I want to to know if a ringlight can be very helpful for a cloudy/overcast weather outdoors for portraits & fashion? Will it help remove some shadowing or help much at all outside for portraits & fashion photos during overcast weather? Or not really? I seem to only be able to find ringlights being used outdoors during dusk/nighttime which doesn’t help me with what I want to know! I’m specifically looking at the Diva Ringlight Nebula.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm confused by the question. Overcast skies cause there to be a lack of shadows (varying with your degree of overcast). A light being used in overcast conditions helps create shadows for depth, not get rid of them. \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Apr 2, 2018 at 15:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh I’m sorry I’m new to photography! I guess I mean, will the ringlight make the portrait look better and give more nice light on the face during overcast weather outside? \$\endgroup\$
    – Karli
    Apr 2, 2018 at 15:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Looks like that ringlight needs to be powered via outlet or a sold separately battery pack. That's a LOT of money to be spent on something that doesn't list how bright it is. You may have issues using it to overpower the sun, even on a cloudy day. \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Apr 2, 2018 at 16:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you're trying to learn about portrait photography and mixed lighting - I'd highly suggest NOT spending a ton of money right off the bat. Go with a strobe and a radio trigger and explore from there. Simply adding a light won't magically make the photos look "better". \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Apr 2, 2018 at 16:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ We all have our favorite articles, but I'm a fan of this one: strobist.blogspot.com/2008/04/… - shooting in shadow means very little contrast. This article shows how the strobe is used to add contrast and depth - not take it away. \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Apr 2, 2018 at 16:17

2 Answers 2


Ringlights renders a very specific type of illumination. If you unbalance these, the "ring light effect" is gone.

That is why people use it in dark environments.

They are usually not that bright because they are pointed directly at people's eyes and normally for close illumination.

The specific light you mention is a video light so it is continuous light, and it is for close-ups, like for makeup artists. I doubt will help you in a "fashion photo shoot" but you need to look at the specs.

A continuous light makes part of the overall ambient light.

If you want to somehow overpower the ambient light you need to use a flash.

I am a little worried here because it seems you have not a clear idea of what you want.

Do you want to reduce contrast in a low contrast illumination? Will it help to reduce an already reduced contrast illumination? yes to some degree.

But depends on the aperture speed, distance, weather conditions distance to the background, aperture.

You need to clarify if what you want is to get a specific "style" or you just want to "reduce" shadows.


We generally light a portrait using a main light that is placed high to simulate afternoon sun. When working outdoors in bright sun, shadows are often too harsh, void of detail. To avoid, photographers often prefer cloudy-bright conditions or open shade.

Mitigating shadows under natural conditions is not always possible. Now the photographer brings to bear reflectors or fill lighting. The fill is a subordinate light source, its job is to fill the shadows making them softer. As a rule, the fill light is set about 1 to 2 f-stops weaker than the main light (might be sunlight). Such a lash-up preserves the one light source illusion that enhances the portrait.

A ring light can be used as the fill light. The pitfall is; ring lights are generally tasked for close-up work thus they tend to be somewhat weak. I think most ring lights will be too weak to be of much use in bright sun.


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