One of my favorite things to do as a photographer is to shoot subjects that my kids like. I do this because I can get prints, frames, and hang them up in their rooms. Now they have something that none of their friends have, which they really dig.
Since my youngest son is a big fan of the movie Cars, I decided that I would shoot some of his toys to use for new prints. Enter Macro Photography.
Now, I don’t have a really expensive macro lens or even an extension tube. But do I really need one? For what I’m doing, not really. For the shot above I actually used a Nikon 50mm f1.8 prime lens. I could have also used my Nikon 70-300mm VR lens.
My lighting was pretty simple, yet very effective. I wanted a big, soft light source so I used a couple of speedlights with shoot through umbrellas and I brought the umbrellas in nice and close. I set them up on both sides of the subject for some nice cross-lighting. I had the speedlights in Manual and they were set to 1/4 power +1/3 exposure value. I also now exclusively use the Nikon Diffusion Domes on my flashes all the time, a tip I picked up from Joe McNally. I triggered the flashes with CyberSyncs from Paul C. Buff.
Here’s a quick setup shot:
So if you don’t have tons of extra cash laying around to throw at a macro lens, don’t sweat it. You can probably use what you already have. One of the key elements to remember is your lens’ minimum focusing distance. That will come into play big time. For really small things and if I were shooting macro for hire, I would get a macro lens. (Or an extension tube at minimum.)
That’s it for me today, I’ll see you back here tomorrow to wrap up the week and head into the weekend! Have a great day!