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How to Use a Ring Light for Photography and Video: The Basics

Get started on using ring lights either for portraits or vlogging with this simple tutorial
Screenshot from ring light how to video

If you’ve heard about the benefits of ring lights for photography or video – or perhaps just saw our new guide on the top three ring lights you can buy – but you’re not sure on how to use one, the below tutorial is a great place to start. Brought to you by the guys at Business Film Booth, the video explains the basics of how to use a ring light whether you want to shoot portraits with one or just want to make yourself look better on a video conference call or while vlogging.

“Ring lights create a soft even light and a glowing halo effect in the iris making faces look welcoming and about ten years younger,” Dave from Business Film Booth says. “The common set up is to mount a light stand and shoot through the middle of the ring quite close to the face on a separate tripod.”

He adds that most ring lights come with a cold shoe mount for you to place a camera, smartphone or tablet in the middle to shoot through. Ring light setup should take only a few minutes and then you’re ready to go.

“And that is the major attraction for those who don’t have a dedicated studio because they’re lightweight and can be packed down and stored easily,” Dave explains. “In my opinion, a ring light is best used on a daylight setting so 5600K in combination with natural light, which gives a clean fresh look and works perfectly.”

And since most ring lights – including those we included in our guide – come with the daylight setting as standard, you don’t need to fiddle with too much on the light to get started with shooting portraits in flattering light.

“Ring lights do need to be closer than regular lights [to your subject] mainly due to their lack of directional punch,” he adds.

Watch the quick, easy, and clear tutorial to learn all the basics of using ring lights and then check out our guide to our favorite ring light products to find one that suits your needs.

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