In the world of photography and videography, lighting plays a crucial role in capturing stunning visuals. Among the essential lighting tools, ring lights and ring flashes have gained popularity for their ability to produce flattering and uniform illumination. Whether you're a portrait photographer, content creator, or just an enthusiast, mastering the art of using ring lights and ring flashes can take your work to the next level. In this blog, we'll explore some valuable tips and tricks to help you make the most of these versatile lighting tools.
Understanding the Difference: Ring Lights vs. Ring Flashes
Before delving into the tips, it's essential to grasp the distinction between ring lights and ring flashes. Ring lights are continuous lights shaped in a circular form, providing soft and even illumination around the subject. Ring flashes, on the other hand, emit a burst of light, producing shadowless results, making them ideal for close-up shots, particularly in macro photography. If you want to learn more about the differences between these two lighting tools, check out our previous blog post.
Adjust the Intensity
Both ring lights and ring flashes come with adjustable intensity settings. Experiment with different brightness levels to achieve your desired effect. Lower intensities work well for close-up portraits and macro photography, providing a soft, natural look, while higher intensities are ideal for vlogging and creating dramatic portraits.
Pay close attention to the positioning of your ring light or ring flash. For ring lights used in portraits and vlogging such as the Spectrum 18” LED Diamond Luxe Ring Light, placing the light directly in front of the subject, surrounding the camera lens, creates attractive catchlights in the eyes and even lighting on the face. For ring flashes like the Godox Wistro AR400 LED Ring Flash, positioning the camera and flash directly in front of the subject minimises shadows in macro or close-up shots.
Diffusion for Softer Light
If the light from your ring light or ring flash appears too harsh, consider using a diffuser. Diffusers soften the light, reducing harsh shadows and creating a more flattering look, especially for portraits. You can find diffuser attachments for many ring light and ring flash models, or you can create your own using semi-transparent materials like shower curtains or diffuser sheets/panels.
Colour Temperature Adjustment
Many ring lights and ring flashes have adjustable colour temperature settings. This feature is especially valuable when shooting in different lighting conditions or aiming for specific colour tones in your images or videos. Warmer colour temperatures (around 3000K) produce a cosy, yellowish light, while cooler colour temperatures (around 6000K) create a more daylight-like, bluish light.
Use with Other Lights
Ring lights and ring flashes work great as the main light source, but they can also complement other lighting setups. For more dynamic results, try combining them with other studio lights or off-camera flashes. Using a ring light for the main light and a ring flash as a fill light, for instance, can add depth and dimension to your portraits.
Ring lights are renowned for creating distinctive catchlights in a subject's eyes due to their circular shape. To make the catchlights even more appealing, position your subject's eyes in the centre of the ring light and use a slightly higher intensity setting.
Macro Photography Magic
Ring flashes are a must-have tool for macro photography. They provide uniform lighting around the subject, illuminating small details and reducing shadows. When shooting close-up, ensure the ring flash is set to a lower power to avoid overexposing your subject.
Battery Backup or Power Source
If you plan to use your ring light or ring flash outdoors or in locations without easy access to power outlets, consider investing in a battery-powered model or carry external power sources. This way, you won't have to worry about your lighting setup running out of power during extended shoots.
Experiment with Angles
Don't be afraid to experiment with different angles when using ring lights and ring flashes. Slight adjustments in the angle of the light can significantly impact the mood and overall look of your photographs or videos.
Practice, Practice, Practice
As with any photography equipment, mastering ring lights and ring flashes takes practice. Don't be discouraged if your first attempts don't turn out as expected. Keep experimenting, learning, and refining your techniques to get the most out of these fantastic lighting tools.
Remember, the key to successful photography or videography is not solely in the equipment but in the creativity and vision of the photographer. Use these tips as a starting point, and let your imagination guide you to capture stunning visuals with your ring lights and ring flashes.