Monday, February 29, 2016

DIY: Macro Lighting

Macro shooting is cool stuff. It allows you to get ridiculously close to an object, yet retain focus. The camera ends up being so close, and the depth of field so shallow, the focus ring on the lens becomes useless. Focus is now achieved by moving the target object closer or farther away from the camera, or moving the camera closer or farther away (use can also use a macro focus rail for this purpose).

One problem that arises is that of lighting. Regular-conventional lights become to big to light your tiny subjects, though you can use them with a white macro tent. This will give you soft, even light, but what if you want something more stylish? What about three-point lighting?

What you end up needing is a small light kit which allows you point light in specific directions, just like a regular light kit. As mentioned in the video, I found some low-cost alternatives that will let you do just that. While not as flexible as "real" lights, these cheap alternatives can still do quite a bit.

The lights that I ended up using were a small LED desk lamp with five LEDs, and a USB keyboard light with one LED. Used separately or together, these little devices can make for some cool effects. Be aware that these cheap lights have a very blue tint to them, but that can be fixed in post if you don't care for it.


4x AA USB power pack
2x AA USB power pack
Generic USB cell phone charger
Light socket to two prong power adapter
Light socket Y-adapter

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