Monday, June 27, 2011

Bending Light 3: DIY photography Ringflash in action

Good evening all. Those who've read my previous entries are familiar with the ringflash adapter I recently bought off of DIY lighting kits. I've been able to test it out on a select few of my friends. One would imagine, due to its bulky-yet-flimsy build, and the fact that the DSLR that I currently use as my workhorse isn't quite as capable in the dark, that use of the ringflash might be relegated to home-studio use, or the rare fun with friends portrait shoot. However, the fun-loving risk-taker in me just couldn't be stopped I guess. I decided to test it out on some club-goers. I had to change my set-up a bit though.

Instead of using the Olympus E410, I opted to use a Canon G10, which solves my focus-hunting-in-the-dark problem, and whose hotshoe would still allow me to trigger the flash with the use of my PT-04.
   I swapped the FL36R with the YN-560, giving me a faster recycle time and more power. However, the bigger 560 wouldn't fit in the hole as it was, so I did what some users suggested in the Strobist article comment thread and cut some slits in the corners.
   Instead of tiny and bulky tripod, I opted to go with a Gorrillapod knock-off from CDR King. This helped make the set-up more rigid, supporting the flash and giving me a better grip on the set-up, not to mention more mobility than the tripod would otherwise allow.

Set-up Comparisons

It's still, by no means, compact. But that wasn't necessarily a bad thing.

Sample photos from the club (Bliss Ultraclub, along Tomas Morato):

The rest are available here.

Some things I've come to learn from this experiment:

  • The ringflash isn't advisable for group photos. Usable, for sure, but not advisable. You tend to burn the people on the sides of the photos.
  • Big and Bulky have their bonuses. Everyone was curious to see just what this new fangled camera-whatchamacallit does and how they would look in the light. Easier to get people to agree to getting shot.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

(Semi) Hardware and Ringflash Update: DIY Ringlfash arrived and assembled!

The notice came in the mail this morning! When I noticed it, my mind went blank. Forget that I have work in an hour. I went straight to the post office on the wave to pick up the parcel, with backpack in tow for transport. The size of the package surprised me (that's what she said) though. The stiff flat box, marked "DO NOT BEND" was maybe 2 A3s side by side. Plus I didn't have to pay the regular tax that Philpost usually charges me for may online shopping orders. Sweet!

Rode home as quick and carefully as I could to avoid bending the box or damaging it in transit. Opened it up, took a couple of photos for posterity, and left it lying on the bed for me to put together once I got home.

Once home, I set to work (after dinner of course) and followed the instructions step by step, lest i mess something up. I wasn't as clean as I thought I'd be though, but what the heck. :) Here it is all put together.

Took some time out to decide how to mount the flash bracket, or rather how to bend it as the instructions only had provisions for Canon and Nikon cameras, so I went with the midrange Canon choice. Sample photos of family members...

pop up flash...


ringlight + levels (not yet a master at this)

Ringlight + levels 


I mounted the ringflash on my camera using the bracket and a spare tripod plate. It makes for a bulky piece of  equipment though. I triggered the set-up with a PT-04, though I've just bought a TT:L cable via eBay which will make the whole experience a little more convenient and idiot proof. :)

Will post more photos when they are available. :)