How To Use a Ring Light – The Right Way!
A quick lesson in the different ways to use that Ring Light that might be sitting in your closet.
Today I am going to talk about 3 things you can do to properly utilize your Ring Light!
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Some of you might have a Ring Light just laying around and some of you may have tried to use one but gave up.
I love to hack things and make them work the way I want which is very often NOT the way they were intended.
Stop Shooting Through Your Ring Light!
Ok the first thing I am going to say might be controversial – stop shooting THROUGH your ring light. Those light rings around your pupil are so 2020.
Let that trend go…please.
Instead let’s move the ring light over to one side at about a 45 degree angle and up slightly to give us a really flattering and dynamic look as well as a nice catch light in our eye.
Soften Your Ring Light.
Even with the ring light off to one side and elevated a little bit, there is still something wrong… It’s still a ring! Nothing in nature nor professional studios or film sets gives off a halo or ring looking light. So the second thing we are going to do is “soften” the ring light which will serve a secondary purpose of evening out the lights “shape” as well.
Soft light is the most flattering and natural shapes like squares are universally used in film and videos. I use bleached parchment paper to place in front of the light and simply secure it with a piece of tape. You can get parchment paper at your local grocery store or of course amazon. You will quickly see how adding the paper diffuses the light and softens it up a bit which wraps around the face nicely and just looks better.
Light The Environment, Instead of Yourself.
The third and final tip for using a ring light is to light your space with the ring light as opposed to lighting yourself. In this simple example I am on my standard video conferencing setup that I use for zoom calls and client meetings. The light on me is really good but the environment is pretty dark. Behind me I have my ring light on a stand down pretty low out of the shot and as you can see with the flip of a switch, it brightens the environment behind me. It can also break me away from the background a little bit to add depth and dimension to the shot. Ring lights can also be used to light elements in your environment like plants, furniture and artwork.
A Ring Light is just a tool, and a really effective one at that. Make it do what you want it to do and use it to flatter your face or light your environment for a much more dynamic video!
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