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    • Built a home made version after reading on this one.

      Not an electrician, but had it together with just a single trip to the hardware store.

      Compact fluorescents x12 on a flood light stand. Daylight rated bulbs but found cooling the temp look good as an option.

      Fuji xt1 with 35mm lense

      Now to find people who will sit in front of this thing so I can experiment! Home hack so any pro tips appreciated. Headshots looked great, upper body portraits looked pretty good too. I have never had enough time with studio flash so hot lights just seem to be the easy option. Side shots were ok as well. What works well for this set up?

    • Super cool! I've always wanted to experiment with a ring light without spending a bunch of money on a commercial one.

      I wonder if I could make a version using a flexible LED strip light?


    • I have another shoot set for this weekend so I wanted something fast. But the website has some great and affordable strips to use. The 60watt equivalent CF was good very dark conditions for f5.6 and about 60th, but a dimmer with 5watt LED ring would be awesome. Bit more electrical than I know but they do make a few kits for power and dimmers etc.
      Something I may want to try later, especially for a smaller macro light for my normal subject matter.
      something like these:

    • Back in the days when I used to shoot weddings, I always wanted to try a ring flash to shoot the portrait of the bride and groom. With so much gear to haul to the shoot, it didn't seem like a worthy investment, but it kept me wondering what kind of beautiful shots I would have gotten.

      There is this magical look that the ring flash creates that nothing else can. The sparkling reflection of the eyes is simply enchanting. Makes me wonder if I should get a portable version that won't break the bank for small mirrorless Sony A7s?

    • Mine is 24" x 24" and about 8" thick including stand and light board, weighs about 8-10 lbs, most of which is stand and can be carried separately. Will grab a snap of the project when I am home. Cost me $100, stand, wire, bulbs, wood, and light sockets.
      It is very home hack, but it was done in about 4-5 hours with minimal hand tools + power scroll saw and drill.
      The LED way is for sure the way to go and with some electrical knowledge you could have a dimmer and various color light effects on different rings around the light.
      I am going to research the LED version as I can power that from a portable power bank, most ring light images I see are studio and taking this outdoors and into the woods would be amazing.

    • I'd love to see your next miniaturized and portable LED setup! The fact that you can take it anywhere would absolutely change the game for the kind of portraits that you can only get outdoors. It would be really cool to get powerful LEDs that would allow you to correct color light balance and also be dimmable! All that goodness, powered by a portable usb power bank, would be a fun DIY project 😉

    • Yeah these LED lights are getting pretty affordable! It's not a ring light and it's not yet released, but I've seen good reviews of the Aputure F7. It can be powered by the same battery you linked or by USB-C.

      I've also been wanting to experiment with this type of light for a simple always-on fill.

    • They make a harness mount so you can put multiple units surrounding 1 lense. argh, can't find the link just now. you get a similar effect or have 1 on each side for a fill light that looks like a strobe set up.

    • I remember using one like this years ago. The intended look is beautiful. I also made photographs with it as a side light, when is works like a softbox.

    • Is a perfect CRI (Color Rendering Index) desirable when selecting bulbs? I know cheap florescence and LED's can have somewhat poor CRI's like 80-ish, whereas the expensive ones are 95+. Does that make much difference?

      Username: These shots are incredible. Great job finding great models, and getting those expressions out of them. It's very authentic. Thanks for sharing!

    • oooo, you are assuming I know what that means! That is flattering but I am self taught and limited in technical aspects towards lighting. However the CF that I am using claim to be approx 5500k so near daylight, I tend to shot raw+jpg and I prefer black and white mostly so it is not a big factor in my light setup.
      I tend not to photograph people, I normally do more still life type stuff. It is fun however to on occasion to go outside the comfort zone. I tend to want shapes rather than expressions, I will sketch a pose then draw red lines through the curves to see if I can find something interesting. Then try and direct the subjects to hold poses that align with that. However it has to be adaptable since the subject lines and poses change.
      I would like to do a more focused series with portraits, these were from a small workshop group that does short time period shooting but in a studio with a model so those logistics are taken care of.
      I tend to get caught up in the lines and whats in my viewfinder that I tend to be very quite relaxed which I think helps put the models at ease. I also have that Douglas Adams term "mostly harmless" thing about me so I don't go in with ego or bravado. I also show them my sketches and want them to be part of the process, a collaborator of sorts. That tends to have them take a more relaxed approach when posing.
      Thanks for the appreciation of the work. Nice to see folks enjoying it.

    • Hi Kevin,

      Low CRI bulbs do make peoples skin look strange. If you were going to make one I'd spring for good bulbs. Look for greater than 92

      Given that, I went with an LED ring light with adjustable temp and remote control and it wasn't expensive.

      What I have is the 19" Smith Vector RLED60B $170

      It has the advantage that it can be controled by a remote over an ethernet cable