In The Field – Amaran LED as a Portrait Light

Although our Amaran LED series is intended as a video light, it’s not strictly limited to that use. Amaran can also be used as a fill or even key light for your portraiture, in place of off-camera flash, or in conjunction with it.

Late last year, I had a client with an unusual request: natural portraiture on the streets here in China. It was an unusual but refreshing request from clients who usually want simple white background portraits.

Amaran to the rescue

We had just released a few new Amaran LEDs, one including color temperature control (AL-198C). I thought it would be the perfect complement to help light under the ever-changing street lights I knew I would encounter. Sometimes you’re faced with orange or blue or red-tinted street lights, and this light would theoretically give me some ability to correct for that without having to go crazy in post.

For most of the shots, I used a Trigmaster Plus to fire my flash, but there were many occasions where I made use of the Amaran LED. I even found that the light was so bright, I was usually shooting on a very low light-level. And indeed I was able to compensate for off-color street light by adjusting the color temperature wheel as needed.

Also a first for me this time was shooting with a 50mm 1.2L. It’s was an absolute joy to use, and I’m sure it’ll be a fixture on my camera in the future.

Here are a few examples from the shoot. See if you can figure out which ones used the Amaran, and which ones didn’t…

Jesse Warren is a night-street-portrait-loving photographer, based in Shenzhen, China.

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