Good day, guys. This is your mate Aries Tao, welcome back to Godox Lighting 101. Today, we are looking at Godox R200 light, which is a ring light. It belongs to the AD200 family, powered by the AD200PRO or AD200 batteries.
R200 is already a very soft light, which you can use as an on-camera flash as well as off-camera flash. You can attach the camera under lights; I don't do that. I can constantly swap between on-camera flash and off-camera flash whenever I need to.
Use it as On-Camera Flash
There are two reasons I do on-camera flash. The first reason is the sort of retro, Andy Warhol style I'm looking for. The second reason is that on-camera flash allows me to move easier with the model, without so much hassle. It's easier for me to catch the movement shots, and sometimes, it could be both.
My favorite accessory to go with it is RFT-25S, which is this. So, the light from the ring flash reflects on the inside layer, back to the external silver layer and reflects back. Because it reflects twice, when it hits the model, it has no hot spots, so you wouldn't see any sort of oily highlights on the model. If you're looking for an all-rounder, both as a soft on-camera flash and off-camera flash, as a matter of fact, this is my go-to accessory with R200.
The reason I love R200 plus the RFT-25S is that it's a very unique light source. It's somewhere between the umbrella and the beauty dish. It's softer than a beauty dish, but it has more contrast, especially harsher highlights comparing with an umbrella. It could come to your advantage.
For example, if there's sunlight coming from this way, I can use the sunlight as my hair light and use the R200 as a key light for her face.
I can have the sunlight as a sidelight and fill in the shadows with the R200.
And I can get the model to face the sunlight and fill in all the shadow details, especially her eyes’ details and fill in her eye socket shadows. I can get the sun as a key light over the model's face. I can get the model to use her hands to block the sun, so it's not hurting her eyes so much, and I can have the R200 as an on-camera flash to fill in the shadow details.
So, you see, guys, natural light can be very good, but the thing with natural light is, you have to shoot for beautiful light first, right? Because we know if it's bad lighting, no matter how good the composition is, it's still a bad picture. With a flash, you can have more flexibility with composition, right? Because you can change the lighting scenario by adding more light sources, and that gives you so much more freedom in terms of creating images.
Mimic the Sunlight
On top of the RFT-25S, which is a reflector, you can add the grid as well as the color gel. I personally use the color gel to warm up the light, to mimic a patch of sunlight, and sometimes I use grid too.
As you see just now, I just want a pocket of lights hit on her face, with minimal impact on the wall as a background, to have a really narrow beam like a pocket of lights on her face to create these dramatic shots.
Light up the Shadow
As you see, it’s a beautiful city background, the problem is the sun does not sit the way I want it to be as a short light. It's rather from sideways.
I need something to light up the shadow. That's why our R200 would be extremely helpful in this case.
As Beauty Light
I used to use umbrellas as fill lights, then I realized that with a harsh sunlight background with umbrella so soft in the foreground, it just doesn't blend. And in this particular scenario, I feel like a beauty dish or, in this case, R200 plus 25S reflector, will be a very good choice.
You see, the reflector delivers this even light, but yet it comes with contrast to define, has this definition on her nose and her cheekbones.
As you guys see, there's a harsh sun coming from the background. If I use an umbrella, it will be too soft for my taste. The RFT-25S delivers this beauty-like lighting, works extremely well for my taste in this scenario.
As Fill Light
The ring flash works with an umbrella too. With an umbrella holder, you can use a ring flash with an umbrella by itself. I personally will keep the RFT-25S on the ring flash all the time to give a softer light.
The reflector light being further diffused by the umbrella, which makes it even softer. So with multiple sorts of reflection and diffusion, it makes the light very soft, like ambient light. That's how I'm going to do the shot here for the summer vibe.
On a Cloudy Day
So we have understand the quality of the light in this scenario, that sun is extremely harsh because it's an extremely small light source. On a cloudy day like this, the light has been diffused by the cloud, becomes very soft. That's why we need to diffuse our lights through an umbrella to match it.
You can diffuse the R200 light with an umbrella straight away. Personally, I like double diffusion just to make it softer, to be more close to the ambient light.
Think of it this way: the cloud diffuses the sun and bounces on the floor and bounces back to her face as fill lights, that’s the light we are trying to mimic. If I'm using R200 and diffuse it through an umbrella, that's slightly more directional than what I was trying to mimic here. So, if I keep the RFT-25S on the light so that it already diffused the light once and then we diffuse it with an umbrella, the light is going to be more even and more subtle. Personally, I feel like that's closer to what I experience.
Today, I showed you a couple of examples of how to use R200 combined with RFT-25S Reflector as a go-to combination to shoot on a cloudy day, to shoot under shadows, to mimic a patch of sunlight, to use it as an on-camera flash, to use it as a fill light, to use it as a beauty light. Because this combination is so lightweight, it's a perfect choice for run-and-gun kind of portrait photographer. I hope you guys enjoy this photoshoot. This is your mate Aries Tao, I will see you in the next episode.