Olympus PEN Story

31 12 2009

Thanks to my friend F.T. for sharing this really cool stop motion video with me.

Re-post: Halloween Pennant Dragonfly

30 12 2009
Previously posted in July 2008—photographed at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens in Washington, D.C. For more about the Halloween Pennant dragonfly, click here. Read photographer Bill Horn’s tips for photographing them on his Photo Migrations website.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Craft Project: Boutonniere

25 12 2009

Michael models the boutonniere I made for him to wear at our wedding in October. The groomsmen wore them as well.

Craft notes:
Seafoam blue velvet ribbon hot glued onto brown grosgrain ribbon (all from Michael’s)

Velvet craft leaves applied at top of ribbons (from a great embellishments online store):


Copper wire and dyed freshwater pearls woven to form a bird’s nest and hot-glued on top of leaves—special thanks to blogger Cathe Holden for posting her great tutorial on how to make these sweet little bird nests:


Fiddlehead fern-shaped swirl created out of thin gauge copper wire and tiny seafoam blue seed beeds, then hot-glued into place around the bird nest.

I made bird nests out of silver wire with seafoam blue pearls for the ladies in the wedding party. I didn’t have the loops made for the chains in time to distribute at the wedding. Check out more photos on our wedding blog. Many more photos to come!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Common Buckeye

18 12 2009

This morning I came across this image of a butterfly that I photographed at Green Spring Gardens and have just identified it as a Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia), from the family of Brush-footed Butterflies (Nymphalidae). The caterpillar host plants are snapdragon, toadflax, figwort, monkey flower, plantain, tickseed, butterfly bush and water speedwell. Adults prefer nectar from plants such as aster, chickory, tickseed, coreopsis, butterfly bush and peppermint. Adults live for about ten days.

The website www.butterfliesandmoths.org aided me in identifying this “flying flower.”

This link here contains photos that chronicle the metamorphosis of the Common Buckeye Butterfly from caterpillar to chrysalis to adult (and includes shots of some unfortunate subjects serving as lunch for other insects!). One photo shows a tattered butterfly and states that such specimens “are able to fly and function normally with up to 2/3 of their wings missing.” I’ve often wondered how they fared with their wings in such bad shape. Then again, when you only live 10 days, you don’t have much time to worry about such things!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

More fun than a barrel of monkeys!

18 12 2009

I was perusing random blogs last night and came across a reference to this site:  http://photofunia.com/ so I went to check it out. WOW!

From the site: PhotoFunia is an online photo editing tool that gives you a fun filled experience. You upload any photo and just wait to see the magic. Our proprietary technology automatically identifies the face in the photo and let’s you add cool photo effects and create funny face photo montages. PhotoFunia is free and very easy to use. Just select an effect you like from over 100 different effects, upload your photo, and PhotoFunia will handle the rest for you. PhotoFunia was originally developed by two enthusiasts from Odessa, Ukraine and has officially launched on the 11th August 2007.

There are 134 effects (some even animated!) to drop your photos into and voila! Instant art. In just a few seconds per image, you have the results, which can be saved as jpgs and printed. Below are just a few I created with my people and flower images.

Check it out—way too much fun! And by the way—I wondered where the phrase “more fun than a barrel of monkeys” originated, so of course I did my online research. Check out AskYahoo to learn more!

New additions to my Zenfolio gallery

17 12 2009

I just added more photos to my zenfolio.com gallery. In the coming weeks I’ll be creating a few new galleries that will showcase travel images, landscapes and portraits. I’ve also been looking into portfolio web sites such as PhotoShelter.com and others to determine what will work best as a website to showcase my photography. In the interim, Zenfolio has been an easy-to-use outlet for my work. Does anyone have any recommendations for ready-made or customizable website services? I’m open to feedback and suggestions. Thanks!

Check out my botanical shots on zenfolio on the link below. You can click on each thumbnail to view it larger. There are 10 pages to scroll through, showcasing more than 400 images.


Camilla (again)

16 12 2009

Another visit to my 35mm slide archives—Camilla, photographed with available light, Nikon N2020, Nikkor 35-70mm, very light coating of vaseline smeared on skylight filter. 35mm slide scanned by ScanCafe.com

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Gentoo penguin at Port Lockroy, Antarctica

15 12 2009

Adult Gentoo penguin, photographed near the Port Lockroy Station A at Port Lockroy, a harbor on the Antarctica Peninsula of the British Antarctic Territory. Just a few years before my trip, Port Lockroy was renovated. Operated by the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust, it is now a museum and post office. Gentoo penguins were plentiful on almost every stop we made on this trip.

