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Is there any point to using a ring flash for styles other than macro (i.e. portrait, landscape, wide angle, street, etc.)?


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Yes, they can be useful in phootgraphy other than macro. A 'ring light' (usually one of the more larger ones) is occasionly used in portraits, due to the soft and even way it illuminates the subject and provides circles catch lights within the eyes. (As the light is central surrounding the lens, it reduces shadows usually caused by lighting position).

It also saves on having to take out say a large softbox which could be a problem depending on space or location.

(Sorry I don't have any samples I've shot with a ring light to attach, but give it a Google, you'll see what I mean by the catchlights).

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  • @flolilolilo very true, but the examples given in the answer show all sizes. I'll add some clarity to my answer. – Crazy Dino Jan 29 '18 at 13:25
  • Yup +1 to the portrait. A pro-tip I was given by a friend is to look at the eyes in magazine photos for hints as to what lighting they used. (You can often see the individual panels/reflectors/rings used, assuming they're not photoshopped, or the window if natural light was used.) – wally Jan 29 '18 at 14:34
  • Are you saying "Yes" to "Are ring flashes only useful for macro photography?" or to "Is there any point to using a ring flash for styles other than macro (i.e. portrait, landscape, wide angle, street, etc.)?" – Michael C Jan 29 '18 at 17:36
  • @michaelclark good point. The title and body are contradictory in yes and no. Updated my answer to reflect. – Crazy Dino Jan 29 '18 at 23:30
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In addition to portraiture - where one can be used as either a key light, a fill light, or simply a catch light - ring flashes are often used in forensic photography, both at macro and non-macro reproduction ratios. Then there's the whole "Jarvie" window thing or even using it in the scene as a compositional element.

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