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Thread: Whats a good light source to light up macro subjects?

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    Ausphotography Regular JimD's Avatar
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    Whats a good light source to light up macro subjects?

    Whats a good light source to light up macro subjects?

    A simple torch? A 60w tungstan globe in a desk light type reflector? LED light source?
    Jim
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Natural light is by far and away the best ,whether direct or reflected. But if you do use another source, consider learning how to do a custom white balance, and then you will make the most from the shots.

    I have used small halogen lamps to great effect and even LED torches as well, but WB is the key.
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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser henryp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimD View Post
    Whats a good light source to light up macro subjects?
    It depends on the subject, your camera-to-subject working distance and other considerations. Many people use a ring light for direct even illumination. if your subject is shiny and large enough, you might want to consider the shadowless illumination of a light tent. They're also called shooting tents or domes.

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    Member TonyH's Avatar
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    A daylight 24w ergonomic tube ie the new floru systems, but remember to check white balance....

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    I would say an off camera flash - but it all depends on what you are trying to achieve.

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    Member pollywaffle's Avatar
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    Natural light, I adjust to it, rather than adjust it like artificial sources.

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    Amor fati!
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    natural light for focus but extrernal off camera flash for lighting for the shot. 2 flashes works really well too.

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    Almost all the time natural light is not a practical light source solution due to laws of optics and a need to have more than a slither of the subject in focus at 1:1. Using a flash is the best source of light. The ultimate aim is to produce an artificially lit scene resembling natural light as much as possible, which means using a flash and diffusing the light as much as possible. The king of this is Brian Valentine (see here about his home made diffuser with examples: http://www.flickr.com/groups/macrovi...7594312315664/ ). Check out some of his photo stream too while your there!
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    Ausphotography Regular gcflora's Avatar
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    Well, if LordV does it, I am open to listening... he is the master of macro
    Craig

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    I've been mucking around with my 580EX, wide diffuser out and a cd sleeve crammed over the top. Set it at 90 deg and presto, a relative smooth light.
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    The more I learn the less I know !

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    I'll back up what Andrew has said regarding flash for macro. Invest in a regular flash first as this will have more use for other types of photography also. You will have much more success with a flash. Learn how to balance natural light and flash and learn how to flash can be the only light in the scene.

    Then....
    Buy or make a diffuser.
    Buy an off camera cord.
    Buy or make a flash bracket.

    Required reading Stobist - Apparent Light Size - the reason macro photographers use flash brackets and diffusers positioned so close to the subject.
    Greg
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    Ausphotography Regular gcflora's Avatar
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    Is it better to buy or make a flash bracket? I am not very handy building things so I guess I should buy one. I suppose. But it's all very complicated

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