It’s a funny thing; sometimes I completely forget that I have a ringflash! I get so caught up in using my beauty dish or softbox that I ignore the fact that I have a great tool at my fingertips!
A ringflash is simply a shoot through high power flash that gives fantastic even wrap-around light with very little shadow. I used it extensively a few years ago doing catalog and magazine work but really haven’t used it much over the last few years. When l I see a capture where I used it I always go hmmm….I really like that! I need to use it more!
As I mentioned, a ringflash has very little shadow and the characteristic shadow is very unique. The first example is using the ringflash with the lovely Lindsey. As you can tell there is essentially no shadow visible and the light is amazingly even. This effect makes this type of flash fantastic for fashion. The reason there is not discernible shadow is because the light source originates from the same exact plane as the camera. Any offset of the light to the subject would create shadows.
The next example demonstrates the type of shadow a ringflash produces. The ringflash creates a “halo” type shadow evenly around the subject. In using a gel to light the background, the halo effect is intensified so you can more easily see the effect.
The subtle way the shadow outlines the subject makes it a very attractive way to highlight.
Ring flashes are also fantastic to use outdoors when the climate isn’t being cooperative. On windy days when using lights on stands becomes precarious at best, the ringflash will always get you “the shot”.
So in summary the ringflash is something I recommend to portrait photographers who want to achieve a nice even lighting scheme. It also works fantastic for fashion and glamour work both inside and outside of the studio.
Thanks for stopping by! Cheers!