At the beginning of May, I shot photos for Guest of a Guest at the Belvedere Macerated product launch party, down in SOHO. For this shoot, I was experimenting using the Rayflash ring flash adapter on my Canon 580 EXII Flash. Basically, the adapter slips over the flash head, and makes it into a basic ring flash, redirecting the light from the flash through a series of plastic optical channels into prisms arranged in a ring around the lens. Shooting at a party with the ringflash makes for some interesting lighting – when shooting close up, it tends to make a pool of light in the center of the frame, and a pronounced vignette like effect around the images. Additionally, for people wearing hats, it avoids any weird shadows. At longer range, though, I’ve found that it can tend to flatten out the frame, stripping away interesting shadows. The other consideration for using this at a dark party is that the flash adapter blocks the Canon 580EXII’s AF illumination light and sensor. In low to no light, this effectively prevents the camera from autofocusing. Luckily this Belvedere event wasn’t too dark – but next time I shoot in a dark room with it, I’m going to try affixing a red flashlight to give the AF enough light.
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