I don't often shoot macro, but every January I enter a mineral photography competition. This year I was musing on the changes in photography over the years. My first macro setup was 2009.
Here's how I did the setup this year.
And the two photos I submitted:
There are a lot of tricks in macro photography like focus staking that is super useful especially in mineral photography. I often take a series intending to work on them in that way. I rarely follow through and just pick the image that is closest to the feeling I want conveyed to the viewer leaving many of the imperfections.
There are two categories to the competition, macro and micro. This last year I rented a lens that is 2:1, so not exactly micro, but better than macro. With my studio lights I found it very difficult to control the light at that level. Even using speedlights with small openings in blackwrap, I found controlling the light frustrating. Surely, there must an octopus looking fiber optic light device! One of the photos came out ok, I didn't submit it but it makes me think. I believe this was a two stack image.