Lighting Macro Photography with Continuous Light

On this quick Lynda tutorial photographer Ben Long demonstrates how use continuous light for macro photography.

This video tutorial, part of the Foundations of Photography: Macro and Close-Up course  by Lynda, Long shows how he uses Canon’s super macro lens – the Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x (see our super macro photography article amongst others), to photographer a very close up image of a flower.

What you need to understand is that when you are using this type of lens and this type of magnification you will also typically use very closed apertures which means – very little light. This is why you will almost always need to add lights to your image.

In this case Long uses two sets of continuous CPL lights from both sides. Now you can use LEDs (although typically they won’t be as powerful) or you can use strobes which will be more powerful but you won’t be able to see what you are doing until you actually take the shot – so working with continuous lights can be a more convenient  way of working.

We have already seen Long on a different video giving tips for shooting a video interview (on a different course from Lynda).

You can find a lot more lighting tutorials on our photography lighting section here on LensVid. If you are interested in macro photography – check out our extensive macro photography section.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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