Macro Photography Lighting Tutorial



EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW about LIGHT in macro photography! It’s a complete tutorial — natural light, ring lights, flash, dual flash, and diffusers.

I’ve been a macro photographer for 7 or 8 years now, and lighting is still what I think about the most. Good lighting will make or break any photo, but especially a macro photo, since it’s so easy to capture harsh light with the wrong setup (or just not enough light in the first place).

If you have any questions or comments, let me know below and I’ll be sure to answer!

All photos and videos in this tutorial are my own, Copyright © Spencer Cox.

~Spencer
https://instagram.com/spencercoxphoto/

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#MacroPhotography

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43 thoughts on “Macro Photography Lighting Tutorial

  • June 29, 2021 at 11:38
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    Was feeling low and somehow stumbled upon this video and got to say this ur presentation felt so therapeutic to me..kudos brother…keep doing great videos

  • June 29, 2021 at 11:38
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    Thanks for the video. Would it be suitable to just use the stock slip-on diffusor of something like a Canon Speedlite for example? I mean compared to the sheet of paper.

  • June 29, 2021 at 11:38
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    Spencer I watched two videos and because of the clarity and quality. I immediately posted your YouTube information to the Louisiana Photographic Society Facebook page. Thanks for creating such high quality instruction.

  • June 29, 2021 at 11:38
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    Another option is a clip on adjustable kelvin light source…
    You can always use a diffuser on those too.
    Flashes are not always ideal. Some people like me have an M6 MkII. The hot shoe is needed for the EVF, ergo, we can't use a flash and the viewfinder at the same time. The main solution for me was to buy an inexpensive rechargeable adjustable continuous light source. You have to play with it more, but it beats the other flash solutions for my camera.

  • June 29, 2021 at 11:38
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    Thanks for the video. I have been hesitant about using a ring light for underwater macro.Your points are well taken, and I think that I will photograph the nudibranchs using my strobes (with diffusers) or my video lights.

  • June 29, 2021 at 11:38
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    I hope you are working towards a PhD in Photography and teach photography at a top-tier school. Yes, you are that good. Regards, Prof. Andrew Lamberson (Marketing) w 38 years of Marketing Management experience and 10 years as a Professor. Go for it!

  • June 29, 2021 at 11:38
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    Fantastic video! I'm a total beginner with macro photography, but I'm having a blast – your tips (especially about using/making a diffuser) are going to be very helpful. Thanks again – I'm a new subscriber now 🙂

  • June 29, 2021 at 11:38
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    Hi, nice video there. Did you have chance to explore Neewer R-160 flash light for Macro? wish to know your opinion on this.

  • June 29, 2021 at 11:38
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    Great video with samples! Can I ask what is that lazy arm light called? I have seen in my country but I found only one and its CRAZY expensive :/

  • June 29, 2021 at 11:38
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    What about using LED Video lights? You can adjust the amount of light and possibly add a diffuser. Also you can vary the angle and direction of the light.

  • June 29, 2021 at 11:38
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    Hi Spencer, thanks for sharing your knowledge on macro photography. Can you pls throw some light on newborn and wedding macro photography and the settings you use on the camera and lens( af vs mf, focus distance etc).

  • June 29, 2021 at 11:38
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    An actual flash tube ring light puts out a lot more light than the LEDs with "flash" mode. This used to be the only kind of ring light, but there are few available these days. Great for photogrammetry, where you want flat light.

  • June 29, 2021 at 11:38
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    If I plan to take micro shots with flash only, would you say I don't need to buy a tripod for macro?

  • June 29, 2021 at 11:38
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    Hmmm, since i don't have any lightning for my new Sony A7iii yet, what would be recommendable? Just a Flash, so i can use it for everything. Normal usage and macro. Or just the twin flash for macro? or both? i don't want to spend a fortune 😀

  • June 29, 2021 at 11:38
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    First, you have a great teaching style – easy to follow, hits all the points in an organized way. This lighting video is just what I needed. I've been trying out macro shooting with new equipment (extension tubes) and they really cut down on available light. The ring light just doesn't compensate enough and the bright lights are too bright. Guess I'll be busy building myself a diffuser! I'll be coming back to this video frequently as I try new shots. Thank you!

  • June 29, 2021 at 11:38
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    i came here for the photography stuff but i was thinking, have you ever considered doing movie/voice over work, you have a great sounding vocal

  • June 29, 2021 at 11:38
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    Thans you for your video. I have a question about macro photography. I am a not professional in photography but i would like to take good mouth photos for my profession( working in dentistry) Do you have any lighting tips for getting good colors and accents for front teeth? I have a Canon EOS 100 D with lens EF-S 60 mm, Canon macro ring lite MR 14 EX II 📸😊
    Greetings Angelique

  • June 29, 2021 at 11:38
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    Thanks. Perfect advice after looking at ring lights. Really struggling getting sharp images at the moment

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