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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Macro Talk 
Thread started 14 Apr 2016 (Thursday) 07:09
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macro lighting

 
DanFrank
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Apr 14, 2016 07:09 |  #1

With indoor macro, whats everyone using for lighting? Was thinking of getting a Wescott 50inch softbox and an Eisten. Would that be sufficient?


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Swiftlet
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Post edited over 2 years ago by Swiftlet.
     
Apr 15, 2016 08:16 |  #2

:)

For bees' knees, you'd be better off with a cut up table tennis ball , really.

The subject cares about the angle the light comes from, not how far away it is.

You only need extraordinary and large lighting if you're photographing ball bearings, or some thing which behaves like one.
Exposed integrated circuits with everything gold and shiny are an example. Then you have to play with crossed polarized light too.

Ordinary writing paper, bent into a "tent" is remarkably good.
Usually you can put your flash head(s) close so you don't need much power.
Studio flash units can be slow too, which can make a difference. 1/10,000th second is better than 1/500th, because macro things usually vibrate even if the camera doesn't.
Alien Bees are a favorite if you go that way.



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Alveric
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Apr 15, 2016 13:55 |  #3

I use my Hensel monolights for indoor, still life macro.

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The Curtain Falls (external link) by Alveric (external link), on ipernity

And even for some 'outdoor' macros:


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Dalantech
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Apr 18, 2016 04:18 |  #4

There are a couple of things that make answering your question not so cut and dry. If you have your camera on a tripod, and if the subject isn't moving, then you won't be too concerned about the duration of the flash. But if you're hand holding the camera, shooting a moving target, or both then you'll want to get the flash as close to the subject as possible to keep the duration of the light as short as possible. Also the closer the diffuser is to the subject the better the diffusion will be. Then we can also talk about the general quality of the light -color temp, softness (not to be confused with diffusion), etc. There are some areas that I've struggled with that have had a big influence on how I diffuse the MT-24EX. Beetle shells:

IMAGE: https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5746/21537838640_d50ce4b62f_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/yPe4​4w  (external link) Bug Birth Day (external link) by John Kimbler (external link), on Flickr

The eyes of some solitary bees:

IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1472/25827959023_5d508f53c7_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/Fmk3​ok  (external link) Newborn Blue Mason Bee IV (external link) by John Kimbler (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1499/26194503620_face785ac2_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/FUHF​jL  (external link) Nature's Speeing Bag I (external link) by John Kimbler (external link), on Flickr

Some of them are actually quite glossy and it's really easy to blow out the specular highlights.

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davholla
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Apr 18, 2016 04:41 |  #5

Good photos but the first one is of Bugs not Beetles (Hemiptera not Coleoptera).
I think everyone struggles with them.




  
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Dalantech
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Apr 18, 2016 05:17 |  #6

davholla wrote in post #17975831 (external link)
Good photos but the first one is of Bugs not Beetles (Hemiptera not Coleoptera).
I think everyone struggles with them.

Good catch :)


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davholla
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Apr 18, 2016 05:19 |  #7

Dalantech wrote in post #17975843 (external link)
Good catch :)

Thanks I meant to say everyone struggles with the light on their exo skeleton not distinguishing between them.
Even with natural light there can be problems.




  
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Dalantech
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Apr 18, 2016 05:26 |  #8

davholla wrote in post #17975846 (external link)
Thanks I meant to say everyone struggles with the light on their exo skeleton not distinguishing between them.
Even with natural light there can be problems.

I actually find natural light easier in some ways, but when it's good there just isn't enough of it for anything but still life (with the camera on a tripod) at 1x and higher mag. That's why I prefer to use a flash, since it gives me more options. The trick, at least for me and my photographic style, is to get the light quality that I want in a very small space. I don't think it's possible to have a discussion about macro lighting without taking technique into account. There's a big difference between choosing a method and then finding subjects that you can photograph with it verses letting the subject dictate what you're going to do.


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macro lighting
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