How To Use And Build Your Own Ring Flash

Lighting with a ring flash is a common technique among fashion and beauty photographers, yet it is often one of the most misunderstood and abused lighting setups among novice photographers. Simply using a single on axis light is hardly ever appealing but when coupled with other lights the ringflash look can become very flashy and dynamic. You often see this sort of light in music videos, glamour photos like Playboy, and of course high fashion shoots. In this video Tom Antos not only shows you an easy ring flash lighting setup he used for a music video but he also shows you how you can make your own constant light version for video productions. These same techniques can easily be adapted for still photos, and if your model is not moving much you can actually use the constant light version for stills as well.

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9 Comments

Lee Morris's picture

The important thing to remember is that size does matter. You will not get the same look as this from a small ringflash so i'm some cases, it is good to have both a small flash one and a large home made one for photography.

Would be cool to build one of those out of 12 speedlites :)

Patrick Hall's picture

12 speedlights? If set to full power I doubt you could even properly expose your subject with that amount of power. That would be around 3 3/4 stops more powerful than a single SB800...you would be shooting at say f22

Luca Ragogna's picture

I love seeing the before and after part when he starts lighting her. I need to start doing some DIY stuff...especially to build a decent slider. Anybody got one? I saw a video of a guy using tennis balls on his tripod legs and plastic pipes for the rail (was that on FS?)

Patrick Hall's picture

We've posted a few DIY sliders (might be in a wednesday Rundown) but honestly, more than any other piece of gear I own, I would suggest buying a really good slider. If it's not perfectly smooth then your footage will look really bad and that is one piece of gear you want to be built like a tank.

I like this... so simple... i wonder what extremes it can be pushed too.

It is very simple... BUT I really would have liked to know how he was attaching it to its tripod :)

Gary's picture

@ Ghislain Leduc- THAT'S what I was looking for, too. It could be 3/4" square tube, the inside width is just about right. The 12 ga. wire is overkill and more bother to work with than 14 ga. Also using the male end of a 14 ga. extension would make it easier to use. Keep the length short, under six feet. This baby is top heavy so sand bags should be used.