Macro,  Nature

Essential Gear for a Macro Photography Studio

A macro photography studio is handy to have set up around the house for macro, flower, or product photography.  It is also useful, to take close up photographs when the weather outside isn’t cooperative.

In part one of this blog, I covered how to set up a home macro photography studio.  In this blog, I’ll cover some other essential gear for a macro photo studio.
 
Lily Flower Macro

Essential Gear

Clamp on Gooseneck light.  A clamp on light is useful because it can be attached to various places on or off the macro photography studio to position a light right where you need it.  I also prefer a gooseneck light because you can more precisely control the direction of the light.
 
A 5-in-1 Reflector / Diffuser.  This is a very useful tool to reflect the light to the shadows of a subject or as a main light source.  Sometimes, I only want a very soft light and use the light from the reflector as the primary light source.  I have also used the gold and white reflector as a background for my subject.  You may want to pick up two of these.  I use the Fotodiox 22" 5-in-1 Reflector/Diffuser.
 
You can also experiment with creating your own reflectors using aluminum foil over a piece of cardboard, or a piece of white poster board.

Wimberly Plamp or FM Photography McClamp .  These items are fairly expensive but a valuable tool in the macro photography studio.  They can be used to elevate or position a reflector or defuser, or hold your subject at a raised position.  They are also very useful in the field to move a disturbing branch.
 
The only problem that I’ve seen with the Plamp is that it has some trouble supporting a larger diffuser in an elevated position – a secondary support may be necessary.  I’ve also toyed with creating my own version of this tool (with some success) using thicker gage wire and two spring clamps.
 
Spring Clamps in Assorted Sizes.  An inexpensive bag of assorted spring clamps can be picked up at your local hardware store.  I use these clamps for a variety of things including

  • Clamping reflectors to the side of the macro photography studio
  • Clamping the background to the macro studio
  • Holding the macro subject in the correct position for your composition
Yellow Flower Arrangement
 
Remote Shutter Release.  You can buy the name brand version from your camera manufacturer or a less expensive version.  Make sure you check what camera models that are supported by the remote.  This item is important to reduce the camera shake while taking long exposures of a macro subject.
 
Floral Wire.  If you like taking pictures of flowers, florist wire is useful to combine several flowers into arrangements for your compositions.
 
Small Vase.  This is useful as a stand for flowers and other subjects.  I then use small spring clamps and floral wire to more precisely position the subject.
 

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