Ring Light Photography

Ring Light Photography

I recently had the opportunity to shoot some images with my ring light. I find that photographers either love the look of the ring light or that hate it. There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground here. What do you think?

A ring flash is a lighting unit that rounds the camera lens and is most commonly thought of in conjunction with macro photography, but is also very popular in fashion photography. By nature a ring flash is a very flat light source. Although, the shadows fall all very quickly on the cheeks creating a very distinct look that cannot be reproduced with any other light source.

When working with a model fairly close to the background, the ring flash produces shadows that surround the model and is a very recognizable characteristic of the Ring flash. Although, you can easily get rid of these shadows by increasing the distance between the model in the background. Many photographers choose to work with the model very close to the background to create these tell-tale shadows behind her.

In this first image the model was very close to the background you can distinctly see the shadow all around our model.

How to Use Ring Light Flash Photography

A couple other thoughts about using a ring flash…

• A ring flash isn’t not a suitable light source for every subject facial structure. You typically want find a model with high cheek bones and good facial structure.

• Good makeup is imperative when working with a ring flash.

• Since the ring flash attaches to your camera body as the distance between the photographer and the models your exposure will change. Depending on your distance from the model, stepping 1 foot towards your model could change your exposure by + 1 f stop.

• I have found that I typically like most of the images shot with a ring flash to be overexposed by 1/2 to 1 f stop. Here are a couple other images from the shoot… most of these were overexposed intentionally to create more of a fashion feel… which also reduces the contrast in the image.

How to Use Ring Light Flash Photography

How to Use Ring Light Flash Photography

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About Mike Luter

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