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Worlds first ring light for Iphone, phones & compact cameras

As a professional photographer I’m a self confessed lighting freak…my favourite light is called a ring light which give a wonderful shadow less glow.  I’ve got one I imported for the studio and another one for my DSLR camera and for less than £10 I’ve just built one for my phone….let me show you how.

For non photographers out there, the shape and position of a light have a huge effect over the effect a light has on the subject.  A normal LED light would give a harsh shadowy light, a bit like shining a touch at someone, but ring lights shine soft even light from all around the end of the lens.  The disadvantage is that they only when close up, so are brilliant for portraits.

This little beauty gives a fabulous fill light when used indoors or at night and I look at the results and can’t believe they are from my phone!


How to make one for less than £10:

To date there is no commercially available ring light of for camera phone, but believe me you will be ahead of trend on this one.
This is really simple to make and takes minutes.

You will need:  one LED camping light, one cheap phone cover and some heavy duty Velcro

Personally I took my light apart and sprayed it with a matt black aerosol can from my local hardware store. I used tape to mask the holes from the inside and stop the LEDs from getting sprayed.

I paid £2.99 for a rubber case for my phone and £2.50 for half a meter of heavy duty self adhesive Velcro.  All you need to do is line up the ring and the lens of your camera and Velcro one to the other…hey presto!


Using your light:

It works best on headshots with you relatively close to the subject. If you are in a brightly lit room, I find turning down the lights or closing the curtains works the best so they don’t over whelm this little light.

Now, If you’ve already read me free photography lessons at www.Lightism.co.uk then you will know that light has a colour temperature and that this light you’ve stuck to your phone is a little on the blue side.  Personally, I don’t mind this look and if you’re photographing things in the blue / grey range it really enhances them:


Fine tuning your light:

If it bothers you, then here are two solutions:

Check if you can change the white balance your camera, phone, device or app to a specific colour temperature, if you can follow step one, otherwise step two:

1)       Download a free colour temperature meter app onto your smart phone. Using the light, the app and a piece of white paper it will tell you the exact colour temperature, mine varied depending on distant, but was around 9600k.

Equipped with this information you can set the temperature of you light and normal colours should resume.

2)      All apps, devices can change the white balance to reset such as: auto, daylight, etc.
Take a picture with your light in auto, then change it to the next setting and take another.
The colouration of each picture will vary…simply choose which one you like the best and hey presto..you’ve found your setting.


For compact camera users,
here is the light working with my Canon S90 compact camera:



If you like the simple way this tip taught you a complex subject, you’ll love my Lightism blog’s 10 free simple lessons to take your photography to the next level or many of the other great blog articles which are updated weekly



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