The LUCID camera is a literal approach to point-and-shoot digicams that makes perfect, simple sense. Rather than a battery-sucking digital screen with lag time and added expense, it features a concave lens that matches the focal point of the camera.
How to Take Close-Up Pictures of Small Things This is an amazing resource for beginners. It covers basic things, such as what kind of camera and lens you need, and then gets into exposure, lighting, focus, combinations and much more.
Creative lighting and strobist in photography Part 1
Focal Length Comparison
What is a macro lens? Magnification and minimum focus distance explained (free photography cheat sheet):
4 Ways to Light a Scene So It Feels Dark (but Actually Isn't)