I recently attended the Macro Photograpy workshop run by Embrace Cooperation based in Brixton, Embrace are a not for profit organization who provide workshops as well running other charity projects. Attending a workshop with them is a win-win, as it enables you to learn some new photography tricks and contribute something back through the very reasonable cost.
I've had the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro Lens for about six months now, and the only really dedicated use it has had was when I went to the More Light Rehearsals . I've not doing anything particularly macro related. The main reason is a lack of inspiration, aside from a few flowers and forks, I've not been able to come up with a good subject.
The course started with a short introduction to macro photography, along with the various options like a dedicated lens like mine, extension tubes or bellows, which allow you to use a regular lens as a macro. For Canon's however, as they can't adjust aperture on the lens, it is more difficult to properly use a bellows. The final option is magnification filters. Essentially these are magnifying glasses strapped to the front of the lens. They are a cheap way into macro photography and a nice easy way to explore the subject without spending a lot of money.
After the introduction, we moved onto practical sessions. A range of objects were made available and we found ourselves a space somewhere around the room. Unfortunately, the light was not fantastic, so I often used a portable torch to add some extra life.
I used a selection of objects: A geode, a couple of seashells, a toy car, some sugar and perhaps most interesting a crystal angel. The angel was particularly good, as when set-up on a window ledge, I was able to take a photo which caught the landscape behind it in the head.
For more information on what I learned at the course, take a look here: Guide | Macro Photography