Macro Lighting and Diffusion

Macro Lighting

A considerable amount of my work-time is spent researching macro photographic technique and equipment on the internet. Recently, I have been looking in particular, at the lighting set-ups other photographers use. I’ve found a useful thread on FredMiranda, ‘Post Your Set Up! where many people have shown their set-ups with their resulting images.

It’s important to diffuse the light, from the sun or flash, to achieve successful images. In the past, I‘ve tried, with limited success, to diffuse sunlight with a round, flat diffuser. It is difficult to keep that kind of diffuser in place either by holding (not enough hands) or on a stand which all too easily gets blown over with the slightest puff of wind. This summer, I tried using a white umbrella on a stand instead. I think it’s made a big difference to my images and I’m very pleased with the results.

Macro Lighting

The equipment I bought cheaply on Ebay broke so I’ve just invested in a better quality Lastolite umbrella and Manfrotto MN-026 adapter with which to attach the umbrella to the lightstand. I stabilize the stand with a beanbag on the base.


Recently emerged Six-spot Burnet moth, Zygaena filipendulae stephensi, resting on its chrysalis case, where it is expanding its wings in preparation for its first flight.

Forester Moth - Adscita statices

Green Forester moth, Adiscita statices, on Scabious.



Chalkhill Blue butterfly, Polyommatus cordon, on grass.



Chalkhill Blue butterfly, Polyommatus cordon, on grass.


Honeybee - Apis mellifera

Honeybee – Apis mellifera, on Scabious.

I used fill-flash for the images with scabious and natural light only for the rest.

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