Macro photography on a tight budget
I haven't been a contributor to DT for very long so I am still working out what sells and learning new techniques or improving existing skills.
So I thought I would give it a go even if the resulting photos do not sell. At least I would be learning from the experience.
After some investigation and reading the DT blogs I found (at least part of) the answer :- a lightbox!
But lightboxes cost money! I dont really want to spend much money on something I am just starting to learn.
So I thought why can't I just get a large sheet of white cardboard, put the subject I want to photograph onto it and add a light source? I tried this and found that the light I was using was too 'yellow' so i went out and bought a 'daylight simulation' bulb (low cost). This provides a much whiter light which appears more natural in the photo. After several photos and downloading onto my PC I found that it was very difficult to get the lighting right. After much thinking and scratching of head I worked out that most of the light was 'radiating' out across the room rather than lighting my subject. So I decided I really needed to use a lighbox, but that brought me back to the subject of cost.
I noticed a blog on DT that referenced a website with instructions on how to make your own lightbox and decided to do exactly that! I got a small box I had lying around and cut a hole in one side where the camera lens will go. Then on the top of the box where the lid is I taped on a single sheet of A4 printer paper (remember its a small box). I also taped some A4 paper onto the inside surfaces of the box to reflect the light (in theory). Then using my daylight bulb I shone the light in through the paper on top. This works much better that just the sheet of cardboard.
However I am still not 100% happy with the results. I think I need a 100watt bulb (I am currently using a 60watt bulb) to provide a brighter light. Also I think I need a better lamp as the one I am using currently doesnt have a 'shade' so not all of the light is being directed where I want it. Also I think it might be worth adding a second light source so I can light the subject from the sides to provide a more balanced exposure.
Some more experimentation required I think. At least i am having fun along the way!