Brighten the eyes in photos and with Ringflash?

the eyes in photos and with Ringflash?

What is the best equipment and technique to light the eyes so that
the iris is large enough to show off the eye color on 3/4 and full body shots?
I’ve seen images like this shot for magazines that are sized down to 5.5″
x 7.5″ for the web, and the eye color is still visible and gorgeous!

Two things, first you need an eye light if its not a modeling light for the
flash, than you need a real eyelight just to dilate the pupil, it need not and
in fact should not effect the image at all, I use these little LED mini superbright
flashlights, I put a picture below, the blue is from qvc, 3 for $20.00 with
batteries (each uses 3 AAA’s) the black is brighter and from national liquidators
for 1.99 no batteries, also uses 3 AAA’s they are almost uncomfortable to shine
in the eyes, and very blue (8000-12000 degrees kelvin) they seem too bright,
they are not that bright in reality, but in small spaces I sometimes place a
piece of diffusion (frost) cut into a tiny circle to fit in front to turn them
down a bit because when I am close and they are close to the model they are
annoyingly bright to shine in the eyes of someone.  At 5 feet they give
you about  f 2.8 at 1/5th of a second at 100 iso which is nothing, but
when its in your eyes from 7 feet its almost blinding you.  They work great,
4 inches long, have 9-12 leds and the led’s are so efficient that they last
for a very, very, very long time on 3 AAA’s, they will likely be stolen before
they need to be replaced and the lights will last about 100,000 hours and most
are decently waterproof.    you can mount them to an elastic strap
and velcro closure and that can wrap around your lens, or on a bracket, in your
hand, or around the radio slave.  You can also have it on a stand or an
assistant aiming it, but I find anything that relies on a stand or person is
not likely to be where I want it when I want it and how I want it, its easier
to have it aimed like the lens is so if I see the eyes they are lit.

Now if your using hotlights or in daylight this is not needed.  This often
helps reduce and often eliminates red eye when using a ringflash without a modeling
light, or any on camera flash.

Now basically if its a lit face thats all that is needed to get bright eyes
to glow, it allows the pupils to be constricted and the color very apparent.
If the face is not lit by the strobe they will never glow unless you want to
try to use a focused light to spot each one which I can assure you is not what
your seeing in most shots.  Eyelights wink
twinkles for the eye in film wink

Hope that helps.  Of course there are many lights that can be used, but
these are so damn good at it and cheap that its hard to beat and the size is

And yes on a very, very rare occasion, we use an extra eyelight for the models
that is strobe, its more a face light,  they have a few tiny softbox like
setups that are about 7x7inch they often connect to a little slave light, and
are almost a snoot type size, they are generally powered 1 stop under the main
and just pops the face a bit, but its more for static beauty shots and does
not sound like what the question was referring too.

©Stephen Eastwood 2008

About photographers1

Stephen Eastwood Fashion and Beauty Photographer and Retoucher based in NY/LA/Ft. Worth TX Current Canon Explorer of Light.
This entry was posted in All Posts, Tutorials and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Brighten the eyes in photos and with Ringflash?