Tuesday, May 4, 2010

big ring flash

i have a sort of a love/hate relationship with ring flashes. i really like the glow-type feel they give to foreground subjects. but at the same time, i don't like how everything in the picture has the same diffused tone to it..... there's less contrast, since everything the camera can see is getting light from the ring flash.

so there's this kind of push-pull in me when it comes to using a ring flash.

one technique i've been using is to set up a gridded beauty dish high above the subject, and feather the light falling from above so that you get a bit of directional light to compliment the all-over ring glow. i've been getting some good results with that.

the picture above is me trying out my new "big ring" diffusion panel for my moon unit ring flash modifier. the moon unit is a modifier that sits around the ring flash, and reflects a lot of light forward. the big ring diffusion panel is a giant white ring with blacked out panels preventing any other light from coming through. it looks like this:

so the giant ring is the only light source in the picture of alisia up there at the top. since the ring is so large, it's not producing that tell-tale "dark halo" around her, but it's still giving her skin that glow, and creating those crazy reflections in her sunglasses. i really like it, it's doing everything i like in a ring flash, and not much of the stuff i don't like.

and as an added bonus, it creates crazy catchlights in people's eyes:

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