Lighting is one of the main challenges of macro photography. When you get too close to your subject, you end up blocking the light and end up with a bad image.
If you’re eager to learn how to avoid this problem, read on. This article is full of great macro photography lighting tips.
Take Macro Shots in the Morning When the Sun Isn’t so Strong
Macro photography lighting can be challenging when shooting outdoors. You don’t have any control over the angle of the light. That’s why it’s crucial to figure out where the sun’s position is in the sky.
When shooting macro subjects, you don’t have to wait for the golden hour as you do in other types of photography. In most cases, you can expect beautiful macro shots as long as the sun is shining about 45 degrees in front of your subject.
It’s also important to note that a lot of macro photographers shoot during the morning. Flowers look fresh when covered in morning dew. It’s also during this time when insects start to appear.
The only time you need to avoid is shooting at noon when the sun is high up in the sky. If you see ugly shadows on your subject, better wait a few hours until the sunlight isn’t as intense.
Or you can find a shady area that absorbs some of the harsh backlights.
If you want to shoot in a specific location, feel free to visit it first before shooting. Figure out what time the macro lighting looks good so you know when to go.
Bounce Light With a Reflector
You might be in a spot where the lighting is bad no matter the time of day. Consider using lighting equipment such as a reflector.
In simple terms, a reflector bounces off the light to fill in the ugly shadows around your subject.
Just note that using a reflector wouldn’t work if the sun is behind you. So always make sure you’re opposite it to successfully bounce off light. Keep moving it around until it reflects the sunlight onto the object you’re shooting.
There are many types of reflectors you can buy on the market. The best ones for macro photography are the small round ones.
They have enough surface area to create reflections but are still small enough to move around when shooting.
If you don’t have a reflector, use white cardboard instead. It works just as well, and you can even it smaller to fit in tight areas.
You can also shape aluminum foil into a curve to concentrate beams of light onto your subject. It’s also easy to cut into a smaller piece if you don’t have enough space for a large reflector.