29 April 2014


DIY Ring Light Effect. If you've never seen a ring light before, they look like this. Their purpose is to create a nice even cast on the subject, getting rid of unnecessary shadows and creating a vignette effect (the faded black ring around photos). As a beauty blogger, these things would be really handy in making our photos much clearer, and makeup will show more vividly as well. Now, a ring light will cost at least $189 (Ebay), with the prices going up to $500, at least that's what I've seen. I debated for hours on the pros and cons of investing in a ring light, and then I realized that I could probably just recreate the effect on my own. Not perfectly, but close enough.

Anyway, I've come up with a rather cheap alternative, and after some experimenting (not that much), I figured out a way to get a similar effect. Hopefully, I can explain this clearly.

2 Floor lamps with extendable/flexible arms.
4 LED Daylight 5000K Light Bulbs, around $13 from Home Depot. More bulbs for more lamps.
1 Tripod


Setup your camera however you want to shoot. I like to position my camera approximately 2-3 feet away and point the camera lens above my head and angle it downwards slightly.
Position the floor lamps on either side of the camera lens. You should align the bulbs with the lens of your camera, and point them the same way. If you have more than 2 flexible arms, you can position them all around the camera for an even more ring light-y effect - top, bottom, left, right, wherever they fit. You really only need two arms though.
Turn off your ceiling light. Ceiling lights cast an ugly shadow and mine are warm light so they make everything yellow.
Turn on the lamps.
Check your camera's white balance and adjust it. Your screen should show the actual color your subject is, not too white, blue or yellow. Refer to your camera's manual to see how to adjust the white balance.
Take some test shots.
You'll see that everything is lit up nicely, and you also get the nice lights in your eyes. Not the full ring, but there's some sparkle there, which is nice.
Add some warm lights to your background for a warming effect.

TEST SHOT - UNEDITED other than watermarking. 

With a little brightening on Photoshop, it'll be perfect. For videos, I'm liking it as is. Note that I don't have any other lights on other than the lamps and the string lights.

What do you think of this lighting? How do you light your photos and videos? Also, how do you like my new background? I really like this setup!

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Meet Rikki Poynter - a beautiful woman with a feisty attitude. She loves makeup and is a proud representative of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing (HOH) Community. Follow her blog and subscribe to her Youtube Channel for in-depth reviews and tutorials - you'll LOVE her!

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