Detroit People Photographers Mary DuPrie
Metro Detroit Photographers… loving me some ring light. My love of the ring light is on and off. It can be a tricky light to use. The ring light has a very distinct hard edge look. You normally see it used as a main light and you see fashion photographers using it as a fill on camera. When used as a main light the model is normally up against a wall and you see the tell tale outline behind the model.
Fashion photographers use it as fill because it fills the weave of fabric so well. It’s tricky to use as a fill because it’s normally just one third of a stop over the main.
I have the Profoto ring light, reflector and acute pack. I find the ergonomics on it very awkward because it blocks my trigger finger when used in the vertical position (which is how I most often use it). It’s a beast and I normally use it with the reflector on. I’m not crazy about using the pack with it and find in confusing.
I normally use it with my 70-200 which makes it heavy heavy heavy. I find a zoom lens works best because it’s hard to walk in or out because the ring light travels with you. I find that if I tape the floor for my base F-stop, let’s say F5.6, I can take a giant step forward for F8, giant step backwards for F4
Years ago you had to spend at least $2,000. to get a ring flash, Paul Buff has since come out with a model at about $300. It’s all plastic (feels cheap) which I’m not crazy about but what I do like is the easy slider control. There isn’t a power pack to deal with either. Overall I think it’s worth the money. No matter what you buy it’s never going to be perfect.
The look goes with certain models and styling and can be over used. Sometimes it can even make you lazy using it when you shouldn’t. There is no reason it has to be on the camera either and it can stand in as another light source. I think every model could use at least one image in their book shot with a ring light.