as you may know, I have a penchant for macro photography. I thought I'd share a few cheap tricks that I use. It's a great deal of fun and I feel like I'm 12 y/o again, gluing together those small models of warplanes and destroyers
I have a glass desk in my office. Draped across the windows are three curtains and the one that covers my end of the window, it's a dark rich blue velvet.
My "lab" is about a square foot, my camera a Nikon D40 with the 18-55mm kit-lens and a Velbon CX400 tripod. Nothing expensive or fancy.
I like to do macro shots like these:
I'd use real people if I had the space, money and room to set up a studio - but alas, I do not. On the up-side, models like these are easy to work with - no screams for coffee or make-up
Let me share with you the "studio-lighting" I use:
1) Three LED key-rings from Stanley at around 7-8$ a piece
2) A "MaxLife 369 Tripod" at 30$
3) A 12-LED 3$ mini flashlight
You can find LEDs such as these at most home hardware stores.
Here is the "Big Brother" surrounded by it's smaller siblings.
The "MaxLife 369 Tripod" has two levels of intensity and a step-less "zoom" to cast wide light and a narrow focused beam. The head can be angled from horizontal and all the way to vertical. It holds up to 9 AA cells and can supposedly go for 200 hours on that - it's a work light, but I hope that they forgive me for using it in my hobby...
Even when doing macro photography you can practice your portrait techniques as much of the same lighting principles apply.
Here's a few examples of how my "lab" looks when it's all set up.
The shadows cast on the curtain is from the "MaxLife 369 Tripod" standing on the floor below.
With a little creativity it can seem very "designed" all of a sudden.
Give it a try! It's cheap, fun and something to do when it rains - which it does all the time here in Vancouver.