Ring Light

Model: Frannie
MUA / Hair: Nhi
Lighting Assistance and Props: BRC and PT

I draw, I take photos, I write about it.  Thanks to the team for all the help.  Thanks to BRC for letting me take his ABR800 ring light out for a test drive.  It definitely produces some blinding light.  Even shooting through its “portal” has a nice effect.  As usual, I see the resulting images produced as pictures for people, and just gear practice and learning exercises for me, so I can figure out what works for me personally in my kit and way of shooting.  Photography is oftentimes more about logistics and assistance, human interactions, and creativity in steering the mood of a day, much more so than knowing a particular camera system.

Top Image: Still have to rely on the Nikon CLS system in most situations.  Results that I want, wrapped up in a .nef raw file that I can get the most out of.

Bottom Image: Nikon 85mm f/1.4 on the Canon, before I realized I needed AF, even at f/11.


Again, these are exercises for me.  When I’m in artist mode, I draw.  When I’m in photography mode, I spin some wheels, click some buttons, and pull sliders and curves on the computer.  Actually it’s a bit more complicated than that.  Sometimes these shoots are about juggling different approaches.  With all this lighting tech, I always make it a point to shoot at the same time natural light photos.  I would shoot outside entirely with all natural light, but no one seems to want to brave the cold with me.  When I do the old approach, that is, not spoiling the light by adding your own, it makes me wonder why we put up with the falling light stands and umbrellas.  It’s like we’ve all been pressured to add lights where sometimes it isn’t need, in hopes of getting the look photo editors are familiar with or landing sponsorship from some lighting or camera company.  The spirit of Bruce Lee would probably tell me a roundhouse is unnecessary when sometimes all that is needed is a jab.

Above: Speedlight and Softbox, CLS system  Below: EF 50mm f/1.4 Natural light and a bounce panel

Above Image:  Same setup, but using the Sigma SD14 for some neutral portraits.

Bottom Image:  Again, thanks BRC for the cool props.  The Sigma really shines in IR mode, even when converted to Black and White.

Model: Julie
MUA / Hair: Nhi
Lighting Assistance and Props: BRC and PT

Far from a “review” by any means, but I do like the ABR800’s light, especially when you consider the affordable price.  Similar to a modern day Orange amp for a reasonable price compared to the larger and pricier brands.  For most applications, it’s good enough.  Image above is out of camera with settings preserved.  Even shooting all the way in the back of my studiospace, the image is bright.  105mm f/2.8 Micro VR at f/16 and White Balance 5260K and ABR probably 1/8 power.

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