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Macro Photography: Insects and Plant Life

Lesson 12 of 15

Using Macro Flash Set

Chris McGinnis

Macro Photography: Insects and Plant Life

Chris McGinnis

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Lesson Info

12. Using Macro Flash Set


  Class Trailer
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1 Class Introduction Duration:01:39
2 Location Scouting Duration:02:59
3 What is Macro Photography Duration:02:09
5 Gear Duration:11:20
6 Preparing for Outdoor Macro Duration:02:00
7 Camera Settings Duration:06:48
10 Textures and Focus Stacking Duration:01:43
11 How to Get the Shot Duration:15:23
12 Using Macro Flash Set Duration:02:44
13 Post-Processing: Crane Fly Duration:10:04
14 Post-Processing: Bee Duration:14:57

Lesson Info

Using Macro Flash Set

Now I've switched over to the Olympus STF-8 twin flash macro unit. This system has two flashes that mount at the end of your lens, each with a diffuser cap, and it is raining a little bit right now, but not to worry this is completely weather sealed. What's great about this unit is you can independently move each of your flashes around the rim of your lens. On the back of the flash unit we have two dials. We have our power and we have our ratio. The right hand dial is for the ratio of left flash unit to right flash unit and we can have more power on flash A or more power on flash B. One to eight, one to four, one to two, one to one, and the opposite for flash A. On the left hand dial we have our auto RC mode, which is TTL, we have full power, half power, quarter power, all the way down to 1/128 power. And as you're shooting your subjects with this flash system you can actually have more light on the left, more light on the right, more light on the top or bottom, however you want, as op...

posed to when shooting with a single hot shoe mounted flash, you're getting one type of light consistently across your subject. To see the effects of varying the power with the two flash units on the STF- we'll take a few test shots. First, equal power to both flash A and flash B. (shutter clicks) Next, eight to one, favoring A. After that one to eight favoring B and then entirely using flash A without flash B and likewise entirely using flash B and turning off flash A. So you'll notice you have a lot of control, in addition you can move each flash independently, you can move one up and have flash from above and the other flash from the side, so now if we were to use equal power from both flashes and take the same shot. (shutter clicks) We get different lighting entirely. The STF-8's a great option to give you even more control of your light sources or to have your light coming from one direction or another. You can even remove one flash or the other, hold it in your hand and shoot from wherever you like. So if I wanted to have my light source way above here. (shutter clicks) I can do that as well. I could come down. (shutter clicks) And you can experiment with the position of your light very easily.

Class Description


  • Understand Macro Photography and how to begin shooting it
  • Know what gear to bring and how to set up your camera
  • Find and approach your subjects, even the crawling/flying ones
  • Fast post-processing techniques to keep you on the move


Take a closer look in this beginner’s guide to macro photography and insect photography. Chris McGinnis, will dive into the world of macro photography from understanding what it is to how to shoot it. He’ll explain how to search and capture a smaller world with just the use of your camera. He’ll dive into the behaviors of insects and their relationships to plant life so that you can capture amazing images from your backyard to national parks.


  • Macro Photographers
  • Beginners
  • Hikers


Adobe Lightroom CC 2019




Chris McGinnis is a graphic designer, photographer, and macro photography enthusiast based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He obtained his degree in graphic design from Moravian College and, after a stint in the publishing world, joined the creative department at Olympus America. Chris currently works as the Senior Manager of Creative Services and oversees all phases of Olympus’ graphic design, photography, and video production. When he purchased an OM-D E-M10 in 2014, Chris vowed to shoot (and share) at least one photo each day for an entire year. After 365 days shooting, sharing, and learning, he found himself more and more interested in the details. He bought a macro lens and has never looked back. As Chris ventured deeper into the world of macro, he soon shifted his efforts toward featuring the beauty, design, and intricacy of arthropods which often go unnoticed.


Andrew Lamberson

I found the class both very informative and very motivational to get started in Macro photography. It is an entry-level class but it explains what you really need to know to be successful. I especially found the information on the value of using flash and how to modify your flash for it to be more effective especially helpful. I am an experienced wildlife photographer and have done some "Macro" with my telephoto lens, but this class motivated me to purchase a dedicated lens. I am really looking forward to spring and finding some good bugs!

Chris Baudec

Great presentation and great motivation in the post processing. I do wish that the would have been made available. After all, this is a Olympus sponsored event, and Oly settings are always welcomed.... and a tad difficult on the learning curve.

Gary Hook

Chris does a commendable job of explaining his techniques, reasons and potential pitfalls to avoid. Very thorough and much more enthusiastic about little bugs than I will ever be :-) but at the end one has a good concept on how to approach the task at hand. Nice closing with his practical examples of 'post' shoot production. One suggestion for inclusion would be some operating tips/techniques with a tripod/macro rail slider. His Olympus is way smaller/lighter than my Canon 5D so my hand holding will be at a minimum. Well done. Thank you