I took the opportunity this weekend to take the new, cheap Meike Ring-flash out for a second test, this time with a bit of informal portraiture in mind. We just headed down to the local Starbucks as they have a fairly subdued interior but some nice unobstructed windows with diffuse daylight. It was more-or-less a cloudy day, about 11 degrees, so a coolish colour temperature (which I like).
Good results were very easy to get - I dialled the ring flash power level down to minimum and shot on "half-ring" (upper half with the camera oriented portrait as below) in order not to completely bleach out the shadows (e.g. around the nose and chin).
The first two of these images are basically straight out of the camera - no colour balance change, just a little sharpening and lens profile correction (which reduces aberration at the far edges).
The remaining images contain a little (minimal) processing: toning and softening, just to create more of portrait feel.
I'm really very impressed with the flash - at least for these types of circumstances - as it is trivial to use and the results were so easy to achieve. In fact, it also proved useful earlier in the week shooting the year's first bumbles on the heather in our garden.
This is definitely going to be a standard part of my kit bag. ☺