How to Use Ring Lights In Photography... and More!

Ring lights are multi-faceted tools that have a diverse range of uses in the world of photo shoots, videography, and any activity that involves the use of a camera. These lighting tools have become very common in modern photography and are widely embraced in the glamour scene as well as the general photography realm. Ring lights have use in makeup application, portrait photography, and even music video creation.

Lighting is a key factor in creating gorgeous images. Lighting determines not only brightness and darkness, but also the tone, mood, and atmosphere of a scene. Therefore, it is necessary to control and manipulate light correctly to get the best texture, vibrancy of color and Lumosity on subjects.  By distributing shadow and highlights accurately, you can create stylized professional looking photographs.

The correct way of using a ring light is to use it around the camera lens to capture the focus in the eyes and facial region. However, if you begin feeling experimental, you may try using your ring light from a side angle. If a ring light is placed correctly unique and artistic results can be achieved. Most photographers, however, prefer to use ring lights in the direct orientation to the subject.

 

In most cases, it is better to start by using your ring light by shooting directly on to your subject before beginning to experiment with side and angled lighting. With ring lights it is typical to use a tripod and the units can something also be mounted to a desk or wall. High end ring lights give you the ability to shoot under low ISO conditions and longer focal distances.

 

Additionally, many ring lights prevent any distortion on the final image, reducing post-processing time. Buying products that save time in the long run is always great! Evaluating the time spent editing against your current budget can frequently justify the purchase of a ring light. Time spent editing is different for everyone so it’s important to decide which level of ring light is right for you.

 

Setup of light equipment is very important to achieve optimal image results. Some of the following techniques and procedures are a great first step to incredible images and should be taken into consideration:

 

Positioning Light

The source your light is coming from has a huge impact on how it falls on your subject. Light originating from behind the camera and pointing directly onward gives you a very flat lighting. It will also cause shadowing to fall in the background of the image. Side Lighting produces a more interesting effect as it shows the shape and depth of the subject and casts a partial shadow, giving it a more dramatic look. When light hits the side of a subject from multiple angles (as with a ring light) the subject is generally brighter, which creates a more distinctive and dramatic photo. Lighting sourced from behind a subject gives an alternative effect and can frequently make the subject appear darker than intended.

 

Shaping Light

 Adding a diffuser to your light source can reduce the glare and harsh shadows and diminish blemishes on your subject. Diffusers can give your artificial light a softer and more natural looking result. Light diffusion can be done with ring lights in numerous ways. Depending on the quality of ring light system, some diffusers are removeable and can also be made of flexible fabric or cloth. Typically, with a more expensive LED ring light a hard diffuser is built into the front of the system itself.

 

Manipulating Light

Light can be manipulated to fall on an area of interest on your subject. This can be achieved using diffusers, reflector, and, in the case of ring lights, by manipulating the light orientation. Collapsible reflectors shape sunlight and can bounce light on to an area of the shot you would like to highlight and can be an effective tool. Spot lights can have light shapers attached to better direct the light on to a subject. Finally, ring lights can be manipulated to shine light in many ways using flexible gooseneck stands.

 

Lighting can be the difference between a breathtaking photo and a poor one. Mastering how to properly use light to your advantage and get the best possible result from your setup will separate your work from your contemporaries and put you on the path to achieving processional looking imagery.