A ring light is a simple, relatively inexpensive way to get started with studio photography – and with the right approach, it can look really, really good. And furthermore, how can you go beyond standard ring light photography to capture photos that stand out from the crowd? Here is a standard external ring light, photographed from the back (left) and front (right): Because the subject is illuminated from every direction, ring light photography tends to be a bit flat.
To create a standard ring-lit portrait, I would simply move my camera forward until it fits through the ring. By the way, continuous ring lights offer a major bonus for portrait photographers: Because the output is constant, your subject’s pupils get constricted. Thanks to the brightness of a continuous ring light, your subject’s pupils will be constricted, allowing you to see more of the color in their eyes. You mount an on-camera ring flash to the front of your lens, then you can easily carry the entire setup into the field (to photograph insects and flowers or, yes, dead bodies).
Because a ring light sits on the end of the lens, there’s no concern about the camera or lens barrel casting shadows on your subject, and it lets you shine light in dark, shadowy places.
But be careful before purchasing a ring flash for videography, as you won’t be able to use it unless it offers a continuous setting.
Manually dial in your camera’s exposure settings (I recommend f/5.6 at 1/160s as a good starting point). If it’s too bright or too dark, make the necessary adjustments, either by darkening/brightening the ring light output, or by increasing/decreasing your aperture, shutter speed, or ISO.
It’s time to get a bit experimental – and have lots of fun with ring lights in the studio! And if the ring lights you own offer an adjustable output, managing your key-to-fill ratios should be pretty easy. The results will vary with ring lights of different sizes, and you do have to worry about the plug and the cables, but it’s still a fun technique. Just make sure not to overuse it (the light has a tendency to illuminate your subject from below, which isn’t the most flattering angle). When you’re mixing a ring light with studio flash, it opens the door to some interesting techniques like dragging the shutter. Dragging the shutter is a fun technique that can result in beautiful photos, but it generally involves the use of both a flash and some ambient light.
A little warning: If you’re a technically-minded photographer, you’re probably going to hate this tip, as the results tend to be a little soft. Also, while dragging the shutter can be used for some striking photos, you still have to be careful with controlling the movement of your camera.
You can now confidently use a ring light – and you can even create unique photos with some unconventional techniques.
Everything You Need to Know About Using a Ring Light for Photography
If you’re getting ready to book a shoot, be sure to check out Peerspace for all of the aesthetically pleasing and equipment-packed studios to bring your vision to life. Interestingly, ring lights were originally designed in 1952 for dentists to get well-lit shots of patients’ teeth. In addition to glamour shots, you can use ring lights for weddings, headshots, and portraits of all kinds. You can even use a ring flash for macro photography, such as taking close-up photos of flowers, jewelry, and other small objects.
It comes with a 5400K fluorescent bulb that can dim to 20% power, a diffusion cloth, and a gooseneck stand for easy adjustments. YouTubers and beauty bloggers may prefer a tabletop ring light with a desktop stand and fully dimmable LED bulbs.
This LED ring light attaches right to your lens, making it perfect for on-the-go macro photography.
How to Use a Ring Light: Everything You Need To Know
The ring light gives a characteristic extra emphasis to the eyes of the model and helps to create a beautiful picture. Many people know this about the ring lights, but they don’t know that with its help, they can actually remove the hard shadows from the subject’s background making the pictures look more lively and vivid.
If you want a very simple explanation, then a ring light is basically a flash mounted in a large circle.
There’s a hollow circle in the center where the camera lens is held to attain maximum light from the ring.
This is the first factor that comes to your mind when you think of getting a step ahead in your photography business or hobby by buying ring lights. Buying a ring light used to be very expensive in the past and that was the main reason why most photographers having small businesses avoided it.
In the case of ring lights, checking the price of its replaceable bulbs would be a smart thing to do. Don’t buy a cheap ring light made of inferior materials like plastics. Advanced features provide you with innumerable options as the ring light will not be mounted to your camera anymore and are supposed to be used in a way. Using these ring flashes, you will have a journey in the mystical world of spectacular photography where you can capture every detail in your picture with complete sharpness. High end ring lights give you the ability to shoot under low ISO conditions and longer focal distances. Such ring lights prevent any distortion on the final image, reducing your post-processing time.
7 Tips on How to Use a Ring Light for Product Photography in 2021
Professional photographers depend on a wide range of gear to perform their magic, including ring lights. Without the proper lighting – positioned, angled, and dimmed correctly – products can look flat, dull, unappealing to online shoppers, and won’t “pop” against a white background.
2 – Choose a Ring Light with a high CRI Ring light with a high color rendering index (CRI) specification works best for product photography, and here’s why: it mimics full, natural sunlight.A professional product photographer knows how important it is for objects to look similar in-person and online.
