Now that winter has arrived here in southeast Michigan I’m mostly shooting indoors. Dealing with varying light conditions can be tough without artificial lighting. I mainly shoot in two location of my house, near a wall at the back of the house, or in the front foyer where a huge window on the second level floods the stairway with natural light. Whether I shoot at the back of the house or front depends on the time of day and where the strongest light is entering the home.
I have always preferred natural light for my images without the use of flash, and have been successful the majority of the time working in this manner. On most days I do get enough natural light through these windows that gives me enough light to pull off my shots. But there are those heavy overcast days when it’s just to dark in the house and tough to shoot. I tried flash in the past and found it frustrating at time and didn’t care for the look, even through I have seen photographers that use flash that get good results. It was just not for me.
Recently I’ve seen these LED light boxes that are sold as a constant light source used for shooting video with DSLR cameras. They attach in your camera’s hotshoe where the flash would be, and I thought this would be a great lighting tool for the macro photographer. I don’t use it attached to the camera, but rather use it by hand holding it where I what the light to hit the subject. Because the subjects we shoot are small this light works perfectly.
I can control the amount of light by adjusting how close the light is to the subject: more light I hold it closer, less light I hold it farther away. With this constant light I can see where the light is hitting, and how it affects the subject, so I have full control.
I bought of one of these lights to experiment with from the crew at Outdoor Photo Gear, who sell the Dot Line DV60 Video and DSLR Light. It sells for only $99, which is cheaper then a good flash system, and I feel I have more control with this light over using a flash.
It has tons of little LED lights and throws a lot of light, and as I stated you can control the lights intensity by varying the distance to the subject.
The light runs on a rechargeable battery and has an on/off switch.
I have seen other brands of LED lights being sold at different sites at much higher prices, sometimes in the three hundred dollar range, but this light worked great and at a much better price.
Here is a link to the light at Outdoor Photo Gear Dot Line LED Light
Here is one of the first subjects I shot while experimenting with this light.
Check out the Dot Line light, and don't let the cold weather keep you from shooting!
You can visit Mike's blog and learn about his workshops here: Tiny Landscapes
Mike's eBooks are available in the OPG store here: Mike Moats
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