Ring light is a simple lighting tool that is commonly used forbeauty shots, portraits, and macro photography. It is usually made up of anumber of small bulbs forming a circle or just one circular fluorescent bulb.When used in photography, it creates an attractive catch light on a subject’seyes while emitting even, diffused lighting that helps eliminate shadows. It isusually positioned in front of the subject, with the camera situated in the middle of the ring.
Smaller ring lights can also be mounted on the camera lens for macro photography.
What is a ring light used for?
A ring light is used primarily for photography and videography applications. It is typically utilized for portraiture, macro photography and other applications that involve close-up work with only one subject, such as in fashion or food photography. It also serves as an economical lighting tool for indoor filming and vlogging.
Photographers and videographers absolutely love ring lights as they offer more diffused lighting around the subject while reducing the appearance of harsh shadows, which is why it is a popular lighting tool for close-up portraiture. A ring light can make your subject “pop” and does not wash out or change the contours of the face in a way that uneven lighting would, making it the perfect lighting tool for portraits and selfies.
LED Ring Light are made up of warm white bulbs that mimic daylight in an indoor setting and bring out the subject’s natural skin tone. They come in different sizes, sometimes with dimmable lights, and are compatible with any type of camera.
You’ll know that a model is facing a ring light by the appearance of circular catchlights (or eye lights) in the subject’s eyes. These spectacular highlightsinstantly make the portrait more attractive and engaging, as they instantlydraw the viewer’s attention to the subject’s eyes.
If it’s the only light present, you’ll also notice a shadow “halo” around yoursubject.
For macro photography, ring lights offer a slightly more front-focused lighting compared to a lightbox but distributes light around a small subject well enough to hide shadows and bring out more detail.
You can also use it as your fill light in a studio shoot where you may already have other light sources. This ensures that you have just enough soft lighting to directly brighten your subject for a more three-dimensional look.
Whilering lights are great for photos, they also make good lighting for videos. Ifyou’ve ever wondered why a particular subject looks noticeably better underconstant lighting, they’re probably using a ring light. They’re arguably thebest lighting for YouTube videos, especially for vloggers and productreviewers.
Virtuallyevery serious makeup artist on YouTube uses a ring light for makeup tutorialsas it instantly enhances facial features and helps show the true colors of theskin as well as their products. They simply place their makeup ring light infront of their cameras (or camera phone) and record away.
Choosing a Ring Light
Ring lights can be purchased as is, but there are now tons of tutorials on how to make your own DIY ring light. However, keep in mind that if you’re making a constant ring light for video, it’s usually a more challenging task as you’ll need to brush up on bulb types and get the right materials to make sure that your DIY ring light is safe for repeated and prolonged use.
The good thing about using a more constant light, as opposed to having a ring light that flashes with every click of the shutter, is that it’s easier to make necessary changes to achieve your desired effect and light strength. Then again, flash ring lights can also help you save power.
Another thing that you have to take note of when buying or making your ring light is that the power and size does make a difference. If you want visible catch light on your subject’s eyes, you’ll need a much bigger ring light. However, smaller ring lights will give you the same effect if you’re going to do a lot of close ups. As for the power, it’s usually best to get one that has a dimmer so you can easily adjust the power depending on the distance between your ring light and your subject.
Lastly, take note of the color temperature of your ring light. Even if you decide touse color gels to temporarily create more fun colors with the light, you’llwant to have a more natural default color. Fluorescent, warm white, or evenstark white lighting is often preferred for ring lights instead of warm yellowor bright white.
How to Use A Ring Light
Once your subject is ready, simply place the ring light in front of your camera. Whether you’re using a camera phone or a more professional camera, make sure the lens is positioned right in the center of the ring light so you get even lighting on your subject every time. Use a clip or even tripods to hold your camera and ring light in place.