A New Ring light for Macro Photography

salt robot ring light

salt robot ring light (more info). Note LED ring reflection in eyes.

I’ve experimented with macro photography before, but the lighting can be quite difficult to get right since the lens is generally in the way. Fortunately, there is an alternative called a “ring light.” I bought this model for around $30 on Amazon, and I’ve put my results in a gallery after the “read more” link.

You can also use it as a flash-alternative for relatively close-up shots, like the below photo of a dog toy.  It also works for video lighting.  For photography, I found it best to turn the light on continuous instead of flash, as it won’t adjust your exposure settings for you in this mode (at least I haven’t figured it out yet), and you’d have to compensate for it manually.

bone-ring-cropped

Dog Toy – ring light on continuously

washed out ring flash

Overexposed with ring flash

One thing that was a challenge using this was getting my macro adapter (Amazon), which has two male threads, to fit onto the male-threaded adapter for the light. This was easily accomplished by Continue reading

DIY Smartphone Microscope

DIY-smartphone-microscope

Would you like a digital microscope? Perhaps you’d like to turn your smartphone into one.

If you have a cell phone, you can make a DIY smartphone microscope with up to 175x magnification using $10 worth of parts via this Instructables article. It also claims that you’ll only need 20 minutes to make this setup, but I’m a little skeptical on both counts.

DIY-smartphone-microscope-picture

Regardless, this is a really simple setup, using only wood, plexiglass, nuts/bolts, and a lens from a laser pointer. If it takes you a little longer than 20 minutes, the results appear to be worth it.  Besides the article linked above, you can see a video of how one of these microscopes is made after the “read more” link.

The video claims that this is a “viable option for under-funded science classrooms,” which may be true. Perhaps it could be a good project for normally-funded shop classrooms as well! Continue reading

Canon Macro/Fisheye Lens Adapter Winner Announced!

macro lens adapterCongratulations to Nicho on winning the Macro/fisheye adapter contest.  Tanks for following via Twitter!  Please be sure to claim your prize by the end of the day on June 4th (EST), or I’ll select someone else.

If you didn’t end up being the winner, you can always buy one from Amazon.  Considering the options that this adapter will open up for your Canon 58 mm lens, it’s a really great value at under $10 (as of this writing).

I’ve taken some great shots with this adapter, so maybe I’ll do another “Jeremy’s Photography” post featuring some of the cool stuff you can do with it.  I wasn’t expecting to, but I’ve found it much more interesting to use in macro mode than as a fisheye adapter.