So I copped the ABR800, the new ring flash from Alien Bees. Ring flashes are not all that useful unless you need to get this specific look in your images, but the ABR800 actually can be used as a regular flash, Paul C. Buff is a pure genius… 🙂 With the included umbrella mount it pretty much works like another AB800 when you mount it on a light stand. I’ve been wanting to add another light or 2 to my studio so I just went with the ring flash.
Sherry and I did a test shoot with the ring flash tonight. I had the camera mounted on the ring light, hand held, my trusty AB800 with gels in the background directly behind the model. The ring flash isn’t very heavy but after over 400 frames my right forearm got a slight bit tired. Metering was also a bit of a pain, the background light was remotely trigger (tripped by the ring light automatically), but since I had to hold onto the ring light, Sherry had to get readings from my flash meter herself. Not only that, the ring flash came with a rather short sync cord, so I have to switch the sync cord to a longer one to use with the flash meter. Some sort wireless trigger like with a PocketWizard system would definitely make things easier, it would at least eliminate all the sync cords!!
Anyway, the images turned out rather well, it was my very first time using more than one light, using gel and obviously using the ring flash.
Learning studio lighting with a single flash was definitely a good idea, it’s much harder with multiple lights. At first I got the gel in the background but could never get any color to show up in the background, took us a while to figure out why – the ring flash was too close to the background and the intensity was set too high so it was lighting the background itself (without gel) so it became white! HAHA!
Here are a few selected photographs I managed to post-process just now… I picked up a softbox as well, but I will probably test that out when I get the umbrella mount from Alien Bees (they are still working on the mount and will ship them out to me free of charge when they’re available) so I can use the ring thing to light the background when I use my AB800 with the softbox to light the model, I’ll probably need to use my reflector also as a fill.
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