June 14, 2021 3 min read
Ring lights are a common lighting tool that photographers use for portraits or macro photography. They can be used to provide even and diffused lighting to the subject, while also providing an attractive circular catchlight reflected in the person’s eyes. However, ring lights aren’t just for pro photographers to use. As smaller and more portable ring light models are becoming commercially available, you can easily purchase one for everyday use or to improve the quality of your photos and videos. Check out our guide on how to use ring lights so you can start making better content.
Mind the Ring Light’s Placement in Your Setup
If you’ve been wanting to step up your vlogging or selfie game, incorporating a ring light into your setup is a good way to achieve this. When figuring out where to place your ring light, keep it close to your smartphone or camera to avoid casting any shadows. The same goes for the rest of your gear too. As a rule of thumb, the ring light should never be placed behind your mic or camera. To make this easier to do, consider getting a ring light with adjustable phone grips, like the Movo VGC-3+PR-2-PM kit.
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Experiment With Light Intensity and Temperatures
With ring lights, you have more control over the lighting of your content. Shooting with a brighter light will enable you to get clearer images that are more color accurate, too. On the other hand, a dimmer light may be better if you’re using shiny or reflective objects while shooting.
But aside from the strength of your light, the temperature of your lighting can affect the way your content looks too. A bluish or yellowish tint to your lighting can add a certain ambiance to your photos and videos. In the past, you may have relied on filters to achieve these effects but a ring light can be a more practical solution that you can tweak to fit your needs. Try different settings out to see what works for you.
Shoot at the Right Distance
Since most ring lights come with stands, it should be easy to position and angle at a considerable distance from you. After all, you don’t want to risk blinding yourself or ruining your lighting from filming too close or too far from the ring light. Test it out first before filming or shooting by placing an object where you plan to film and seeing what it looks like on your viewfinder. Then, adjust as needed so you can avoid reshoots because the distance is off. If you’re using a clip-on ring light like the Movo PRL-1, it’s best to mount your phone on a tripod instead.
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Use Two Ring Lights
It might sound crazy, but adding another ring light to your setup has its benefits. For starters, you can add more dimension to your photos by using two ring lights in different positions. Putting one in front of you while the other is behind you can make your background and foreground more defined. Using two ring lights can also even out your lighting, especially when you need the sides of your shot to be well-lit as well.