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Ring flash advice? - for fashion and beauty
Old 11-12-2005, 05:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Anyone have experience using a ring flash for fashion and beauty photography?
I am trying to figure out how to use it well.
I am sure there are some tips on when best to use it, or what the make up should be, or any tips to come up with good images.
I have seen some work done using ring flashes that look as if they were shot with on camera flash. Yet there are some that have produced stunning images.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Ring flash advice? - for fashion and beauty
Old 11-12-2005, 12:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Are you talking about a real studio ringflash ($$$), a home made one, or one of the macro ring flashes that you attach to the front of the lenses?

Makes a difference on the answers that you will get. I am not qualified to give any of them.. ;o)

Good luck

Bryan
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Re: Ring flash advice? - for fashion and beauty
Old 11-12-2005, 12:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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A real studio ring flash. To be specific, I got a hensel ring flash with powerpack.
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Re: Ring flash advice? - for fashion and beauty
Old 11-12-2005, 12:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If you are really serious, get the one made by Profoto. Big bucks but it is awesome. I use it all the time and it is a wonderful lighting tool. Get Profoto Acute 2 powerpacks (1200ws is a good size) and the ringflash head and the big reflector. This is a standard item with all the Playboy in-house photographers.

Here's a link:
http://www.profoto.com/product_category.php?catId=69
also
http://www.profoto.com/product.php?c...&productId=161

Once you rent, buy or use Profoto strobes you will then see why it is the most rented professional strobe equipment in the world. I sure have spent enough money with them! It's the best ringflash I have ever used.

Now, for using it. The look it gives you is obvious and you will love it. The Profoto head can take a LOT of power so you can use this with or without the big reflector outside at big distances from the model and dump up to 2400ws into it if you need to. I usually use it with the reflector for shooting girls but sometimes when shooting CD covers for "hip hop" acts, where I want an "edgier" look, I'll take the reflector off and go with a "harder" light.

This is a very tricky light to meter because it is on the camera and as you move in relation to the model, you are constantly changing the light level. Remember the "inverse square law" of light intensity. If you double the distance from the subject you have reduced the light by 1/4. If you move in twice as close you just increased the light 4x. Digital camera bodies are really handy here to see what you are doing in the LCD screen! I move a lot when I shoot girls, so I am always having to monitor and adjust my ever changing exposure when using a ringflash.

But it is a one of a kind look!

John Donegan
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Re: Ring flash advice? - for fashion and beauty
Old 11-12-2005, 01:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Rolando had a Hensel ring flash set up at the Philly workshop. We used it taking pictures of Hillary in a Shower set. All came out great, but because of the angle of the camera lens in relation to the flash, many of the shots had red-eye. Easy enough to fix in photoshop. If you shoot off to the side rather than through the light, no red-eye but you will start to get harsh shadows depending on the power.
I found it a great way to shoot. Rolando said he had them make a fresnel lens fot the flash that gives even better/softer light effect.
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Re: Ring flash advice? - for fashion and beauty
Old 11-12-2005, 01:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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When I use the big "pan" reflector that is made for the Profoto ringflash I seldom have any redeye problem. In any case, you can fix redeye in advance by setting up a Fresnel "inky" light like an ARRI 150 or an ARRI 300 on a dimmer. This aims at the model's face just like a modeling light but is focused. Adjust the level with the dimmer to constrict her pupils exactly like you want them. No redeye and you also have another tool for adjusting the emotional mood in the girl's eyes.

John
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Re: Ring flash advice? - for fashion and beauty
Old 11-12-2005, 01:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks John.
I have already purchased the Hensel though, besides, Profoto is not available in the Philippines. Hensel has a distributor and service center here.

Can you show me samples of shots you have done with your ringflash?
Thanks again.
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Re: Ring flash advice? - for fashion and beauty
Old 11-12-2005, 02:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The Hensel is good and they should make a pan reflector like Profoto. It's the approx. 20" diameter pan that gives the ringflash a soft look that is perfect for fashion or nudes. I don't have anything handy to upload, but examples are in every issue of Vogue. Look for the telltale soft outline shadow around the model.
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Re: Ring flash advice? - for fashion and beauty
Old 11-12-2005, 08:49 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Here is one way to use a ring light (shoot through it):



You can also use the big Ring flashes like this one:


Which is the Rolando setup. Or this one:


Or this one which is more permanent.

I'm currently making a Fresnel attachment for my strobe head using two large plumbing pipes (one inside the other) and a 9" Fresnel (I recently bought 5 of them, so if anyone needs one, drop me a note).

Cheers,
rfs

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Re: Ring flash advice? - for fashion and beauty
Old 11-13-2005, 02:01 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Hi Louie

As you asked, I have added three sample photos shot with the Profoto 2 Ringflash and the ringflash 16" diameter dish refelector to the bottom of my portfolio page. All three photos are labeled - ("Layley" from new project). You will notice the lack of any redeye in the color shot and the very soft shadow against the wall and also the very distinctive "ringflash halo" in the full length bondage photo.

John
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