Ideal lighting for macro stacking

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psychoanalyst_god
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:42 am
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA

Ideal lighting for macro stacking

Post by psychoanalyst_god »

Hello,

My question concerns the best way to use off camera flash for extreme macro shots.

I am new to the world of stacking (have been doing hand held macro for sometime now and am familiar with its challenges). I am unhappy with the lighting in my shots and not sure what is the best way to introduce flash lighting into my shots.

Below is my first ever macro stack. Its not the most ideal result (I need to work more on stacking itself....this was done in photoshop), but I am far from satisfied with the uneven lighting.

I have also included a shot of my macro setup which shows the SB-400 mounted on a magic arm and lighting the subject from a 45 degree angle. It explains why the left half of the spider is well lit whilst the right half is totally shadowed. Do I need another flash on the right side or can even lighting be achieved using proper placement of a single flash? I want to avoid adding items to the setup since its already quite heavy and cumbersome. But I do have an SB-600 if required.

Is that a good setup? How can I tweak it?

I would appreciate any advice since I am fairly new to to both stacking as well as the use of artificial lighting for macro work.

Many thanks.

Avi

Image
Image

Craig Gerard
Posts: 2877
Joined: Sat May 01, 2010 1:51 am
Location: Australia

Post by Craig Gerard »

There are various methods of approaching the lighting aspect with relevance to your subject and hardware setup.

Here is one example by forum member AndrewC which I believe would be of benefit to your requirements:
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... php?t=8978

Some more insights from AndrewC at the following links:
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... php?t=8977

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... hp?t=12472

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... hp?t=10588


Craig
To use a classic quote from 'Antz' - "I almost know exactly what I'm doing!"

Charles Krebs
Posts: 5860
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:02 pm
Location: Issaquah, WA USA
Contact:

Post by Charles Krebs »

There really isn't one best way. What is ideal for one subject may not work well with a different subject. But it is almost always desirable to set up some type of diffusion that will "present" a much larger light source to the subject than the raw direct light directly from the (relatively small) face of an unmodified flash unit. If that diffuser is large enough (or encircles the subject) you will get some illumination on both sides of the subject, eliminating the deep dark detail-less shadows.

There are so many variations... your imagination is the only limit. Here are just a few links to get started:


http://orionmystery.blogspot.com/2010/1 ... -rigs.html

http://orionmystery.blogspot.com/2009/0 ... etups.html

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... hp?t=18579

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... hp?t=19587

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... hp?t=12485

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... php?t=5786

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... hp?t=10842

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... php?t=8377

http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=diffuser

psychoanalyst_god
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2010 11:42 am
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA

Post by psychoanalyst_god »

Charles and Craig,

Many thanks!

I am going to play around based on those suggestions.

i also need to think about the most effective method of incorporating this setup in the field.

Regards

Avi

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