STEP BY STEP
Macro for not mucho
1 Reverse gear
A macro lens or even a kit lens is fine for this shoot, but we opted to reverse a wide-angle lens to keep our kit as light and as cheap as possible. We used a Nikon 24mm f/2.8 lens. Whatever you use, switch the lens to manual focus and choose the minimum focusing distance.
2 Down to the wire
Cables are the most reliable way to trigger an off-camera flash, and they’re ideal for this project. (We used the Yongnuo SC-28A.) Put one end on your Nikon’s hotshoe and lock the wire in place, then seat the flashgun on the hotshoe at the other end of the cable.
3 A place for everything...
Use the bracket to position the flash above the lens, but without it poking over the front element. You want the light to be as close to the subject as possible – that way, you’ll need less power, resulting in quicker recycle times, and the light will be softer, too.
4 Soft options
You need to soften the light, and there are many options for this. You could just use a sheet of paper, or make a softbox from a box with tissue paper over the flash hole. We chose a blow-up diffuser designed for flashguns because it’s waterproof and can be inflated quickly.
Use manual mode. Set your aperture to f/8, and a shutter speed to match the sync speed of the flash (for us, 1/200 sec) and as high an ISO as you can. (We used ISO200 as ISO100 was too dark.) We set 1/16 flash power as it exposed our subject well without clipping the highlights.
6 Keep going
The depth of field is so narrow with macro photography that you’ll need to rock back and forth from your subject while shooting in continuous drive. This way, a different portion of the subject will be in focus in each shot, and you can be selective when choosing the best photo.