Monday, July 14, 2008

Macro Studio on NO budget

I wanted to try out macro photography but needed to do so on the cheap, so I bought some close up filters (25 dollars at Ritz). One thing I quickly learned is that I wanted really small apertures to get everything in focus or at least as much as possible in focus. This meant using a lot of light or long shutter speeds. I of course opted for increased light. You put that strobe close enough to your subject and even at the lowest setting you have more light than you could ever ask for.

I had to come up with cheap way to create beautiful light and I was thinking green. So what did I do to save the environment and get that killer light I wanted? I used a left over gallon of milk.

Bonus; if you cut the carton right you can keep the handle. Another slick thing about these milk cartons is you have built in raised pedestal for whatever it is that you plan to take photos of. It is like the dairy industry knew that there are thousands of poor photographers out there looking for a simple solution to their macro studio needs.

Here is the setup…

You can see I am using a basic cross lighting technique but shooting through the milk carton. I plan on trying a whole array of lighting angles. It is so easy to make minor adjustments. Some of the shots I used a 1/2 CTO filter to warm things with a custom WB to get different lighting feel.

Once I cut the top off the milk carton and everything was all setup, I needed a subject. Lucky our home has a lot of flowers that are available for testing out the macro studio.

Manual F29, 1/40 of a second WB set to custom, ISO 200

Yup, F29 is the aperture and this was still blowing out. Strobes were set to about 1/32 power. Why such a slow shutter speed? No reason in particular. At this shutter speed without the strobes the pic would be a very dark grey.

Manual F25, 1/80 of a second WB set to custom, ISO 200

So simple a cave man could do it…


Aries327 said...

These look awesome. Did you know you can put your stuff on free stock photo sites? (To get exposure.)

Nathan Marx said...

I have looked at putting some photos on a stock photography site. I don't know how much exposure you can get but if your stuff sells in large quantities you can earn some money... I may pull the trigger on that yet?