LED lighting at night
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!