Author: Pete Hall Date Posted:28 September 2017
Our rapidly evolving world of LED technology is changing in a way that as a photographic artist I can fully exploit artificial lighting to enhance my portrait work. There is a strong argument for today’s constant LED lights to be regarded as the ‘new natural light’… particularly for those of us intimidated by the learning curve associated with flash/strobe lighting.
Enter Jinbei. Their constant LED range makes it possible for me at each shoot to spend more time concentrating on the subject, with far less on tweaking gear and being less anxious about the outcomes. Constant lighting makes for a much more productive and relaxing studio experience for both photographer and subject. Minimal precious time wasted on lighting checks, no complex lighting ratios; just straight up - what you see is what you get. In an hour’s shoot I can reliably nail 500 shots with many different angles and poses and little attention to my gear. At all times, my models know that they, and not my gear, are the centre of every session. My technical ego stays outside the room.
With a day job that pays the mortgage I can afford be highly selective in my after-hours portrait work. I’m developing an ongoing series ‘From Street to Studio’ randomly asking members of the public to pose for me. It is therefore critical when shooting, often a week or two later, that the subject (stranger) is as relaxed as possible. The images of these two friends as part of this series shows how relaxed they were as I fired away seamlessly using 3 Jinbei constant LED lamps.
Sure, constant lighting has been around forever, it’s not new. It’s just that Jinbei has taken it to next level of affordability, ease, adjustment and reliability. My Bowens strobes are gathering dust.
For contrast to the low key images, the last image is one of thousands taken at Tattoo Convention in Adelaide this year. 2 Jinbei constant LED going night and day (front with large reflector - rear with gel) Fantastic productivity getting hundreds of people through in less than 5 minutes each.
On location, away from any power source, I use up to 4 Jinbei constant LED lights (2x EF200V and 2 x EF150) all operating from one super quiet Honda generator, again with very impressive results. For a range of other settings and convenience, I still use strobes, including the Jinbei Mars 3, the Jinbei HD 600 and my Nikon SB900 speedlights. I'm excited by the release of the new battery powered EF150D, and can see those making setup even faster.
Until my studio gets finished, I shoot everything, including these African images, under my open pergola at the rear of the house, nothing flash, excuse the pun!
I shoot RAW and with the constant LED lamps I find that in post-production I invariably have to tweak the green channel down slightly, but this is ever so minor and I’m used to it as a default adjustment.
This guest blog post was written by Pete Hall, Adelaide Photographer