One of the most difficult situations in which a photographer can find himself forced to work is that in which there is insufficient light to take pictures, that is to say, very little light or almost total darkness. In such cases, when you have to take portraits, it’s not always possible to get the image in focus and, sometimes, you have to find a light source that enables you to achieve the minimum brightness necessary to do your job.
Thanks to the Spectra 500s LED light, all my problems have been solved. I was asked to test this product and I was happy to try it out using various more or less “classic” methods. As soon as I got home, once I got it out of its box, I realised that this small-sized, 48 LED device can emit a great light. It comes together with a ball head with screw attachment, useful for mounting it on top of a camera or onto a tripod, a combination that allows you to manage your photo composition in total freedom.
With its 5600° K cold light emission, you are able to create natural colour portraits. For those of you who prefer warmer tones instead, there is also a yellow filter provided, to warm up the scene. Also included are two other filters: one glossy white and another opaque white, to soften the shadows.
Seeing as I am a lover of long-exposure photographs, I wanted to try out a few shots with the LED spotlight, using it more creatively. The problem I was up against remained the same: the dark. To start with, I used the LED to illuminate the rock on which I was standing and enable my assistant, who was ready in front of the camera, to get the scene in focus. After viewing a few trial shots on the screen, it occurred to me that it could be interesting to use this little device and transform it from a simple support tool into the leading player on set.
These are the photographs that result from this experiment, which was initially devised to solve the problem of illuminating the set and allowing us to get the shot in focus.
The second test subject was Francesca. The shots were taken in some of the narrow streets in the city of Cagliari, near the old town centre, in low-light conditions close to sundown. Surrounded by apartment buildings, there was very little natural light to illuminate the model’s face. The spotlight’s rotating dimmer turned out to be very useful. In these two shots, you can see a slight and almost total dimming of the light; I was about 1.5 m away from Francesca.
This portable spotlight is very lightweight, which totally avoids any wear and tear on the flash slide-mount. With this device being so easy to use, there are a vast range of possible combinations; for example, I prefer portraits with shadows over the face, making the shot more dramatic. By attaching the LED light to a lateral tripod, I can obtain this effect, obviously after several trial shots to work out how much I need to rotate the ball head. In terms of size, it is only a little larger than the four AA batteries needed to power it (alkaline or lithium). It lasts an estimated average of 90 minutes at full power, which allows you to work calmly without the worry of suddenly ending up in the dark with no support.
This device is part of the 1X2 LED light range, which are lightweight and easy to use, both for videos and photographs.
I find the Spectra 500s LED spotlight to be both of excellent performance and perfect in size, and also very versatile. I love to photograph in very unusual light conditions; for this reason, the Spectra 500s LED light has officially earned its place as part of my photographic equipment and will definitely accompany me on all of my future adventures.
Cédric Dasesson is a professional photographer whose studies in architecture caused him to rediscover his love for his homeland. This led him to engage in a long journey through the field of abstract and architectural photography of landscapes, especially on water or at sea, and to tell stories made up of simple elements.
His main publishing channel is Instagram, by means of which he works with various internationally recognized magazines and brands.