Speedlights, strobes, reflectors, filters, umbrellas, cables, and batteries. Lighting gear can certainly come with an expensive price tag. But it doesn’t always have to. In this video, Pye from SLR Lounge explains how to use cheap camping lights to enhance ring and macro shots:
Pye uses simple Grip 6-LED camo pocket lights to add highlights and dimension to his macro images. These particular lights are daylight balanced, resulting in a blue tone of light.
“They’re great lights for accentuating your rings or your details, or whatever macro type stuff you’re shooting… There are a million ways to use these guys.”
These lights are only $10 each and are an affordable and useful tool to add to your photo kit.
Tips To Enhance Your Macro Photography Using LED Lights
- Place LED lights on either side of your subject. This will create full highlighted edges that will make your subject “pop.”
- Place LED lights off to the left or the right to create interesting highlights on just one side of your subject.
- Tuck your lights behind a sofa cushion, shining upwards against the back of the sofa. Place your subject close to the edge of the seat cushion. Shoot from a low angle to capture a beautiful light fall off in the background.
- Use the LED lights to bounce light off of reflective surfaces, like a glass table top or a shiny clutch. Use a reflective surface to add a mirror effect to your image.
- Try out lights with different color tones. Try using daylight balanced LED lights to mimic the look of a window in a room. Shine the lights from one side of the room to create highlights on one side of your subject. Try contrasting the light’s color with that of a room’s artificial lighting.
- Be resourceful and use what you have around you to create interesting backgrounds, bounce light around, or add context to an image.
- Use putty to prop up objects in macro photography. It doesn’t leave residue and can be molded to stay out of sight.
Besides trying out these tips, practice and experiment on your own. Try using these LED lights in other forms of photography; they work great in portraiture. What’s your favorite cheap, portable light source?
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