January 8, 2014

wedding photography – using video light for macro detail photographs

With the details photos of the wedding rings, I generally resort to on-camera bounce flash for enough light … and for interesting light. Sometimes though, I mix it up by using video light instead. Here I used the Litepanels Croma LED video light (vendor).

The need for smaller apertures means enough light … but working with a tripod is often just too slow with the hectic pace of a wedding day. Then a stabilized macro lens is essential.

The photo above was shot with an LED video light, so we had to hold the light very close to the rings to get enough depth-of-field. Fortunately though, with a macro lens, you’re working so close to your subject, that the light source won’t interfere.

camera settings: 1/125 @ f/8 @ 1600 ISO
Litepanels Croma LED video light (vendor)

I purposely composed the image so that the one flower would be in the background directly behind the rings, otherwise they would’ve blended into the black background. The rings and flowers were all lit with the single LED video light.

 

recommended macro lenses for wedding detail photos

The 100 / 105mm focal lengths provide a comfortable working distance on a full-frame camera.

If you are using a crop-sensor camera, then there are other good choices which would effectively give you a similar focal length (if you frame the image the same):

 

{ 10 comments. } Add a Comment

1 MIKE January 8, 2014 at 10:47 pm

neil,
a bit off topic but what do you think about the Nikon 105 doing double duty as a portrait lens on a D3S??? thanks, Mike

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2 slightlydazed January 9, 2014 at 7:36 am

Hi Mike,

I’ve found the 105 mm to be an excellent portrait lens on the Nikon D4 – if you’re thinking of adding it to your lens collection to do double duty with portraits, I’d say go for it.

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3 Frank January 9, 2014 at 10:33 am

Neil, I’ve found the Canon 100 mm f/2.8L Macro IS to work beautifully on my 7D for wedding detail shots (see examples). Nice thing is it also doubles as a great portrait lens when you want to step back to capture those candid moments.
http://palmericreative.zenfolio.com/p168040630

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4 mike January 9, 2014 at 12:16 pm

thanks slightlydazed, I was thinking about the Sigma 85(I do have a Nikon 70-200 2.8) but wasn’t sure how much use it would get, the macro would be nice. I’d like to hear what Neil says about the 105 as a portrait lens(bokeh wise).

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5 Neil vN January 9, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Mike, have a look at this image, which I posted in the article on bokeh:

This was shot with the Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VR macro lens. You can get that kind of swirly background sometimes when using the lens wide open for portraits. So be aware of it … and if it doesn’t bother you, then the 105mm macro is an awesome portrait lens. Super-crisp.

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6 mike January 9, 2014 at 12:24 pm

great, thanks Neil!!!

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7 CreativeView January 11, 2014 at 3:31 am

Great composition. Interesting details shots aren’t easy during the wedding day. I guess video light gives more versatility in composing your picture. Nice pic, thanks for sharing.

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8 Iain Marshall January 24, 2014 at 12:33 pm

I have a dx camera (D300 & D200). Looking for a portrait lens that will double up as a macro for shooting rings etc.
Any suggestions?
Cracking image at the top of the page btw Neil !
Thanks

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9 Neil vN March 28, 2014 at 3:09 pm

The suggested lenses are in the article. :)

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10 LunaCat Studio March 24, 2014 at 10:01 am

Indeed, I do not have at the moment a macro lens for wedding details but I’ve seen such wonderful ring shots with those macro lenses that it makes me want to try one. At the moment, I’m using extension tubes that are not so bad and quite light for the outcome :).

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