From Wikipedia: A major experiment on the island is to test the effect of tourism on penguins. Half the island is open to tourists, while the other half is reserved for penguins. So far, interestingly, the results show that tourism has a slight positive effect on penguins, possibly due to the presence of people being a deterrent to skuas—Antarctic birds that prey on penguin chicks and eggs.

Speaking of skuas—I did get some photos of those birds, but fervently hoped I wouldn’t witness one dragging off a lone chick. I’m happy to report no Gentoo chicks were skua-napped on my watch (not that I could have done anything about it—but still…) 35mm slide scanned by ScanCafe.com

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Whale bones at Whalers Bay, Deception Island

15 12 2009

Another slide scan from my Antarctica trip—converted to b&w (there isn’t much color in the original—overcast silvery-gray skies, murky water, black and white Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguins, and white whale bones). Perfect for a black and white conversion, I’d say!

Deception Island is an intermittently active volcano and the central crater of the island is a caldera. Whaler’s Bay is just inside the mouth of the harbor on the east side of Deception Island. It is the site of an old whaling station with a rendering plant, and a British Antarctic Survey base with an airplane hangar—both long since closed down. The base closed down in 1969, just after the last eruptions. During the Great Depression of the 1920s, whale oil prices dropped and the factory ships were abandoned. All that remains are rusty buildings and whale skeletons. The place was all at once rich in photographic opportunities but haunting and sad at the same time—all those big, beautiful intelligent creatures…gone.

During this stop, some of the more brave (or foolhardy?) passengers donned bathing suits and took a quick dip in an area where the geothermal heat had warmed the water. Once in, they looked pretty happy—it was the entrance and exit that had them moving pretty quickly! And no, I didn’t join them—I had a camera to protect, you know. 35mm slide scanned by ScanCafe.com

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Aftermath of Mount St. Helens

15 12 2009

I realize this isn’t an award-winning shot, but I wanted to share this 35mm scan anyway. I shot this image of thousands of fallen trees—looking like so many pickup sticks—from a helicopter during a tour of Mount St. Helens around 1998 or so. The guide took us over the top of the crater of volcano (and yes, it’s still active—you can see continuous puffs of smoke from overhead) and through the valley. The devastation of May 18, 1980, was evident through all the new growth. The helicopter had a glass-bottom area (disconcerting and thrilling at the same time!), so I could see herds of elk migrating through the valley.

The volcano began a dome-building eruption in September 2004 after nearly two decades of relative inactivity. I just read on Wikipedia that the last activity was in January 2008. In July of the same year, scientists determined the eruption had ended after more than six months of no volcanic activity. Check out the USDA Forest Service’s VolcanoCam, with near real-time images of Mount St. Helens, taken from the Johnston Ridge Observatory. And if you’re curious about the current seismic activity—as well as other interesting information—check out this page here35mm slide scanned by ScanCafe.com

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Fence, shadow and sand

13 12 2009

Photo notes: Chincoteague Island, Virginia; Nikon N90s, Nikkor 35-70mm zoom, Fuji Velvia slide film, 35mm slide scanned by ScanCafe.com

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Camilla in vintage lace dress with bow

13 12 2009

Photo notes: light source is Cam’s dining room window, image shot with my Nikon N2020, vaseline smeared on skylight filter for soft-focus effect. In the second shot, Cam had her back to the window and I used a piece of white cardboard (covered in aluminum foil, dull side up) to bounce the available light back into her face. 35mm slides scanned by ScanCafe.com

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Mount McKinley, Alaska

13 12 2009

I took a flightseeing tour from Talkeetna over the base camp of Mount McKinley when I was in Alaska in 2000. We flew over the longest glacier in Denali National Park—the 45-mile-long Kahiltna Glacier—and between McKinley’s two sister peaks—Mt. Hunter (14,500 ft.) and Mt. Moraker (17,400 feet). What an experience! I think this shot was made straight from the helicopter, right before we landed on a glacier. It was probably shot with my Nikon F5 and my 24mm wide angle lens. 35mm slide scanned by ScanCafe.com

© Cindy Dyer. All right reserved.

