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Shoot Using Ring Flash

Lesson 31 from: Light Shaping Tools for Professional Photographers

Tony Corbell

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Lesson Info

31. Shoot Using Ring Flash

Lesson Info

Shoot Using Ring Flash

Okay, so the ring flash, it's the perfect description of what it is and what it does. But, we talked about this earlier. It does give you, will that fit through? Oh, you got the two, the 7200-- I do. Possibly, take the shade off it and it'll go. Yeah, we can do it. Let there be light Let there be light. Can you see the hole? Slides down to me a little bit. Let's turn it so you can see better. All right, there it is, go, go, go. Almost. Is there a trick to it? How many people does it take to mount this? Here, let me do it. Got it? Yeah, if you hold the weight of that, I got this. Ah, come on. There we go, I'm in, okay. My mount has a, my L-bracket mount has a quarter turn on the bottom, and you wanna mount this thing properly and solidly. And then-- I'm gonna drop this down. You can drop it down to where it's centered on the lens. Okay, need me to hold it up so you can see? And, you're not straight on. The camera has to twist-- here, I've got it here. ...

I've got the-- Oh, I see, I got ya. There it is. Okay, I got ya. Tighten that down now on the bottom. And so, this was from Glazer's. They rent these things, and they're not very expensive to rent. One thing that we found out about the rental gear-- But, you do need a power pack with it. You do have to have a power pack with it. But, the beauty about the gear is if you make a rental, if you rent some gear, usually, if you rent it, you pay, if you rent it one time, I think you have to rent it one time, and if you buy it later they'll place whatever you paid for the rental, they'll apply it toward your purchase. So, you know, that makes it a free test-drive sort of thing. Okay. Okay. Yep, let's bring the power down. This thing's just fun. These things are just fun. Okay, test. Go ahead, I just wanna... Okay, let me get my distance. So, once you start to shoot one, you do have to kinda set your distance. Here we go. 16 even. How about that, how'd you do that? Okay, so let's take a shot and see what happens. Now, I can't move my distance without changing the effect of my exposure, 'cause this is not an automatic exposure thing. Now, the light stays with me. Okay, so, oh, oh, this is good. Chin up a tiny bit for me. Right in there. I'll just do one, first off, just to get a early shot so we can look at his eyes. Here we go, here we go, woohoo. Oh, that was good. Did y'all feel that? I did. Did you feel that? He's gonna see that ring for a little while. Look at this cool shadow behind him. John, I need a, do you have a coin? I don't have any coins. Just drop a quarter on the ground right there so I can move. Oh, I don't, but I have a pen. Well, why don't you use this piece of tape as your-- Well, I'm right here. No, you wanna, no, here, here, here. Oh, there you go. Great, thanks. Okay, so yeah, so let's take a look at this. You see how that shadow is around him? Look at that ring flash in his eyes. This is a fun look. It's also edgy, it's also used in album covers. You're seeing it all over the place now. People love the look of a ring flash. Now, we can control the shadow on the background by just bringing him, like scoot forward a bit for me. Like there, maybe a little bit more, right about there, and watch what happens with the shadow. Yeah, he's about a foot forward. So, he came forward a foot, so I'll back up a foot. Here we go. And, okay, fine. Imagine what you can do by the time you dig in to Photoshop, too, on top of this for special effects stuff. And using UV filters, and changing color UV, or doing cross-processing techniques, or edgy, black-and-white wet-plate techniques. You get the idea? There's a lot of stuff you can do here. Lots of stuff. This is what is used, there's a photographer in New Mexico named Karen Kuehn, K-U-E-H-N. Karen shot for Saturday Night Live for years, and she shot those bumpers in the great years of Saturday Night Live when they would bump out to commercial. All those very cool pictures of the host, or the band. Karen shot all that stuff. And she was edgy. She shot some of the coolest, most edgy stuff before anybody was shooting cool, edgy stuff. And she used this kinda stuff a lot. And with cross-processed film, and she would do all sorts of stuff with it. And it was just fun. Let's do a couple more of these. In fact, let's do one of you standing, and I'm gonna zoom out a little bit. Behind or in front of it? Huh? Behind or-- Let's just move the stool out. I'll take it. Just stand right there where that is. And I just zoomed back a little bit to give him some space. Go ahead and put your hands up in your pockets there. Yeah, and just fold one foot over the other foot. There you go, just get comfortable. Yeah, yeah, like that, good, good. And let me back up now. Change your exposure. I will. I'm gonna back up that far, and I'm gonna open up plus one. Here we go, here we go, here we go, good. And then, I'm gonna come back in and I'm gonna