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SM Mar2016 .pdf



Nome del file originale: SM_Mar2016.pdf
Autore: alissazimmerman

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march 2016

magazine

THE

SENIOR
EDITION

PORTRAIT

LIGHTING
with

LEDs
What You Need to Know
w it h Mic ha el Cors ent ino

When it comes to learning about light—how to control
it and how to see it—nothing beats constant light
sources. That’s why strobes have modeling lights. I’m
a big strobe guy, so that’s become my comfort zone.
Constant lights are nothing to sneeze at. Back in the day, I
was particularly fond of Westcott’s Spiderlites. I love their
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Time marches on and so does technology. These days, there
are so many interesting and compelling tools besides constant
lights. One is LED lights. I recently had an opportunity
to test out Manfrotto’s new line of LEDs, and came away
with a renewed appreciation for what’s possible with these
lightweight, portable, durable and versatile lighting tools.

them through the prism of a strobe user, which wasn’t entirely
them their fair shake as constant lights, everything got a lot
easier. Keep in mind that they’re different tools with different
capabilities and uses, and neither is mutually exclusive.
At the end of the day, light is light. There are some clear
advantages and disadvantages with every lighting system.

behindtheshutter.com

fair. Once I stopped wanting them to be strobes and gave

193

48
ImageShutter
© Michael
Magazine
Corsentino
. March 2016

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Portrait Lighting With LEDs | Michael Corsentino

The Disadvantages of Constant Light
There are no 100-percent-perfect solutions. Constant lights in general don’t
have as much power as strobes. However, as ISO ratings continue to climb
and performance continues to improve, this is becoming less and less of an
issue.
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is better left to strobes, hands down. The way constant lights interact with
the human eye is also a stumbling block for some people. Since they are
always on, constant lights give the iris time to adjust to the light and therefore
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Image © Michael Corsentino

bothered me that much. Another thing to keep in kind is the reduced range of

LED lights are great tools for learning about
light and how to control it. Because they’re a
constant light source, what you see with your
eyes and through the camera is what you get.

The Benefits of Constant Light

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negatives.

Pay special attention to Sara’s irises. Because
of the way the eye works with constant light,
they’re smaller than they would be with
strobe. For some, this is a deal breaker,
but I’ve never found it that objectionable.

I call constant light “what you see is what you get” lighting. Because the light
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lighting couldn’t be simpler. Constant lights are great for anyone who wants
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This makes them perfect for use with newborns, children, pets and anyone
unaccustomed to being professionally lit and photographed.
With constant lights, people basically forget that they’re being lit. This results
in much more relaxed subjects and images. Many constant-light systems
are also cool to the touch, another advantage when working with toddlers
and strobes for some really fun and creative effects with gels. Since there’s

light source such as an LED to introduce color and motion. This is achieved
by using a slower shutter speed, aka “dragging the shutter,” to capture the
constant light source motion and color. Try this technique out sometime, I’m
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195

One technique involves using a strobe to freeze the action and a constant

behindtheshutter.com

virtually no heat, LEDs work particularly well for this.
Image © Michael Corsentino

194

Shutter Magazine . March 2016

and children. There are also times you may want to combine constant lights

Keeping shoots fun and engaging is the key to great images. I make sure the environment on set is light and open to experimentation. Encouraging your subjects to be
playful is especially useful for relaxing people who are stiff or unaccustomed to being photographed.

Images © Michael Corsentino

Images © Michael Corsentino

Portrait Lighting With LEDs | Michael Corsentino

Unlike strobes, the lower power output of LEDs necessitates the use
of higher shutter speeds, higher ISO settings and/or the use of wider
apertures to avoid motion blur—unless, of course, that’s the effect you want.

Ganging up several LEDs helps provide a wider, longer area of coverage.
This is a useful technique due to the rapid fall-off inherent in LED
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illuminate Sara’s face and body, and one camera right as an accent light.

Why LEDs?
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LED? Again, what you see is what you get, and they differ from other constant light sources in some important
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Images © Michael Corsentino

available with optional battery capabilities.
The lower power output of LED lights and their lack of heat makes them the prefect tool to use when working
with plastic gels. Gels work counterintuitively, and one might assume that the more light you put through a gel
the bigger the effect or the higher the intensity of the color produced. Actually, exactly the opposite is true. Gels
work best with less light. I know this is a strange concept to grasp, but trust me, the less light you use with gels,
the more saturated the colors you get.

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197

196

Shutter Magazine . March 2016

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behindtheshutter.com

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