Big sky over Utah

13 12 2009

Photo notes: Nikon F5, Nikkor 24mm wide angle, Fuji Velvia slide film
35mm slide scanned by ScanCafe.com

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Christmas in Montana

13 12 2009

I took this shot in Montana on the road between Gallatin Gateway (where Michael’s Aunt Jackie lives) and the entrance to Yellowstone National Park. We were spending Christmas at Jackie’s, along with two of Michael’s sisters and their families, in 1995. This trip included my first try at snowshoes (awkward, as expected), hiking up a mountain to find a Christmas tree Jackie had picked out (ask me about that adventure sometime), the snowmobile-on-frozen-lake-ice-fishing excursion (no luck for anyone), a fun (but very bumpy) snow coach ride with everyone through Yellowstone the day after Christmas (a gift from Aunt Jackie), me suddenly sinking waist deep in snow (along with Michael’s brother-in-law, Pete) while we were trying to get that perfect landscape shot (but we saved the cameras!), a sightseeing/shopping trip to Bozeman, and more cold and snow than you could possibly imagine. I probably shot this image with my N90s. I also brought along my Fuji G617 panoramic camera—I’ll have to find those really wide transparencies and get them scanned some day. 35mm slide scanned by ScanCafe.com

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

First view of Antarctica

13 12 2009

Along with the Captain and a couple of crew members, I was the only passenger on the MS Disko up just before dawn to see the ship approaching Antarctica! I was far too excited to sleep (and I’m not usually an early bird). I slept just a few hours (fully dressed) and then headed to the cabin so I could witness the first light over Antarctica. Pretty exciting and I can still remember how that felt! This is the very first shot I got. I took this trip in January/February of 1998, as I recall. I’ll have more slide scans to post from that amazing trip. 35mm slide scanned by ScanCafe.com

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Saquaro cactus

13 12 2009

This image (definitely shot with Fuji Velvia slide film) was shot in Saguaro National Park in Tucson, Arizona. 35mm slide scanned by ScanCafe.com

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Canyonlands from the air

13 12 2009

I shot this image during an aerial excursion that my friend Cammie and I took over Canyonlands National Park and Monument Valley years ago. Unfortunately, the plane trip got cut a little short due to lightning storms over Monument Valley (and yes, I was shooting that when it was happening!). I was disappointed the trip was ending thirty minutes earlier (meaning less photography time), but I think Cammie thought the plane ride was plenty long!
35mm slide scanned by ScanCafe.com

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


12 12 2009

I photographed Sophie in 2002 for a magazine cover.

Photo notes: Nikon F5, Fuji Velvia slide film, Nikkor 105mm micro. 35mm slide scanned by ScanCafe.com

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Squawking gulls at Cape May

12 12 2009

Photo notes: Nikon N90s, Fuji Velvia slide film, knee deep in the very cold Atlantic Ocean, Nikkor 105mm lens. 35mm slide scanned by ScanCafe.com

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

THIS JUST IN: Michael just reminded me that to get this shot, I not only waded out knee-deep into cold water, he had to hold on to my vest so I could lean forward (remember, this wasn’t a super-telephoto lens I was using!) to get closer. See there? I really earned this shot (and so did my assistant)!

Cape May sunrise

12 12 2009

Years ago, I attended one of the first Great American Photography Workshops (GAPW) in Cape May, New Jersey. Renowned wildlife and nature photographer Art Wolfe was the guest instructor for the weekend.

This sunrise photo (yes, I got up that early and yes, it really was that intense—no Photoshop enhancing done in this shot, I promise!) won 3rd place in the landscape category that weekend. My prize? A teeny tiny collapsible reflector—about 12″ when expanded—I had no idea they made them that small.

I had hoped my shot of two gulls squawking on posts would have placed in the fauna category instead. Why? I rolled up my pant legs and ventured out, knee deep, into the really cold surf just to get close enough to get the shot (I think my longest lens at the time was the 105 macro!). The sunrise shot was a breeze (except for the having to get up so early part!); I earned the gull shot. I’ll post that shot next.

Photo notes: I’m fairly certain this was shot with my Nikon N90s and Fuji Velvia slide film. 35mm slide scanned by ScanCafe.com

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.


12 12 2009

One of my favorite portrait subjects—Nicole. 35mm slide scanned by ScanCafe.com

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Self portrait, Chincoteague Island

12 12 2009

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Girl with the pearl earring

12 12 2009

Can you think of a better title for this image? I thought not! This is my longtime dear friend Karen, circa 1986-87ish.

