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!

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