Some of the most captivating subjects to photograph are also some of the smallest. Macro photography turns leaves into vibrant landscapes, insects into terrifying giants, and water droplets into fascinating glass-like structures. Technically, it is a highly challenging form of image-making, not least because your camera tends to block out most of the available natural lighting. Samuel Granger, a macro enthusiast with an eye for product design, is attempting to solve this problem by crowdfunding an impressive new lighting system on Kickstarter.
The Adaptalux is a modular system that has been designed to provide flexible close-up lighting at a moderate price. It is based around the Control Pod, the brain of the system, which has five forward-facing sockets. Into these, you can plug the Lighting Arms — LED lights on bendable stalks. The Arms are incredibly supple, meaning they can easily be manipulated to achieve optimum lighting, while the beam angle of each light can also be adjusted. Along with a standard white light, there are four colored versions available, and an array of diffusers and backdrops which can be fitted onto the end of each Arm, for artistic effect.
The whole setup can be plugged in to the hot shoe of your camera, making it look like a giant squid, or placed on a table with the optional stabilizing foot attached. The rechargeable battery inside the Control Pod lasts for around 2.5 hours, and because these are LED lights, the illumination is continuous, which is ideal for video…
The pricing is equally attractive. A starter kit (Control Pod, two Arms, a diffuser and a color filter) comes in at £100 (approx. $148) for Kickstarter backers, with various combinations of additional accessories priced from £170 upwards ($252).