Photo notes: Fuji Velvia, Nikon N2020 and my 105mm lens, light from bedroom window, vaseline-smeared-on-skylight-filter softening trick

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Nova Scotia goats

12 12 2009

How could you not love being greeted by this herd of colorful goats? I especially love that little pocket-sized one, second from left. I shot this photo not too far from the Bay of Fundy, on the northeast end of the Gulf of Maine between the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. My friend John, who hails from Barrington Passage, Nova Scotia, was a great photo scout during this road trip. Right after these shots, we took a walk on the mud flats of the Bay of Fundy. Obviously, the tide was out!

According to wikipedia, “during the 12.4 hour tidal period, 115 billion tonnes of water flow in and out of the bay. The quest for world tidal dominance has led to a rivalry between the Minas Basin in the Bay of Fundy and the Leaf Basin in Ungava Bay, over which body lays claim to the highest tides in the world, with supporters in each region claiming a record. The Canadian Hydrographic Service finally declared it a statistical tie, with measurements of a 55.1 feet tidal range in Leaf Basin for Ungava Bay and 55.8 feet at Burntcoat Head for the Bay of Fundy. The highest water level ever recorded in the Bay of Fundy system occurred at the head of Minas basin on the night of October 4-5, 1869 during a tropical cyclone named the “Saxby Gale.” The water level of 70.9 feet resulted from the combination of high winds, abnormally low atmospheric pressure, and a spring tide.”

Bay of Fundy Tourism

Terri’s Bay of Fundy Blog

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Hallelujah light

12 12 2009

“Fingers of God” light (and a curtain of rain, I think!) over mountains near Aspen, Colorado (solo trip) and in sunset near Arches National Park, Utah (road trip with my friend Cammie). 35mm slides scanned by ScanCafe.com

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Lone gull, lone cloud, lone man

12 12 2009

Seagull on Chincoteague Island, Virginia; lone cloud somewhere in Colorado; and Dad during our road trip—Great Adventure #678—in 1990 (which he writes about in his recent blog posting, “Arizona apples & cheeseburger briefs” here). 35mm slides scanned by ScanCafe.com

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

ScanCafe delivers early!

11 12 2009

ScanCafe continues to impress me! I received an e-mail this morning at 8:21 a.m. stating that my order was ready for review. They were seven days early from their original date of December 18. They allow for up to 50% of your scans to be “deleted” and you’re not charged for those, believe it or not! I reviewed the files and decided not to delete any. I paid the remaining balance and less than 30 minutes later, I had a link to go download the .sit file with all the images. A DVD with the images will be sent with my original slides shortly. It took me a little over an hour to download a compressed file with 400 images—thank goodness for high speed Internet access.

Now begins the (most pleasant!) task of going through the images, processing in Photoshop (still have to teach myself Lightroom 2, though), and determining which ones are worthy of blog exposure. Some of these slides date back to the late 70s—obviously non-digital days—shot with various SLR film cameras ranging from my father’s Yashica (model unknown; he loaned it to me to shoot a high school football game and never got it back!), graduating to a Pentax K1000 purchased at Sears as a present from my dad, then on to my first Nikon—a Nikon N2020, then moving up to a Nikon N90s (followed by another N90s backup body), and ending with my ultimate dream camera (at the time)—a Nikon F5, which I still own.

Yes, I will still be shooting new stuff as my schedule permits and assignments arise, but I hope you’ll enjoy this nostalgic trip (with no particular chronological order) into the world of Kodachrome, Ektachrome and Fuji Velvia!

Photo note: I believe I shot this image of (Greater Flamingoes?) at the Gladys Porter Zoo in McAllen, Texas. I’ve always loved this composition, and it was one of my first images I selected to sent to ScanCafe. I did a 24×36 pastel/conté drawing of this image for my sister, Debbie, as a gift one Christmas many years ago. In fact, that drawing is still hanging in her foyer—unfortunately, it’s framed in an in-vogue-at-the-time (but certainly not now) shiny and modern metal frame—in hot pink (to match the flamingo legs, of course). Yowza! I should also mention that it is on the wall behind the front door when you enter, so it can’t easily gather a flock of admirers around it. Hey, I know it’s still there. Good on ya, Deboo.

