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A Perfect Lighting Solution For Shooting Beauty

Don’t Be Stagnate, See The Light, The Rosco LitePad Loop Ring Light

This past weekend I was photographing a model I hadn’t worked with in seven years. I did my normal glamour style  photography of her, using both ambient light and my Hensel studio strobes fitted with Chimera soft box light modifiers. It was a great shoot, then the model and I both discussed the need for a great beauty photo not just glamour shots. I knew then, my new, Rosco, LitePad Loop, an LED ring light that provides continuous light source and is powered by the optional battery pack or AC adapter, was the perfect lighting solution.

Rosco LitePad Loop Beauty Photo of Model

Capturing Caroline’s beauty was easy with the Rosco LitePad Loop ring light. The background is fire from the fireplace. Photo taken with my Canon 5D Mark II, fitted with a Canon 85mm F/1.2 L lens, aperture set at F/1.6. Shutter speed is 1/100, ISO at 320 and manual white balance at 6000K.

Some photographers often go with one set of lighting tools they feel comfortable with and rarely stray to experiment with other types of equipment, especially when it comes to lighting. While it’s a great to maintain consistency in one’s photographic style, it’s also a bad habit to stick with limited lighting tools, as this will stagnate your photography and can limit your ability to create what you envisioned, or pre-visualized as the final result. This is one reason why I have several types of lighting tools at my disposal.

Rosco LitePad Loop Attached to Digital Camera

The professional grade, Rosco LitePad Loop ring light mounts easily to your digital camera.

Caroline (the model) and I wanted a beauty photograph to tell the story that she’s a warm, caring individual with glamorous qualities. We also wanted a romantic mood by placing her in front of the fireplace as the warm glow of fire behind her helps create that added ambience. As with all my models, I like to educate them about photography as we shoot, so they can understand what I’m trying to achieve, plus it helps set the tone in both of our minds. So I explained to her, it’s all about the lighting and that the lighting would help her find that mood that showcases her inner-beauty, which also helps me, as a photographer, find that “look.” The outer-beauty was a given and the Rosco LitePad Loop validated that in the resulting photos.

I’ve often said, “Light is the lifeblood of the image,” in reference to the importance of lighting to a photograph. Without light, you have nothing, as light is to a photo what blood is to our bodies. However as photographers, we’re often faced with what light source, and if necessary, what light modifier do we use on that light source, to attain the result we’re trying to achieve? In my case, I decided to use the right tool, the Rosco LitePad Loop, which would help me achieve what we both wanted and is not easily achievable with studio strobes.

Model Photographed with Rosco LitePad Loop ring light.

Caroline photographed with Rosco LitePad Loop ring light.

The idea, as I told her, was to illuminate only her from the front and use the warm glow of the fire to backlight her blonde hair from the back. I explained that bricks are masculine and in order to keep the feminine feel to the image, I didn’t want to illuminate the fireplace itself. At the same time, I wanted to ensure I’d capture the glow from the fire, so I had to take into account her exposure settings with that of the fire glow.

She also wanted me to capture the green brilliance of her eyes, something that is reduced when using strobes in a dimly lit room. With studio strobes, in dark rooms, the subject’s pupils tend to dilate leaving very little of the colored iris, but you get the exact opposite with a continuous light source, such as the Rosco LitePad Loop ring light, which uses powerful, but diffused, LEDs (light emitting diodes). My goal was to capture Caroline’s brilliant, green eyes, not dark pupils.

While good photographers know that consistency in how they create photographs leads to developing their photographic style, great photographers know that style is not solely based on the equipment you use, but how you use the equipment available. In this case, I was able to maintain a style that I like, the use of bokeh to help set the mood of the image, with the ring light. While there is an optional dimmer to reduce the light output from the ring light, I instead utilized the optional “slits” mask that came with my Rosco LitePad Loop Pro kit. This mask reduced the light output so I could utilize a wider aperture on my lens and created a brilliant catch light in my model’s eyes.

Rosco LitePad Loop Masks ring light

These are the optional Rosco LitePad Loop masks that easily attache to the ring light.

The Rosco LitePad Loop is a lightweight ring light that mounts to the camera so the lens runs through the LitePad Loop’s center. This positioning creates a smoothing effect of skin based on the physics rule, “The Angle of Incidence is Equal to the Angle of Reflection.” Thus, this light/lens mounting combination eliminates or reduces shadows often created by the pores of the skin, which results in a smoother look of the model’s complexion. This type of on-axis lighting reduces blemishes and wrinkles making it a perfect light for beauty, portrait, headshots, and glamour photography.

Though Caroline still has a great complexion and a beauty look, she was seven years older than our last photo shoot, so the Rosco LitePad Loop insured that I’d have an image that required very minimal postproduction. In fact, I posted the color version of the horizontal photo on my personal Facebook profile within thirty minutes after capture; which included downloading the entire photo shoot and selecting the best image in Adobe Lightroom, very minimal image editing, resizing, plus adding my copyright notice in Adobe Photoshop.

Model photographed with Rosco LitePad Loop ring light.

This type of continuous light source is excellent for black and white photos too.

I cannot stress how important lighting is to an image in both creating, but also in giving you additional tools to keep your photography from becoming stagnated. The Rosco LitePad Loop is an additional lighting tool that opens additional possibilities in my photography not normally found with flash or natural light. It serves a specific purpose just like blood does to your bodies.

While I’ve seen other cheaper ring lights, the old adage applies to professional photographic lighting—you get what you pay for. The Rosco product is not only a professionally constructed lightweight and durable lighting solution, but provides a high-end quality, machined mounting system, unlike less expensive brands.

Rosco LitePad Loop ring light pro kit.

When you first open the Rosco LitePad Loop professional kit, you know it’s manufactured with quality in mind.

Perhaps the best way to differentiate the Rosco LitePad Loop from the others is like this; God forbid, but if your doctor advised you that you must have a blood transfusion, would you ask for Grade C blood instead of Grade A to save money? Obviously not, and that’s what you’ll get with the Rosco LitePad Loop, a Grade A product that will help you create stunning photos.

I close as always by reminding you, please don’t forget the men and women in uniform that help protect our freedoms in this great nation. God Bless them, their families and friends, as they all make sacrifices. Rolando

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