If you shoot with artificial lighting, you can go with off camera flash or continuous LED lights. Of course, each approach has its good and bad sides. In this video, Francisco Joel Hernandez discusses pros and cons of using continuous LED lights for portraits. So if you’ve been thinking of getting them for portrait photography, this might help you make the final decision.
I remember when LED lights first started to become a real thing for video a little over a decade ago. They weren’t even close to full spectrum, would introduce all sorts of colour casts, were huge, dim and had price tags starting in the thousands.
Since then, though, LED technology has come a long way and the prices have dropped dramatically. How dramatically? Well, in this video from Caleb Pike, we see a 2-light LED lighting kit for video, including a softbox, that costs less than $100.
If you need a lamp in your shot, the regular bulbs have their downsides. They get hot, you can’t dim them, and LED bulbs have bad CRI. Caleb Pike has a handy trick for you that will help you turn any lamp into a versatile, dimmable LED light in a couple of minutes. It’s easy and cheap, and you can use it in plenty of ways in your videos and images.
If you’re like me, and you shoot mostly on location, power is an issue. For photography I solved those issues by switching to Godox strobes with light battery packs or integrated batteries. For video, though, power for continuous lights can be troublesome. Or at the very least, expensive. Some lights will allow you to use relatively inexpensive Sony NPF batteries, while others require expensive V-Mount batteries.
I’ve found another solution to my continuous power problem, though. RC lipo batteries. I had a few left over from my DJI Flamewheel F550 drone after the controller was stolen. So, I figured why not put them to good use elsewhere? They’re also great for powering cameras for battery-draining long exposure timelapse sequences, too.
LEDs are developing at a ridiculous pace lately. They’re getting more colour accurate and much more powerful. The power of LEDs often comes at some expense, though. While LEDs do run much cooler than traditional tungsten lights, they can still get rather hot.
In this video, Matthew at DIY Perks unboxes a very beefy 500 Watt LED. After hooking up the power, we see just how bright it is. What’s particularly crazy about it, though, is that the LED itself isn’t much bigger than a postage stamp. Everything else is just to extract the heat to prevent the LED from burning itself out.
Bitbanger Labs, makers of the popular Pixelstick light painting tool are at it again. This time it’s a module LED strip which bears more than a striking resemblance to the Spekular lighting system released just last month. But, it has a few rather significant differences. Foremost amongst them being multiple colour options, as well as remote control straight from your phone.
The project is being launched through Kickstarter, and it’s already over halfway towards its goal. It’s an interesting concept, for sure. While it seems aimed more toward effects lighting than realistic lighting, it’s an interesting system. For simulating effects like firelight or red alerts on a submarine, it could be just the ticket.
If you’re new to studio portraits, there’s just so much to learn about the light. Also, you have a choice between strobes/speedlights and continuous LED lights. If you can’t decide where to start, the latest video from Joe Edelman could be helpful and get you on the right track.
In this video, Joe breaks down the differences between these two types of lighting. You’ll learn their main uses, and also why it’s good to use one or the other in different situations.
Just when you think you’ve seen all LED lighting panels that the world can have, here comes a new LED light that makes you open your wallet again. Spekular is an all-in-one lighting panel that in addition to being a “panel” can also be a ring, a strip, an octa and even a star (how do you like them catch-lights?).
The idea is quite simple and will probably be familiar to anyone that likes playing with LEDs. Each kit holds four super-bright sections that can be connected and manipulated into various shapes.
Other than using continuous lighting for video, some photographers choose to use it for shooting still as well. Jay P. Morgan relies on LED panels for portrait photography from time to time, and in his latest video, he discusses the pros and cons of this approach. There are definitely certain advantages of using LED panels for portrait photography, but some disadvantages as well. In this video, you’ll hear both sides, and let’s see if you agree.