LATE-BREAKING NEWS: In his recent comment, my father reminded me that I didn’t include one more film camera that was in my repertoire—my medium format Mamiya 645! Dad bought me this camera while I was still living in Texas, shooting portraits and weddings for extra cash. I had it for several years, then sold it when I moved to the Washington, D.C. area so I could buy my Nikon 2020 and various lenses to get back into shooting 35mm. I put an ad in the Washington Post and sold it for about $900, to the best of my recollection. Many years later, during one of my jaunts to Infinite Color (a local lab) to get slides processed, I started chatting with a photo techie guy who was manning the front counter that morning. One thing led to another and I discovered that he was the guy I had sold the camera to (about 8-9 years earlier). He was still using it at the time and loved it. He waxed rhapsodic over its virtues and I left the lab wishing I had kept the camera! I wonder if ScanCafe does medium 2-1/4 negatives and slides…hmmm…I sense a future project coming on!

Father knows best.

10 12 2009

This is an e-mail I received from my father in reference to my posting, “A photo credit doesn’t pay the rent (much less buy me a measly 99 cent Taco Bell caramel apple empanada).” You can read that original posting here. Below is my father’s e-mail response to me:

I considered making this a comment to your posting, but decided to send it as an e-mail. Please read it carefully, ’cause I spent a lot of time on it. Don’t cast it aside like an ol’ shoe or a used Kleenex. Of course if you decide you would like it as a posting, I offer its use freely, either as your posting or mine. I only require digitally recorded recognition for the use of my time and talents, and will sue your socks off if said recognition is not given.

So there!

The following dialogue is from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”:

Player Queen:
Both here and hence pursue me lasting strife,
If once I be a widow, ever I be a wife!

Player King:
‘Tis deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me here a while,
My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile
The tedious day with sleep.

Player Queen:
Sleep rock thy brain,
And never come mischance between us twain!

Madam, how like you this play?

The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
Hamlet Act 3, scene 2, 222–230

Almost always misquoted as “Methinks the lady doth protest too much,” Queen Gertrude’s line is both drier than the misquotation (thanks to the delayed “methinks”) and much more ironic. Prince Hamlet’s question is intended to smoke out his mother, to whom, as he intended, this Player Queen bears some striking resemblances [see THE PLAY’S THE THING]. The queen in the play, like Gertrude, seems too deeply attached to her first husband to ever even consider remarrying; Gertrude, however, after the death of Hamlet’s father, has remarried. We don’t know whether Gertrude ever made the same sorts of promises to Hamlet’s father that the Player Queen makes to the Player King (who will soon be murdered)—but the irony of her response should be clear.

By “protest,” Gertrude doesn’t mean “object” or “deny”—these meanings postdate Hamlet. The principal meaning of “protest” in Shakespeare’s day was “vow” or “declare solemnly,” a meaning preserved in our use of “protestation.” When we smugly declare that, “the lady doth protest too much,” we almost always mean that the lady objects so much as to lose credibility. Gertrude says that Player Queen affirms so much as to lose credibility. Her vows are too elaborate, too artful, too insistent. More cynically, the queen may also imply that such vows are silly in the first place, and thus may indirectly defend her own remarriage.

I’ll have grounds
More relative than this—the play’s the thing
Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King.
Hamlet Act 2, scene 2, 603–605

The plot is intricate and bizarre, but Hamlet is relying on good, solid Renaissance psychology. Playwrights often claimed that their work encouraged virtue in upstanding citizens and caught the conscience of malefactors. About ten years after the first production of Hamlet, playwright Thomas Heywood edified the reading public with this real-life tale: During the performance of a particularly gruesome tragedy, in which the actors staged the murder of a man by driving a nail through his temple, a woman in the audience rose up distractedly. She “oft sighed out these words: Oh my husband, my husband!” The woman subsequently confessed all and was burned for having murdered her spouse with “a great nail” through “the brainpan.”

All the above came from the Internet—the following thoughts are mine—all mine!

Every photograph you take is an original, a piece of art you have created through years of study, an original just as surely as Da Vinci’s creation of “The Last Supper.” I have long thought that you are far too free with your originals. Consider an original painting—the artist offers the painting to the public as a signed and numbered limited edition copy, as an open edition copy, and as an original, all with specific costs—neither the original nor a copy if freely offered, other than to a dear friend or to a non-profit organization.

