Macro and New Lights

Date Published 
Thu 1 Mar 2018

Even with the arctic temperatures outside, 16 people enjoyed practising Macro Photography in the warm at the Chichester Hall last night. We were able to make use of the new LED lights we have just purchased.  We were very lucky to recieve some generous funding from our local Councillor, Jan Holben, enabling us to update our practical night equipment.  We chose some ring lights and battery operated LED dimmable light kits.  These will also be available for members to borrow, they are very easy to transport all being contained in bags.  Look out for details about this in the future.  Looking for ideas of what you would like covered in the next session, a date can be arranged for March.  We also welcomed some members of the newly formed Hythe District Photographic Club, who joined us to take advantage of our equipment and share in learning and practising the techniques.

A good evening was enjoyed by all present.


A few months ago,shortly after joining the club i attended a few Wednesday /Thursday sessions simply to see what was going on/get to chat to a few people as it were.

I attended a practical session which i think was in theory about using our cameras on manual??as Toni called out manual settings every now and again.(not to sure what that was meant to teach people).Likewise we had been told to bring fast lenses.At least 3 of us brought 50mm 1.8s which meant we could blur the backcloth but couldn't get in close enough to the model without standing in front of everybody.(why did we need a fast lens?)

My main comment though is with regard to the lighting used.All the lights used were harsh white lighting pointed at the model with out any apparent thought to direction,strengh or purpose. every now and again someone would spring forward and move the light/s.No soft boxes/umbrellas/reflectors/gels were used. It was simply,lets flood the model with light and so it doesn't really matter where we stand either

The scariest thing was everyone else was having a wonderful,exciting time. i could see it on their faces. All i could think was,get me out of here.I took a few pics to pretend i was joining in (which i instantly deleted) and text a couple of friends so that i could look busy.

This is NOT using studio lights. This is simply swamping someone with bright harsh lights.

The same happened on the next club night when the make up artist came. Lets just flood her with light without any thought of direction/shadows etc cos that will mean any one can stand anywhere.

And now we have a new set.Lets all set our cameras back to the green auto settings while we are at it because thats how the club lights are being used at the moment.Harsh comments i know but that wednesday evening was a harrowing experience to me and seeing this new set of lights has brought it all back to mind.

Can i suggest a couple of wednesday evenings are devoted to trying to practice using them properly. Practive with just one light first set up in changing positions. People take a few pics in the first position. Then the light is moved to a new position. If they are given an A4 sheet of paper of the different positions used they can then look at their photos when they get home and see the effects of the positions. Add a second light the next week.Besides moving round 360 degrees you need to move the light in close and out further. Alter the strength of it.. See the effect.

What you cant do is just shine all the lights from anywhere you want at full power but taking it one light at a time and following a set down arrangement of light/s that moves position based on a lesson plan on paper you can get fantastic pictures using the lights

On several occasions you have made adverse comments without knowing what was said at the beginning of each session. The sessions were not about lighting but how to capture an image where you have no control of the lighting i.e. a stage, if you had listened you would have heard me say that we were to have an actor appearing at the club and would have the opportunity to photograph him in whatever light was available...hence the suggestion of a fast lens. Therefore your comments are totally out of context. As to the make up artist session, again the evening was NOT about portrait lighting but make up. The lights were there purely for the purpose of the video camera to project onto the large screen to observe the make up being applied. Despite that some club members did on both occasions produce very good portrait photographs. On one particular theory session you could not grasp some of the basics of manual settings when using ND filters, as you had told me you were an experienced photographer I found your questions very strange. I suggest you listen more carefully to what is happening during any particular session so that you can keep up. You have also told us you have much more professional equipment and are your only critic it would be good to see some of your work if you remain in the club.

Submitted by tom-lloyd on Thu 1 Mar 2018 9:27pm

Shame on you Michael, I for one have learnt a lot from the Wednesday practical evenings from a few dedicated FCC members who give up their time to help fellow members enjoy and enhance their passion. 


Submitted by tom-lloyd on Fri 2 Mar 2018 12:07pm

From someone who can't even resize an image, or feels any of his work is even good enough to enter in anything, I think the term Bull **** is the only reply that is suitable.

Submitted by andy-smith on Thu 1 Mar 2018 8:37pm


Submitted by tim-sharp on Thu 1 Mar 2018 8:52pm

The purpose of these evenings is to introduce a diverse group of enthusiastic people, with a differing amounts of knowledge, to other aspects of photographic techniques. They are taster sessions, a way to perhaps encourage people to try things at home, and we are now offering lights for people to practise with.  I don’t think that the majority of people who attend these evenings expect to get award winning pictures and many of us delete most of what we take but it is a chance to practise, to get to know your camera better, and share knowledge with each other.  


Most people learn a little something each time and build on things at a later date. Members from within the club help others and spend their own time making presentations and planning the evenings to help and encourage, especially those new to the hobby.  Over the last few years they have proved popular and successful in extending peoples knowledge.  Attendees can always offer to run a session and share their knowledge but no one has actually ever offered to do this.  These evenings will not suit everyone, many of our members never attend, but some have learnt loads at these sessions especially the confidence to just get out and take images.

I will be pleased to receive ideas of what you would like covered and happy for people to offer to plan and present an evening for others sharing their knowledge and experience.  

The evenings I get to attend are great, thanks FCC!

Sorry I missed Wednesday Macro evening but I look forward to Monday nights meeting great work FCC.