RING FLASH use in dental photography

Milos Ljubicic

In General Posted

In the creation of a photograph, light and shadows play the most important role.
Photography literally means “writing with light”. 

A Photograph is a two-dimensional medium, it only has height and width, but through light and shadows we create an impression of depth, i.e. a third dimension.
Bokeh (blurred part of the photo that is not in focus) also helps us get the feeling of depth, but in this particular text I will talk about light and shadows, and how we can influence them.

It is important to always pay attention where the light source is comming from, how the person or object that we are photographing is illuminated.

The equipment used in this test is:

RING flash, Nikon D7200 with Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro lens.

Camera setting:

Ring flash is set on MANUAL MODE at 1/4 of full flash power,
F22, Shutter speed at 1/125 s and ISO 200.

Ring flash is the easiest, most practical and one of the most popular flash lights used in dental photography.  I wanted to show how we can use the Ring Light to get maximum results from the cheapest light.

In dental photography, the most important thing is that the photograph carries certain information  about a specific dental work, which is important for communication with colleagues and dental technicians.

If we want a photograph to be more beautiful in an aesthetic way and still display the same amount of information, we must pay attention to the position of the light.

Let us see where the shadows are and what kind of results we are getting by changing the position of the Ring Light itself.

Usually the Ring Light is fixed on the lens, but it does not mean it has to be constantly in that position. We can remove it and move it, as long as the cable that connects it with the central unit allows it.

The first photo is made with a Ring flash fixed on the lens.

See what kind of results we get; Pay attention to the reflection on the teeth and how much the structure of the teeth is visible.

Then I will remove the Ring flash from the lens, and hold it on the left side, as shown in the photo below.

Notice the fact that as we change the position of the light source, in our case the Ring flash, we influence the creation of shadows on photograph.

For example, I will continue to move the Ring flash’s position, as shown in the photos, through examples.

Note where the shadows are and how moving the light source affects their creation.

In addition, pay attention to the reflection of the light on the teeth:
where it is located,  how much of the tooth structure itself is visible, and how the shifting of the light source changes the photograph. That information is significant for the dental technicians.

In order to get a better result, we will put a reflective surface into the composition. In this case it can be a plain white paper which the person that we are photographing will be holding on the opposite side of the light source.

The light coming from the Ring flash will reflect back to the subject or model, and fill all those shadows that are made from moving the light source.

You can decide for yourself  what is more pleasing for your eyes, and whether you want to spend your time doing these experiments with light.

The most important thing to note is that dental photography carries enough information for communication, but you can make it more beautiful and enjoy your work more if you just experiment a little, no matter what type of flash are you using.

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