Affordable LED Portrait Lighting

Business Friday goes on hiatus for the summer. In it’s place I’ll be featuring various tips, tools and techniques to make phtoograhing people easier, better and even more fun. It’s called Faces Friday:

Rotolight RL48-B kitThe use of LED as a light source for portraiture has been increasing in the past several years years as more companies release products in this space and one of the most versatile, inexpensive ($289) systems is  Rotolight’s RL48 Interview Kit. Inside a well-crafted pouch you’ll find two RL48-B lights along with 24 Filters including, a 063 Pale Blue, 712 Bedford Blue, 020 Medium Amber, 182 Light Red, 765 Sunlight Yellow, 730 Liberty Green, 052 Light Lavender and 128 Bright Pink and two cosmetic filters (184 Cosmetic Peach and 791 Moroccan Frost) for skin enhancement. Since each light only weighs six ounces (plus batteries) these lights make for a fun kit that’s easy to take on the road.

roto.blueThe kit includes two stands with standard ¼-inch tripod screw mounts allowing you attach a light to a tripod or lightstand. The pouch has room for filters, two lights and stands, plus a cell phone and six AA batteries; each light is powered by three AA batteries. In addition, Rotolight offers a full line of swivel mounts, clamps, and articulated arms providing flexibility when working with the system.

One of the fun aspects of using the Rotolight filters is matching or contrasting the color to what the subject is wearing. Here Stevie is wearing pink, so I used a  Bedford Blue filter on a RL48-B that was placed at camera left and slightly behind her. Another RL48-B is at camera right and about 45 degrees to Stevie. Canon EOS 50D with EF 85mm f/1.8 lens. Exposure was 1/50 sec at f/1.8 and ISO 640 in Aperture Priority mode. Tweaked using Nik Software’s Glamour Glow filter that’s part of Color Efex.

This post is about using Rotolight’s RL-48 LED lights for portraiture in preparation for a new workshop on LED lighting using these versatile and inexpensive lights. Check the Workshop section for details for schedule and details when they become available.

Author: Joe Farace

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