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Light up your macro pho­tog­ra­phy with six flashes that sur­round your lens

Light­ing can make or break a photo, and this is es­pe­cially true when it comes to macro and por­trait work. De­tailed, del­i­cate close-ups of na­ture or peo­ple need care­ful il­lu­mi­na­tion, prefer­ably with shad­ows kept to a min­i­mum, but this is a tough ask for a reg­u­lar flash­gun, which pro­duces harsh shad­ows. For even, shad­ow­less light­ing, you need a sys­tem where flashes are fired from ei­ther side of the lens, or from a ring com­pletely en­cir­cling it.

Ded­i­cated macro ring flashes do ex­actly this. They usu­ally con­sist of a hot­shoe-mounted con­trol unit con­nected via a ca­ble to a ring flash that at­taches to your lens’s fil­ter thread via a screw-in adapter.

LED ring lights, mean­while, are out­wardly sim­i­lar, but pro­vide con­tin­u­ous il­lu­mi­na­tion, mak­ing them suit­able for shoot­ing both stills and video. Here, we take a look at six lens-mounted op­tions.

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