the health and wellness of everyone.

Joseph is a member of BlackAFInSTEM, who in 2020 started a movement highlighting Black people in various STEM fields with the first inaugural Black Birders Week. He has appeared on the Ologies podcast. He has been published in the Smithsonian, Discover Wildlife, Audubon, and Bloomberg Magazine. When he is not engaged in social resistance for justice, you can usually find him staring adoringly into the anterior median eyes of jumping spiders, avoiding snake bites, or listening to the cacophony of amorous frogs and toads.

You can find him on Instagram, Twitter, and Patreon

What Else You Should Know

Once registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite that will provide access to the class meeting. Please save the confirmation email as you’ll use it to access your course via Zoom on each scheduled date and time.

In most cases, instructors will use Google Classroom to communicate with students outside of class. While students aren’t required to use Classroom, instructors will be using this platform to post resources, discussion questions, and assignments, when applicable.

We provide closed captioning for all of our courses, as well as transcripts upon request. Please reach out to us at if you have any questions, requests, or access needs.

Group Size

There are 25 spots available on this experience.

Dates and Availability

There are no upcoming experiences at the moment. Fill out the form below to be notified when we add new dates.

All fields required.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.