Having Fun with LED Lighting

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

The trend of using continuous light sources, such as LED, plays well with photographers integrating video into the services they offer clients. But there’s also a convenience factor. A continuous source lets you see the how light falls on a portrait subject exactly as it will appear in the final image and can use your in-camera meter to arrive at an exposure, if only approximate, before checking against a histogram.


Flashpoint’s CL-500R LED has a round design producing circular catch lights, mimicking natural outdoor highlights. While relatively bright—always the case with many LEDs— the 500 LEDs in the housing stay cool, keeping your subjects comfortable, even when shooting with a light close to them.

colorful.sarah Light output is variable from 10-100% and can be remotely controlled. FlashPoint says color output is 5600K and consistent even when dimming to 10%. The included cloth diffuser aka diffusion sock produces a softer look. If you want to soften and spread the light further, an umbrella channel is built into the CL-500R’s front face. The LED’s have a life of 50,000 hours and are powered by an AC or DC with optional accessories.

In the above setup a CL-1444R is at camera right with a white Flashpoint 60-inch white parabolic umbrella mounted in shoot-through mode. A CL-500R is at camera left (with sock) and aimed to skim the subject’s (camera) left side. Background is Lastolite’s Urban Collection, which is reversible, so I flipped it from what’s shown in the setup shot to the Graffiti side to create a more colorful photograph.

Caption: I wanted to produce the opposite kind of image from the black and white image of wearing black against a black background. Here Sarah is wearing a colorful outfit, against Lastolite’s colorful Graffiti backdrop while being photographed with an Olympus EM-10 Mark I with Olympus’ 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II lens (at 42mm) with an exposure of 1/50 sec at f/5.6 and ISO 800.