Macro photo at home without a flash

I would like to take macro photos at home without a flash. Which light bulb should I get?.

As I understand I need light bulb with the same WB of the sun and with enough power ( watts ?? ) to illuminate the object?.


Comments (8)

You don't need the "sunlight balanced" bulbs to do macro photography, any more than you need a specific camera or lens to do macro shots..

If you want them, the "Ott Light" series are pretty good at it..

As for how big... what are you shooting, and what sort of lamps do you have? For small objects on a table, one or two lights on flexible arms should be all you really need. If the camera is mounted on a fixed support or tripod, shutter speed is not an issue. If you are shooting hand held, then as much light as you can muster will allow shutter speeds that will give you sharp shots handheld. A large sheet of white cardboard or foam core board can be used as a reflector, and you can find something around the house to use as a diffuser if needed..

Crime Scene PhotographyA small gallery of personal work:

Comment #1

Why not?.

When I tried to use normal 75W bulb the object seems to be too dark and the images turn out yellow...

Comment #2

Since you use Point&Shot most likelly without RAW ability you need to use one of WB settings of camera to do best color match for you..

Best lightsource for macro at home will be compact light tent cube surrounded by 2-3 lamps. This set will help reducing shades and be anough for relativly short exposure while shoting for depth (f/8) of your camera..

Do search on "light tent cube" at ebay to see what I'm talking about..


Comment #3

Whitelen wrote:.

Why not?.

When I tried to use normal 75W bulb the object seems to be too darkand the images turn out yellow..

The 75w bulb isn't the brightest in the world, but can be used. Add another one and you should be fine. With the camera on a stand of some kind, you can use a longer shutter speed to get a better exposure..

The images are yellow because the white balance is not set for incandescent. You can either set the white balance to incandescent, set a custom white balance, or in some cases color correct the image in post processing..

The Ott lights are an option, but you need to know how much light you need. If a 75w regular bulb isn't bright enough, then a 75w Ott isn't going to be bright enough either..

You can get an inexpensive light kit at Ritz, or even Office Depot. They run about $30-$50, and include two lamps and a small light tent. They are designed for small object photography..

Crime Scene PhotographyA small gallery of personal work:

Comment #4

We need some more information here. What camera are you shooting with? What subjects do you want to shoot with it? Most cameras can be adjusted to various white balances, so that, for example, you can set them to give good results under incandescent, or fluorecent lights. Some can be set to use any existing combination of lights (what is called "custom white balance"), but we need to know what _your_ camera can do..

WillWill PrattBarrick Museum, UNLV..

Comment #5

I use canon S3 and photo mostly insects that found there way into my house. it is easy to bring them to my desk and try to take a picture..

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Is the Incandescent light is the best type of bulb? I say that 75W is not enogth because the images are not turn clear and bright as it happen when I take picures in mid noon...

Comment #6

Okay, I can offer some help. I shoot, mostly insects, with an S3 myself..

First, the type of light isn't critical. Set up whatever combination works, put a white index card under that illumination, and set a custom white balance from that. Your manual tells how. Or check out for a specifically S3 manual that's a lot more readable..

What I use for insect photography (as part of being a professional Entomologist) is the lights from a tabletop whitebox "studio" set sold by Walmart for about $50. (The whitebox is also useful on occasion, though less so for live shots.) I replaced the 20 watt GU10-C bulbs supplied with 50 Watt bulbs having the same size and base, bought at Home Depot, 3 for $10 roughly, as I recall. Extended testing has shown that the lamps do not heat up more with the 50w bulbs than with the 20w. The original bulbs are "daylight" balanced. I use the preset "incandescent" white balance with the non-daylight replacements with perfect results. I usually set them up to that they illuminate the subject from the front and above, at 45 degree angles both horixzonlally and vertically, with the one directed at the rear of the subject being a bit further away than the one illuminating the head.

I'm shooting on tripod, with a 2 sec delay to let the system stabilize before the image is captured..

Use a name brand supplementary closeup lens on an accessory mount. (The Lensmate mount is cheaper, much higher quality, and more easily available than the Canon ones.)

Your camera should be on a tripod. A _good_ quality "tabletop" model will work. I use a Manfrotto 709B DIGI when in the field though I usually use a full size tripod with a ball head in the lab. I set up on a the edge of a labtable with the tripod on the lab floor. You can easily set up on the end of the dining room table with the tripod on the table, though. You can go with a much cheaper tabletop tripod for trying the idea out, too.

Chilling specimens in the fridge for half an hour will make them much easier to handele, but be warned, the numbing effect is transitory..

For flash shots of active specimens you need a flash diffuser. Get a 6" white styrofoam bowl (as sold in packs of 12 in grocery stores.) Place your lens cap adapter on the flat bottom of the bowl against one wall and draw around it with a ballpoint or thin marker. (If the adapter, use the narrow end.) Cut out the circle thus drawn a bit inside the line (so it's a little smaller than what it has to fit over.) Then cut closely spaced slits perpendicular to the line. Slide the bowl over the end of the adapter (or the extended lens) with the concave side towards the subject. (The wider side goes up.) You will be amazed the difference this will make in flash shots..

Look here for much more information on using Canon Sn series cameras for macro work.

WillWill PrattBarrick Museum, UNLV..

Comment #7

That is something new for me;thank you for the tip..


Comment #8

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