“There are many magic rings in this world, Bilbo Baggins, and none of them should be used lightly.” – Gandalf the Grey in the Fellowship of the Ring
A ring light is a quintessential tool for photographers, YouTubers, webinar presenters and anyone who has had to switch their video on for Zoom or Google meetings. (In fact, rather don’t switch your video on if you don’t own a ring light – trust us on that one). They are seriously your lighting BFF, casting diffused lighting that is super flattering – no need for plastic surgery. If you want professional-looking lighting that is affordable, then these ‘magic rings’ are your work-from-home fairy godmother.
The major advantage of using a ring light if you are ‘on camera’ (yes, that includes video conferencing on Zoom or Google Meet), is that the lighting is diffused, giving off a softer, even light that minimizes shadows and wrinkles. (Hence the reason we refer to them as magic rings!).
There are, however, a few tips and tricks to using a ring light and leveraging its magic, but we promise you there is no cinematography background required in setting one up.
So, unbox yours right now and let’s get to work:
Tip #1: Height and Distance
Get comfortable in front of your laptop and position your ring light 1m away from your face at head height. Ring lights are designed to mimic natural daylight and neutralise pasty yellow overhead lighting. They also create a halo effect around the iris which makes your face look welcoming and 10 years younger. (We really cannot overstate the magical properties of these rings!).
Tip #2: Spectacle issues
Speaking of the halo effect – not so cool if you wear glasses. Those little moving rings reflecting off your lenses are most distracting. This is an easy fix – simply raise the ring higher and tilt at a 45-degree angle or completely position the light directly above your head with the light facing down (like a real halo) and angle your head slightly back. Both of these options will still give that studio feel and remove unflattering and distracting shadows. (Experiment with which option shows you off in the best light).
Tip #3: Blinded by the light
If you are starting out and you have just a basic ring light for everyday home office use, your light may not come with a dimmer setting and you may feel it is a bit harsh. All you need to do, without breaking the bank, is add a diffuser sheet to the ring which will immediately soften the light.
When it comes to experiencing the magic of ring lights, embrace Goldilocks’ philosophy and keep trying till you get it just right.
Tip #4: Shop Ring Lights on bidorbuy
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