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PHOTO EQUIPMENT: My Weekend with a Ring Light

by 12 October 2010 3,815 views Share

In an attempt to familiarize myself with more photo equipment, I have decided to start renting different things from Calumet, one of my local camera stores. My first rental was a few weekends ago, a ring light, to go on my first trip to Ithaca.

Developed (and still used) for dental photography, it is light that surrounds the lens and typically used for macro photography (hence, the toothy origins). Ring lights produce a distinct light with minimal shadows except for a halo-like one that fashion photographers like to use.

You can see it here in all its round glory when the subject is a little off-centered.

I considered renting this little ring light, but it wouldn’t have fit over the lens I wanted to use so I was stuck with this beast:

Thankfully, the power pack was battery-charged, allowing me to take it around my Ithaca adventures. My hosts, fellow photographers, Celia Talbot Tobin and Danny Ghitis, we’re the perfect hosts for a photographer needing to get out of the city for a bit and get some shots. We shoved it in a backpack and I tricked friends into carrying the not-particularly-light battery pack, creating an umbilical cord between friends. Taking it on outdoor adventures is not the particularly best use for this type of flash, but I already know from working on set what it can do in staged settings.

The light is quite powerful and needed to be dialed down to its minimum in many occasions.

It cut short a few hikes and missed a few others, but I think I got the hang of it. Eventually.

Side note, I always thought the phrase “Ithaca is Gorges” was ripping on a regional accent. I get it now.

I think next up is the Q flash.

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