Photographer Matthew Jordan Smith is a Sony Artisan and has long been known as a top fashion photographer. A while back, he shared an amazing story with Profoto about how he photographed Tyra Banks using one of the most popular accessories for fashion: the ring flash.
Ring flashes come in two different varieties. The first is an actual flash tube that goes around the lens and that can output loads and loads of power. But photographers searching for something a bit more affordable to mere mortals often reach: and so flash modifiers were designed to work with hot shoe flashes. These modifiers go around the lens and work in a similar fashion, but instead take the existing flash output and bounce it around in a ring shape. Usually, there is one top of light loss associated with it so you always need to compensate by adding in an extra stop or a stop and a half of light output..
In the video, Mr. Smith talks a lot about how the image of Tyra was shot not just by putting her on a black background and shooting to his heart’s content. Instead, he goes into details like using flags to block out other light, specific positioning of Tyra, and giving her breaks because of what a ring flash can do to the eyes.
Profoto’s video on how to use a ring flash is after the jump. Want some recommendations of your own? We really like the Roundflash version II. In fact, we still use it on shoots when we’re testing lenses.