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Simulated Ring Light
Old 01-01-2005, 01:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I am looking for some ideas on how to simulate the effect of a ring light without actually using one. I have a TFP shoot with a local model next week and she is interested in getting some shots with that style of lighting. I told her I didn't have one but that we could certainly give it a go. I was thinking of trying to use a small silver lined octobox without the front diffuser panel.

By the way I'm asking instead of experimenting because I will be out of town until the day of the shoot and will not have access to my strobes until that day.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions and I wish all of you the best in the New Year.

Sincerely,
Herb Lamb
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Re: Simulated Ring Light
Old 01-01-2005, 03:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've gotten ok results with 2 soft boxes one over the other as close as you can get them and still stick the lens between them.

It's not easy to shoot 'cause you're going to be standing with the bottom box pushing into your ribs and the stand for the upper box is what your're going to be pressing your camera against.

It's not perfect because once it's set up you really can't move around like you can with a ring flash, but you can get the ring like shadow and very flat light that is indicitive of a ring flash. If you have more time you can of course rig up something a little more flexible, but if you're going to be out of the studio till shoot day, this should work for you.

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Re: Simulated Ring Light
Old 01-01-2005, 04:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I shoot directly from in front of a large umbrella, preferably a silver one.
My silver umbrella is 42" across. I try to keep the light itself right behind my head to avoid blocking as much light as possible.

Hope this helps

Stu
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Re: Simulated Ring Light
Old 01-01-2005, 04:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If you have time to get to a store to buy a circular fluorescent light - it can give you a low power ringlight. They sell various sizes - but you should be able to find one that screws into a regular lightbulb socket. There's a plastic piece that supports it, but you can rotate that to the side so you can stick your lens through the center of the light. It's not real bright - but you can cut a piece of artboard or put aluminum foil on cardboard behind the light to make it a little more efficient. The photo below was shot with that setup. I just used an electric cord with a lightbulb socket to screw the fluorescent light into. I used a superclamp & gaffers tape to hold it all to a lightstand & just held my lens through the center of it all. It's not fancy - but it kinda works.

John

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Re: Simulated Ring Light
Old 01-01-2005, 08:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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not sure if this is what you are looking for but 4 48" flourescent strips made to form a box works well. The whole shabang can be bought at Home Depot for about $200.


[image]http://www.garageglamour.com/ubbthreads/showphoto.php?P=Brett_Wilson&F=aaaa.jpg&S=off[/image]
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Re: Simulated Ring Light
Old 01-02-2005, 02:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm not sure you can. In addition to being completely flat light, there is a crispness to the image that I think can only come from a true ringflash because the lightsource is a narrow light tube. If you used a whole ring of softboxes, you would get flat, but not crisp. The homemade flourescent rig that Jerry Avenaim uses (and Rolando likes) does a good simulation because the tubes are, again, narrow lightsources and therefore give some sort of an edge to the light, and make a complete, viewable shadow. This is used with hot lights in commercials for cosmetics and Victoria's Secret, but if you get a behind-the-scenes look at the rig they use, they have still maintained a narrow lightsouce. No matter the diameter of the circle, the lightsource itself is still relatively narrow (narrow flashtube, narrow flourescemt tubes) as opposed to the broader light put out by a group of softboxes.

There are some that are small and run off battery packs and screw into your lense where the filters go. You might look on Ebay, or a rent one from pro-rental house to find one for this shoot and see if you like it. Here's a sample of true ringflash, note the crispness and the shadows all the way around: (model is Amber Marie).



Regards,
Andy Pearlman
Andy Pearlman Studio
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Re: Simulated Ring Light
Old 01-02-2005, 02:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yup a soft box is going to be well soft, but you can always pull the diffusers out and if avaliable, add in a grid insert. Keep the boxes as far back as you have room for in the studio to help create a more specular light and it's possible to keep the shadow edges sharp.

Of course, this is still no replacement for the real thing. I've never used one (a ring flash), but I love the look. I haven't found anyone in Edmonton who has them for rent and while it's on the wish list, it's no where near the top!
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Re: Simulated Ring Light
Old 01-02-2005, 03:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thank you all for the ideas. I would rent one, but I don't have the extra funds available for that right now (keep in mind this is not a paying assignment). I like the flourescent idea and thought about that but I will not have time to build it between now and then. I think I will try the 2 softbox sans diffusers or silver umbrella and see what happens. I let you all know how it goes.

Who knows, maybe I'll hit the lottery between now and then and be able to get that Acute ringflash I've had my eye on. (Yeah right...And maybe Pam Anderson will rape me tomorrow, too. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] )

Anyway, thanks again to all who replied. Feedback like that is what makes this site so fantastic.

Sincerely,
Herb
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Re: Simulated Ring Light
Old 01-02-2005, 01:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have a ring light that Mr.Pearlman is talking about.....I bought the ring flash head from calumet....The head is made for a norman portable power pack...I called lumedyne which is right here in fla...they said they could convert it for me to fit my lumedyne....so i drove up there drop it off had it back in 2 days....Like mr.pearlman said you screw it on to the filter of your lens with an adapter from calumet....i get great results with it...im very pleased with it.....

Anthony Cole
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Re: Simulated Ring Light
Old 03-04-2005, 09:16 AM   #10 (permalink)
AdamStewart
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I have searched and searched and cant seem to find info on Jerry's homemade rig anywhere. Could someone please point me in the right direction. A photographer named Russ Harrington out of Nashville and takes some amazing images with one.
 
 
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