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It's a small world, and capturing it with a photograph can be challenging. In this course, photographer, author, and teacher Ben Long takes you on a fantastic voyage into the realm of the tiny, detailing the gear and shooting techniques necessary to capture extreme close-ups of everything from products to posies.
After touring the possibilities of macro photography, the course details essential gear at several price levels, including lenses, flashes, and other accessories. Next, Ben explores the special challenges of macro photography: dealing with moving subjects, working with extremely shallow depth of field, focusing, lighting, and more.
The course also explores advanced close-up tools and post-processing techniques, such as using Adobe Photoshop to "stack" multiple shots to yield wider depth of field than a single shot can convey.
In the last movie, you saw a simple example of using a regular external strobe, both with and without a softbox or diffuser, to help get some light into your macro scenes. There are dedicated macro flash units that you might want to consider if you get serious about macro photography, especially if you get serious about macro flash photography. You may have heard of a ring light. That is a type of flash that goes right around the edge of your lens, and has a ring of lights. I don't have one here, because I just don't really recommend using a ring light. It leads to a very flat kind of lighting. And, it also creates a very specific kind of reflection inside anything that's shiny in your scene, like water droplets, or people's eyes, or things like that.
I prefer something like this. It's maybe a little unwieldy, but this is a twin light. This is one made by Canon. There are lots of variations of this on the market. And, what I like about this is it gives me a lot of flexibility with the positioning of the flash units themselves. And, as you can see, it is so simple to get on. It actually is. It just goes on the hot shoe there. This is the main control unit. This is where the batteries are. It's where all of the controls for the flash are. It comes with this thing, which just snaps to the front of the lens, very easily, and it's got these two little brackets. These are two just tiny, little strobes, and they slide right in here.
Now, what I like about this is they are positioned to shine right down onto my subject. And, as you can see, I can tilt them here, so if my subject is a little bit further out, I can aim them out there. If it's right in front of the lens, I have got the 65 mm macro on, so the focus distance is so short that things are usually are right in front of the lens. I can tilt them down like that. What's also cool is they slide around the ring. So, if I want really strong side lighting, I can get that. If I want to create some more unusual lighting options, I can do that.
But wait, there's more! Because you can also take the flashes off of the little ring thing here, and you can move them around. If you got little stands, you can set them up in different places. So, really a lot of flexibility here. From the back of the unit, I can control ratioing from the camera. Or the back of the unit, I can control overall flash power. This will also work with Canon's 100 mm macro. However, to do that, you have to buy this special macro light adapter ring, which screws onto the filter threads on the end of the lens, and allows that clip thing to fit to the front.
I find, in general, this system works a little bit better with a 65, than it does with the 100. I have trouble getting things pointed in the right way with the 100, because the focusing distance is longer. I probably just need to practice more. One thing I should say here is this thing puts out a lot of light. I have yet to get it to work real well like this. And, in my experience, the flashes always needs to be diffused. And so, I have these little flash diffusers. These are made specifically for this Canon twin light system. They're not made by Canon. They are third-party. You Google around on flash diffusers for the Canon macro twin light, you'll find a number of different options.
So, I really like these. These cut down the light a lot. They diffuse it, so that it is a little bit softer, and generally calm the flash down, and make it a lot easier to work with. You're going to see this thing in action in the next movie, and I think it'll give you a better idea of what you can do with it.
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