Every photograph you make is an original, and should be treated as an original. When Hamlet says, “the play’s the thing,” he is using Renaissance psychology. From Hamlet: In Shakespeare’s time, playwrights often claimed that their work encouraged virtue in upstanding citizens and caught the conscience of malefactors. That may have been true then, but it plays false today. One cannot depend on virtue in citizens or conscience in malefactors in the quest for adequate compensation for the use of one’s time and talents. Rarely in our time is anyone willing to pay for something that is freely given by its owner, with no restrictions on its use other than a request that the gift be recognized—recognition will not pay the bills.

You should place restrictions of the use of your creations—since you are not being compensated monetarily for their use now, you won’t lose anything by insisting on monetary compensation. Respond to requests for their use with a graduated price list for one-time use, continuous use, etc., and offer the item as open edition, limited edition or original. Offer the item with specific terms and enter into a contract with the user, either digitally or as a hard-copy. Express your intention to stand by the provisions of the contract, and promise to sue the socks off any user that violates the terms of the contract.

I reluctantly use the following analogy: Your response to requests for the use of your originals is comparable to soft-core porn—-your friend Cammie’s response is hard-core. She tells a potential customer (read “user”) that she is the best, and unless that potential user is willing to pay for the best they should settle for something less than best at a lower cost. In the words of The King of Texas, “One must toot one’s own whistle—one cannot depend on others to do it.”

Karen & Layla

10 12 2009

My friend Karen lost her beloved Ragdoll cat, Xena, very suddenly just over a year ago. She didn’t think she was ready for a new fur baby until this past summer, when our friend Regina, who volunteers at a local shelter, mentioned to her that there was a Ragdoll at the shelter in need of a home. No pressure, just come meet her. As we expected, Karen fell in love and decided it was time to adopt again. “Lady” became “Layla.” (Karen said she couldn’t keep the name “Lady,” because every time she said it, she could hear Jerry Lewis saying, “Hey Layyyyyydeee!” in that voice that only he can do.) Layla made herself right at home the minute she arrived and with heaps of love and a great diet, her bare patches filled right in with thick fur and now she is a diva in her own right! Last night I photographed Karen and Layla (who, unlike most Ragdolls, really doesn’t like being held) for their Christmas card.

FYI, the lighting is a little different because I attached my Ray Flash to a Nikon SB-800 Speedlight flash. I haven’t used this gadget often but intend to in the future because I love the glowy skin tones it produces! One of my favorite techie lighting blogs is by David Hobby, aka “The Strobist.” If you want to learn more about lighting, there is no better place than his web site, www.strobist.com. Don’t forgot to check out his “On Assignment” page here. There is a ton of great information and how-to’s on that page. David does a great review of the Ray Flash here. His posting mentions the price for the Ray Flash is $300—awhile back the price dropped to $199.95 at B&H (where I purchased mine) and Amazon.

From Amazon.com: It was designed to be as light and as portable as possible. There are no electronics, no flashtubes and no cumbersome cables! It uses a clever system of acrylic light channels and reflectors to distribute the light emitted from the flash unit evenly around the large diameter of the ringflash adapter. This creates the same lighting effect normally only available from ringflash units made by studio flash equipment manufacturers, which are expensive, heavy and tethered (they have a cable from ringflash to power pack). The RAY FLASH Adapter creates a very special lighting effect: a “3-d shadow-wrapped look.” Because all light originates from the front, i.e. from around the lens, it produces a virtually shadow-less look on the front of your subject, while a soft even shadow appears around the edges. It is ideally suited for fashion, portrait, beauty, wedding & macro photography as a main or fill-in light. The RAY FLASH Adapter does not change the colour temperature of the flash that powers it and the additional weight can easily be accommodated by the on-camera flash unit.

I just discovered that there is a lookalike ring flash called a “Saturn Ring Flash” for just $89 here (I can’t review the Saturn product because I don’t own it, but I thought I’d point out that it looks so much like the Ray Flash and is $100 cheaper!)

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! I found a “Coco Flash” on Amazon for just $49.95! I didn’t realize there were so many copycat ring flashes out there. The Coco Flash got high marks from reviewers on Amazon. Photographer/blogger Klaus Boedker wrote an in-depth review (with nice sample photos) of the Coco Flash here. I don’t think this product was out there when I was ring flash shopping—$49.95 is a great price for this gadget!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.