close down and do it again. It kinda puts it, it puts it like you're right there against the backdrop, but you're not. Here we go, good, good, good, right there. Good, let me do one more of those. Let's turn your shoulders away a bit. Turn, turn, turn, turn, turn, a little bit more. Yeah, now bring your head back over here. Right there, good, great. If he was against the backdrop would this shadow tighten up? Let's try it. Back up against the backdrop. Two, three, two, three, okay. Woohoo, nobody moves, nobody gets hurt, woohoo. Just watch your tether. Yeah. I like that last one. Yeah, so now the shadow is even sharper. Get the idea? Let me drag Stacy over here. Let me get one of you over here in this. Yep, you wanna hold this for just a second? Yeah. And kinda remember where you're standing. Get ready, right, relax, yeah. You got it? Okay, yeah, Doc? Would there be any advantage to having the light parallel right at the level of the end of the lens? I see it's back now, does it make any difference? Oh, I don't think it makes any difference. Okay. It doesn't matter. It just gets more opportunity to flare. Flare because the light would be hitting the lens. Yeah, you could get yourself in a little flare trouble if you're not careful, but I don't think there's any big benefit. Yeah? I've seen a couple ring flashes that vary in size. Can you talk on that for a little bit? Is there any benefit to having one that's relatively the size of the lens, or something bigger? I don't, there's one that, Melody Anderson makes one that's really great and it's big. It's big, and she has it on a separate stand, and she just rolls it up in front of her camera and sticks her lens to it. But, it's round, about that wide, and it's probably a circle that big. That's what I'm using. Yeah, and so you can check hers out. I'm not sure the name of the brand, but it's Melody Anderson. But, it's really, really cool look. It's just, it's all subjective and it's all opinion. It's just do you like the look or not like the look, that's all. So, I don't know how to define what the objective might be, or the benefits you would get, it's just bigger and it's gonna make the catch light in the eye much bigger. Here, the catch light's pretty small. The bigger the ring flash becomes, the bigger the catch light becomes, the more unique it looks. So, have you ever sat in front of a makeup mirror and looked at the catch lights in your eyes? So, a good friend of mine in Oklahoma has a, basically, a window frame, and he has twinkle lights all the way around it, just stapled to it all the way around it. And he just drags, it's just an empty frame, and he'll just pull it in, it's on the light stand and it rolls around, and he just rolls it in and shoots through it. It's almost like putting his high school senior kids in front of a makeup mirror. It's just a real cool look, and he just does it with ambient light only. He doesn't use flash. He just takes a reading of the ambience, an instant reading. Yeah? When you increase the size of the ring light, what does that do with the shadows around the subject? Well, what would your first reaction be? What do you think it would do? Maybe make the shadows bigger? It's gonna make the shadows bigger. It's not gonna really affect the sharpness of the edge of the shadows, but it will make the shadow bigger, yeah. Pretty fun, huh? Let me show you a couple for her, except for the model. Models hate this. (student laughing) Are you still seeing a ring? Are you still seeing rings, Ray? Yeah, absolutely. (laughing) Let me just make, yeah, it's pretty straight. Okay, okay, my dear, bring your head right to me. Yeah, right there, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, good. Holy moly. Okay, this one, no big smile. This is, this is-- Mugshot. This is mugshot. This is mugshot angst. (laughing) I can't even. I don't do angst. (students laughing) Here we go. Good, one more of those. I'm just gonna come in and close down a little bit more. Chin down a tiny bit, down, down, down, down, down, right there, good. That's fun. That's Saturday Night Live bumper right there.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Corrective Lighting Techniques for Portraiture
Light Meter Display & F-Stop Setting for Exposure
Scene, Subject, & Light Contrast Article
Judging Image Effectiveness Criteria
Gear List

Ratings and Reviews

Stefan Legacy

Bought this class on sale for 19$ and it was a great buy considering it was my first class I purchased on CL. Tony is an excellent teacher and demonstrates extensive knowledge on lighting and different uses of modifiers. Overall this is an excellent course for any one who is interested in learning studio lighting, this will give you a great detail of information.

a Creativelive Student

This is my first time watching Tony Corbell teach and work he was great! I am a natural light photographer and this class made me think about picking up some lights and umbrellas! You can tell he absolutely loves what he does. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

a Creativelive Student

Important information if you want to be a photographer. Great teacher, good pace!!

Student Work