Should you buy a macro photography light box or make a macro photo studio yourself? These mini lighting studios are great for you if you want a simple way to have success with macro lighting and don't want to go through a complex set-up each time you shoot macro.
I prefer the ones that fold up or collapse because they are easy to take down and store out of the way when not using them.
1. They are relativity small and can be set-up in a small room.
2. They are very affordable and you have many options on how you set them up.
2. You can still adjust the lights on your subject fairly well by changing the direction and distances of the lights on the outside walls of the light box.
Should you use flash or continuous lighting?
You cannot use the built-in flash on your camera.
If you use remote flash units of some kind you must trigger them at the time of exposure. You also can not see and adjust the lights in real time.
You will have to try and evaluate by looking at the LCD screen after capture. With continuous lights, you can adjust the lights and get a good idea of your finished photo.
There are a million ways to make these on your own. It depends on how handy you are in making things with your hands and what materials you have on hand or are willing to buy.
Here are two simplified methods of making your own.
1.Get an existing cardboard box.
2. Cut out three interior panels and replace with any translucent material.
This is a real cheap way to go. make sure that you build it so that you can light your macro subject form above and from the sides.
This set-up is not fold-able or collapsible but it is pretty easy to do. Just don't cut yourself with a sharp blade. Here is a one minute video on method 1.
1. Buy a sheet of Coroplast.
2. Make folds, cut the corners and Velcro together. The coroplast supports itself as a sturdy cube.
This requires a bit more precision with your cuts and folds but it is collapsible. Here is a five minute video on this idea.
You can also use a flexible, heat resistant diffussion paper called Cinegel which is used in the cinema world quite a bit. You can attached it to any cubical frame you can make:Cinegel Tough White Sheet of Light Diffusing Material
There are also a bazillion other ways to get light onto your macro photography subjects. Below are some links on amazon showing you different lighting set-ups to consider:
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