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Photobooks

I made a ringflash (well not flash)

A photography ring tube made from a circular light fitting

A photography ring tube made from a circular light fitting

I’ve been meaning to post this for ages attempt at making a ringflash (tube), but never got around to it. With a desire to get a much larger ring flash catchlight and shadow effect than those created using commercial mini units I decided to look at the household lighting options in my local DIY store Wickes. I found what appeared to be perfect and for about £20 – a 32W Circular Fluorescent Fitting with daylight cicular fluorescent tube. The lighting comes with a soft diffused front which can be removed and can easily (ish) be modified to become a ring flash (tube).

You’ll need a jigsaw fitted with a metal blade. You will also feel comfortable with electrical equipment, and you will also not attempt to blow yourself up and sue me! Ideally get an electrician to do the dirty bits and make it safe.

Draw a large hole in the metal ceiling plate. This will be over part of the fitment. I found I could take the wiring box off and reverse it so it gave me a larger hole area. Cut the hole out with the saw. You ideally need a vice to hold the plate while you cut.  The metal edge will be very rough so you should sand it down to make it smooth and injury proof

Connect the wiring to a normal 13Amp plug and you’re sorted. Well not quite, you’ third hand from an assistant to hold the tube, unless you’re feeling in a real DIY mood and you’re going to build a bracket to mount the ring tube and the camera onto a tripod. I never got around to the Mechano stage although I have several old flash bracket and shelving items I can cobble together. But that’s another project!

Catch light form DIY ringtube

Catch light form DIY ringtube

In use, being just 32W means the output isn’t very good for fast shutter speed phototgraphy so the subject needs to be still but the light is quite pleasing. The ring catchlight is bigger making it more prominent in the model’s eye too. I’ve put a few shots of the lighting unit and a photo taken with it in the gallery.

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