Wedding photography – Video light for macro detail photos
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 an LED video light (affiliate). What I love about this LED video light, is that the White Balance can be changed from Incandescent to Daylight. This helps you blend the additional light to that of the existing ambient light where you are photographing the subject.
The need for smaller apertures with macro photography, means we need more 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. Recommended macro lenses would be the Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VR macro or Canon 100mm f/2.8 IS macro or the Sony FE 90mm f/2.8 G OSS macro (affiliate links)
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 positioning of the light source is unlikely to interfere with your composition.
- camera settings: 1/125 @ f/8 @ 1600 ISO
- Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VR macro / Canon 100mm f/2.8 IS macro
- recommended LED video light
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 this single LED video light.
A starting point for positioning the light, would be to have the light at an angle to the camera. At least 30 degrees off the camera & lens axis. This helps make the lighting more dynamic than flat lighting would.
- More articles on using video lights for photography
- More articles on Macro Photography
10 Comments, Add Your Own
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
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.
Neil, I’ve found the Canon 100 mm f/2.8L Macro IS to work beautifully on my 7D for wedding detail shots. Nice thing is it also doubles as a great portrait lens when you want to step back to capture those candid moments.
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).
4Neil vN says
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.
great, thanks Neil!!!
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.
7Iain Marshall says
I have a dx camera (D300 & D200). Looking for a portrait lens that will double up as a macro for shooting rings etc.
Cracking image at the top of the page btw Neil !
7.1Neil vN says
The suggested lenses are in the article. :)
8LunaCat Studio says
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 :).