In this ‘How To’ guide I’ll show you how easy it is to make a ‘Macro Lighting Rig’ for your compact camera. Costing less than £15 to make, this ‘Macro Lighting Rig’ is an extremely useful bit of kit to add to your wildlife photography kit bag!
Time Needed: 2 Hours (+24 hours for sugru to set).
Why Do It?: This rig is ideal for photographing all sorts of wildlife at very close range. I designed it with photographing moths in mind as I’ve missed many good shots due to low light levels but it could be used for all sorts of other macro photography too. This rig also eliminates the shadow problem caused by the lens on many compact cameras when trying to photograph at very close range.
What You Need: (x2) USB LED laptop lights, a short length of aluminum strip (the length and width will depend on the dimensions of your compact camera), a pack of Sugru self setting rubber, (x2) cable ties, a spare USB lead and a 5v power source.
Tools Required: Hacksaw, wire cutters, Stanley knife, soldering iron.
Step 1: Find Some Suitable LED Lighting
There are numerous places to find suitable lighting for this project. Plug in USB laptop lights come in all shapes and sizes. I plan to experiment with a few different designs but for this project I chose a pair of USB plug in lights from Poundland, and you guessed it, they cost £1 each!
Step 2: Remove The USB Outer Casing
Using a sharp Stanley knife carefully remove the outer plastic casing of the USB connector. Do not press too hard as you don’t want to damage the wires inside.
Step 3: Unsolder Wires And Remove Connector.
Note that the Red and Black wires are connected to the two outer pins of the USB connector.
Step 4: Trim Back The Metal Gooseneck.
Using a hacksaw or mini grinder carefully remove approx. 25mm of the metal gooseneck spring. Be careful not to melt the wires inside!
Step 5: Finished LED Light Ready For Next Step.
You should now have approx. 25-30mm of the red and black wires exposed.