Wednesday, 27 February 2013

LED Lights for Stills Photography


I spent the day at the Broadcast Video Expo in London yesterday looking at continuous lighting which may be of use to stills photographers. There are more and more LED units appearing on the market for a broad range of applications and prices. Soft lights, there are few, but hard direct LEDs seem to dominate (motion picture DPs and gaffers work differently to stills photographers). By their nature, direct LEDs give a very hard light, which when shone directly into the talent's face will give an effect similar arc eye or rentina burn.

Many of the new LED lights on the market are going to open up many opportunities for stills photographers, but some will need to rethink their lighting and fear of high ISO, which on newer full frame DSLR cameras will not be a problem. Use of diffusion media with hard direct lights is an essential skill, soft boxes and brollies are not designed with these lights in mind, so a stock of diffusion sheets, which incidentally are not expensive and cheaper than many special light modifiers will be needed.

You can see how a small selection of Rosco's diffusion sheets work here: http://ianpack.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/diffusing-flash-and-speedlites.html

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