How to Use a Ring Light

If you want to make gorgeous studio photos, create vlogs, or do streaming, a ring light is a necessary tool. It can drastically improve the quality of pictures and videos, whether you use a professional camera, just your phone, or even a tablet. If positioned and set up properly, this tool will give you the perfect lighting, and you won’t need to do much editing after shooting. 5-Minute Crafts has prepared a guide to help you work with one.

1. How to use a ring light for portrait photography

Positioning:

✔️ Do: Place the ring light right in front of the object or person you are about to shoot.
❌ Don’t: Never place the ring light at an angle, as it will create shadows (unless this is the effect you want to achieve).

Distance:

✔️ It’s recommended to position the ring light at approximately an arm’s length from the subject to get the best light.

Brightness:

✔️ Try to take some test photos with the help of your phone or camera, then adjust the light of your ring light. Otherwise, you might get pictures with bad lighting, which would make your shots look underexposed (too dark) or overexposed (too bright).

2. How to use a ring light for shooting videos

Positioning:

✔️ Do: Place the ring light right directly in front of the subject (for example, your face).
❌ Don’t: Try not to place the ring light above or below the subject, as it will cast shadows.

📸 Tip: If you use softboxes, position them according to 3-point lighting. Your ring light should be placed in the middle, while the softboxes (a special light modifier that creates soft light and minimizes harsh shadows) should be set each to one side of the ring light.

Adjust the color temperature:

✔️ Different models of ring lights can offer various color temperature settings, which can be applied to many video settings. For example, if you want to film a makeup video, cold fluorescent lighting can reveal all of your skin’s blemishes and imperfections and also lead to over-applying makeup. Meanwhile, daylight-balanced light can help you to show the real colors of your skin.

Adjust the camera settings:

✔️ It’s also important to adjust the settings in the camera or phone you’ll use for shooting. To do this, make sure you alter the white balance (WB).

Use the mount:

✔️ To make sure the light is distributed evenly and the picture is stable, be sure to set up your filming device (camera, phone, or tablet) on the special mount that usually comes with the ring light. Otherwise, invest in one to hold your gadget firmly.

3. How to use a ring light for live streaming

Positioning:

✔️ Make sure your recording device is placed at the center of the ring light and not off to one side. Once again, it’s important to use special clips or mounts to achieve this. For example, if you stream gaming, set up the light right behind your gaming station so it faces you.

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