Quick and Easy Location Macro Setup

Australian photographer Neil Creek dropped this macro shot of a fossilized shrimp into the pool over the weekend, and included what I thought was a pretty neat lighting scheme in the setup shot.

He used two speedlights and two small sheets of paper. Take a minute to figure out how you would do it, them make the jump for the setup shot.
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Using two lights on the table, he simply made a couple of semicircles out of two half sheets of paper, making the hard, low light of the flash soft but still directional. This creates a nice, even zone of light in which to wander around with his macro lens and take a mapped-out series of photos for stitching together later.

He didn't say, but I suspect that the work light is merely there to help him focus, and was likely not much (if any) of a contribution to the final image. (Up close, flash is extremely powerful, and the lamp is easy to totally overpower.)

This setup is worth noting because it is something you can do on location with found objects. Just lay the flash on the tabe and surround your subject with the curved strips of paper. Very nice to know. (Thanks, Neil.)

Click on the setup photo for more info on the gear used. The final photo is a pieced-together, 225-meg(!) macro panorama. Check out the results via Neil's blog.


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