Can high quality LED lights be used for professional quality indoors portrait work?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Ellis Vener
OP MOD Ellis Vener Forum Pro • Posts: 16,322
Re: Can high quality LED lights be used for professional quality indoors portrait work?

ronscuba wrote:

Ellis Vener wrote:

ronscuba wrote:

Nice to hear your success using LED.

Why shoot at 1/400th for portrait ? I know you had success with that setting. Would a slower shutter setting allow a lower ISO and get similar results ?

If the person being photographed is static or in repose, yes. But I like to look for some liveliness in the person's expression and while 1/400th won't freeze a fluttering eyelid it is sufficient for the slight smiles and getting other slight differences in expression that , for me, convey a person's personality.
I also wanted to minimize the effect of the existing lighting in the room on the subject while using it to light the background which was about ten feet behind the person I was photographing.

Do you shoot at 1/400th with strobes too ?

Sure, when I need to. But when using flash indoors the dominant light source is easily the flash unless I am deliberately using a very long shutter-speed and except at full power output the flash duration, even when measured using the t0.1 standard is significantly shorter. With my Paul C. Buff, Inc Einstein E640 moonlights at half power ( 320 w-s) , the flash duration is already down to around 1/1,000th second.

I could have used my Einsteins for this shoot but that would have meant more time setting up the basic lighting set up and then, once the person I was photographing was in front of the camera more time adjusting and testing. Before you say, but you could have used a handheld meter. That's true, but a meter alone would not tell me how , for example, the hair/accent/separation light (Maybe I should start calling it the H.A.S light?) interacted with the person's hair. With constant light I was able to just use my eyeballs anyway and adjust the output to taste.

With every technology comes compromises.

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Ellis Vener
A working photographer since 1984.
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