LED light­ing at night

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

1 Make your own light

An ex­tra LED light is ideal for night-time por­traits, es­pe­cially if – like the Ro­to­light Neo 2 we used – it al­lows you to al­ter the colour tem­per­a­ture. With di­als for both bright­ness and colour tem­per­a­ture, we can bal­ance the LED light­ing with the am­bi­ent street lights in the scene.

3 Bal­ance with the LED

Now with our com­po­si­tion sorted we can turn on our LED and use it to light the face – a por­ta­ble light stand comes in handy here. Bring­ing a small light in close to the face like this will usu­ally make it more flat­ter­ing, as we in­crease its rel­a­tive size in pro­por­tion to the face. This dif­fuses the light and makes it softer on the face.

2 Ex­pose for the am­bi­ent

Be­fore turn­ing on the LED we first need to find a good spot with a colour­ful back­drop. The strips of colour­chang­ing light here were ideal for such a back­drop. We took a quick snap to de­ter­mine the am­bi­ent ex­po­sure. The face is in shadow, but that’s what our LED is for.

4 Fin­ish your im­ages

Af­ter your night-time shoot, use noise re­duc­tion to tone down the grainy noise that is im­pos­si­ble to avoid when shoot­ing at those higher ISO points. If you use Light­room or Pho­to­shop’s Cam­era Raw plug-in, head to the De­tail panel and in­crease Noise Lu­mi­nance to tackle grainy and un­sightly noise – much bet­ter!

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