I don’t know if you’ll remember back a few months, when I asked for any feedback from my readers on a ring flash adapter made in UK, that connects to your existing hot-shoe flash to give you a ring flash look without buying a heavy/expensive ring flash?
At the time it wasn’t available in the US, and I was asking if anybody had any experience with it, because I was interesting in playing around with ring flash, as it become very popular with fashion photographers, and now you see that broad flat lighting look popping up everywhere (and it’s especially good for Macro photography).
Anyway, one day I’m sitting in our conference room after a meeting had just wrapped up and I look over in Larry Becker’s office, and I see Larry taking a shot with a ring flash. I shot right in there with the usual, “Hey, man! Where’d you get that?” and as it turns out, it’s that UK ring flash adapter I had seen months earlier, but now it’s available in the US from ExpoImaging (the people that make Expo Disc), and the US version is called the Ray Flash (I know, the name kinda…well..you know).
Well, last week Larry told me a local photographer named David Maynard (a really good photographer, by the way) who has become something of an evangelist of this ring flash adapter, and offered to stop by and give us a live demo (he even brought a professional model along with him), so we finally got an hour to play with it, and I have to tell you—I was very impressed.
I took the shots you see above (totally un-retouched—just an exposure balance in Lightroom), during that demo session with David (click on it for a larger view) using a Nikon D300 with an SB-800 on top, mounted on the hot shoe, with the Ray Flash ring flash adapter attached (it actually just slides right over the top of your flash head, and around your lens).
I’m no expert at ring flash at this point, but you can see the flat, broad light it puts out, along with that classic “ring flash” halo that you see so often.
Three things I really liked about it:
- It’s very light (considerably lighter than any ring flash I’ve never held, by a long shot).
- It’s very easy to use; you pretty much just glide it over your lens, snap your flash head into place, and it’s ready to go (it has no on/off switch, and it’s just redistributing the light from your flash head.
- Of course the big thing is; the price. It’s only $299, which is pretty darn cheap for the ring flash effect it creates.
Three minor things I didn’t like:
- If you’re using a Nikon flash, it comes with a little wedge you have to insert to keep the ring flash level.
- It’s so lightweight, it feels a little flimsy, but not nearly as flimsy as some of the cheaper ring flashes I’ve held, so it’s only a minor gripe, but it is something you’ll notice.
- You do lose about a full stop of light from your flash, so you have to run it a little hotter (use more flash power) than normal, so your batteries won’t last quite as long, but again; not a big deal, but just so you know; you’re going to lose a stop.
Would I recommend the Ray Flash? Well, I’m buying one myself. The minor things are too minor to be deal-killers, and the advantages (great price, lightweight, small size) make it pretty much a no-brainer for anyone who wants to get a ring flash look, without the ring flash price and weight.
Dave Cross was with me during the demo shoot that day, and he did a short video showing the flash itself and how it attaches to the camera (including the wedge issue for Nikon users), and you can watch it right on Dave’s site, right here.
For more info on the Ray Flash direct from ExpoImaging, click here.
First, a big thanks to the wonderful Moose Peterson for his inspiring story yesterday. He really brought things into perspective for many of us (myself included), and I can’t thank him enough for sharing his story and insights. Now, onto some news quickies:
- One of my favorite photography podcasts has been “The Digital Photography Show” and last week I did an in-depth interview with one of the hosts, Scott Sherman, and we covered a wide range of topics, I shared a few photography tips (you have to hear how he tricked me, and put me on the spot, into giving them—-it’ll crack you up). Anyway, it’s online now at this link.
- One of my readers, David Langston, brought this site to my attention, called PhotoPermit.org, and it has lots of stories relating to photo permits, the hassles of photographing today in public places, and more. Definitely worth checking out (here’s the link).
- I got this in an email from Kodak, and if you want a little Thursday photographic inspiration, click out this “Kodak Moments” Online Gallery. There’s some really great stuff there (here’s the link).
- Lastly, thanks to PhotoTrade’s “HyperPhocal” blog, who lists my book, “The Digital Photography Book, Vol. 2” among their list of “5 books every photographers should own.” Here’s the link to their list.
That’s it for today, see you all tomorrow for a week-end wrap-up. Have a great Thursday, and keep showing those pixel’s who’s boss!
Today we released a brand new online training course on KelbyTraining.com that was filmed live on location at Photoshop World Orlando.
The idea was to give everybody a feel for what it’s really like being at the Photoshop World Conference & Expo, and it includes a number of short segments from some of the actual training classes, some behind-the-scenes looks at the show (Including some of the special events), along with a mini-Tech Expo tour highlighting some of the new stuff from the trade show floor.
Also, we’re making this special class available to NAPP members for free; just use the link on the NAPP members home page, and then simply sign-on with your NAPP user name and password and you’ll be able to take this 2 1/2+ hour online class for free.
It’s “Blogcast Palloza” as our industry has spawned a few new blogs and podcasts within the last week or so, including some from well known names in the digital imaging arena, so I thought I’d list a few of them here for you:
- First, commercial photographer (and Photoshop World instructor) Jim DiVitale has just launched his own blog, called “Where in the World is Jimmy D” and you can check it out right here.
- Rich Harrington (one of our DV gurus who teach on the video track at Photoshop World), has launched a weekly Podcast on Apple’s Aperture, and you can find it right here (in HD no less).
- Don’t know if you caught this one, but last week our special guest blogger of the week, John Paul Caponigro launched his own blog (here’s the link)
- Sly Arena (from PixSylated.com) has launched a new blog called “Photo-Resources.com” (here’s the link).
- And lastly, I mentioned that Brad Moore (Joe McNally’s Assistant), has launched his own blog, and that link’s right here as well.
My brand new book, The Mac OS X Leopard Book, is back in stock at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com (the initial shipment had sold out at Amazon), and so I thought I’d do a quick little video about the new book, and about two little bonus things I added to this style of book for the first time. Click on the video below to check it out.
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