It’s commonplace to correct reflections in Photoshop, but it’s an unnecessary step if photographers snap the picture properly from the start.
In fact, digital marketers prefer white backgrounds since it makes it much easier to cut out the product in the image. 5 – Adjust the lighting for realistic colors Digital photography is still a revolutionary technology, and it’s evolving faster than most people think.
6 – Use bounce cards to fill-in shadows Product photography is all about angles, which can actually change the “mood” of the picture. For example, photographers can think of shooting a Barbie doll versus a Transformer toy; each item casts shadows differently.
To compensate, photographers use bounce cards, typically sold in white and black, to take the edge off of shadows and brighten them up.
How to Get the Best Ring Light Headshots to Show Off Your Makeup
The circular design provides an even, soft light that minimizes shadows and shows colours as they should be. The Spectrum Aurora 13” Mini Pearl Complete Studio Ring Light Softbox Kit is a great compact kit for ring light headshots, ideal for travelling to client’s homes with or moving around a studio or salon.
It’s daylight balanced which is great for applying makeup, but the kit also contains an orange filter for giving a warm tone to skin. The collapsible softboxes fold away easily, and because the lights don’t heat up you can just pack up and go when you’re finished – no waiting around!
It comes complete with an adjustable 2 metre heavy-duty light stand for added stability and versatility, and two softboxes. Again, this lighting kit comes with a dimmer switch and orange filter, and both feature a 12 month Australian warranty. It doesn’t matter if you use a phone camera or a professional DSLR for your portfolio shots, but there are a few things you can do to create a dramatic improvement in your images. The daylight-balanced Spectrum Aurora ring lights mentioned above are great for showing the true colours of your makeup.
One of the most important things to do is to set your camera’s white balance to the correct type of light. Cameras can sometimes “mute” colours, so they don’t look as bright in a photo as they do in real life.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money or sign up for monthly subscriptions to find decent, basic editing software. Check out this article by Tech Radar, which lists the best free image editing software you can get for 2019.
Stick to your specialty: If you have a niche whether its fashion, editorial, bridal, corporate, film, special effects, TV or runway this should be the theme of your portfolio
Portraits With an LED Ring Light? Great Lighting, Easy to Carry, and Lots of Fun.
But we won’t stick to just theory; we’ll also show you how to work with ring lights in practice. I primarily used it as my main light source, aiming it at my subject’s face from the side.
You’ll only need to make some very mild adjustments using the White Balance controls in Zoner Photo Studio. Unlike softboxes and umbrellas, a ring light has the great advantage of not getting in the way if you leave it in a picture, thanks to its minimalist look. It’s worth mentioning that I used a fog machine and a low f-stop herer to make the model “pop out” against the background. When you stick your camera into the middle of the light and shoot straight ahead, you get very characteristic reflections in your model’s eyes.
Because of this, cosmetics studios and advertisers often use ring lights when shooting promotional photos for makeup. Size is one major advantage of ring lights compared to traditional flashes.
I welcomed the smaller size when I was shooting in a library where silence reigned and we were trying to be as unnoticeable as possible, to avoid disturbing the other patrons. The moment I turned this light on at a wedding, it really caught everyone’s eye, and they all wanted to be in a picture with a halo or a ring around their neck.
How to Use a Ring Light for Spectacular Photography Lighting
You may have noticed the circle light reflection in the eyes in some portrait or beauty photos. A ring light can open up options in your photography work, whether in the studio or out in nature!
It can flash or be continuous and is generally made up of rows of LED lights that form one large ring. Small ones can fit around your lens, while large ones may need their own weighted stand.
The most appealing benefit to using a led ring light is that it helps to eliminate harsh shadows. Another fun effect of using a led ring is the circular reflection in your subject’s eyes.
Once again, the main benefit of eliminating shadows is what makes a ring light the perfect fit for macro photos. This means you no longer have to worry about creating any distracting shadows as you get closer to the subject!
Macro photography greatly benefits from ring lights due to the proximity of the subject. Ring flashes for food photography will help when creating an editorial look for blogs or restaurant marketing.
If you’re testing out ring lights or don’t plan on using them much, consider getting a model at a lower price point. If your speciality is portraiture, macro, or food photography, you may want to consider a bigger investment for heavier use.
But they will hold up to more wear and tear over time, making the higher investment worthwhile! Being fully informed of all the parts needed will help you make a better decision.
Having a color temperature dial on the ring light will make your white balance post-processing much easier. A ring light can provide sharp, cleanly lit photos for many types of photography.
For other genres like macro and food photography, ring lights can also be extremely beneficial. Whether you start with a cheap ring light or decide to invest in a larger one with a stand, your photography clients will thank you!