LEDs for Photography
For those of you aspiring photographers out there, we have good news. You don't need professional lighting equipment to take professional quality photos. That's right-whether you're shooting in a studio or on-location, expensive lighting equipment is not a must. External flashes and strobes can often be replaced by just a single LED. A simple LED camping headlight is a good place to start and they generally cost only $10-$20. It is best to use headlight equipped with multiple light streams that you can control. This way, you can customize the amount of light transmitted. Having multiple light streams allows you to effortlessly experiment with all sorts of looks. You can go dramatic, dark, stark, edgy, bright...you get the idea. LEDs are especially great for portraits because it's so easy to be artistic.
For these shots, try to eliminate any backdrop so there is no sense of the subject's placement. You may have the stand several feet from the wall to create the illusion of emptiness. Next, get rid of all other light sources. The LED should be the only thing providing illumination in order to achieve a nice contrast. As for light placement, the LED should be 1 foot above the subject, and 2 feet away from the subject's face. If this is too close, move the light farther away while maintaining the 1:2 ratio. This angle helps to minimize awkward shadows. Remember to test out the different number of light streams to see which look suits the picture.
Photos on-location often require an extra source of light. There's no other way to get rid of unwanted shadows. LEDs work well as an added light source for when existing lighting conditions are too dim. The subject's face should be as close as possible to the primary light source (whether it be a window, the sun, etc). Then use the LED as a secondary source of light to help soften lines and shadows. Pull the LED as far away as possible from the subject without compromising the shot. If the LED is too close, the lighting may be flat.