LED Lights for Photography

Ron Niebrugge Anza-Borrego, California, Photos, Travel 2 Comments

Slot Canyon, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California.

Slot Canyon, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California.

I have had a number of people ask how I was lighting my night images like this statue, or this slot.

First, as a general technique, much like using camera flash – multiple light sources, off camera work best since you get shadows and depth.  Second, in order to see the stars, you really need very little light on your foreground.  If the foreground is too bright, then the shutter speed it too fast to really show most of the stars, so it really takes very little light.

So in my search for a LED panel, I had a few goals.  Battery powered was a must, preferably rechargeable.  I really wanted one that was dim-able so that I could control the intensity.   I was hoping it would have gels, since most lights need to be warmed, and barn doors to help direct the light would be a big plus.  Finally, I didn’t want to pay a fortune.  Since I live in Alaska, I wouldn’t need them in the Summer – these will sit in our RV and only used for Winter travels.

What I ended up with was  Yongnuo Professional LED Video Lightflash YN300      At $70, it was definitely inexpensive.  At 2,200 lumen, it is very bright!  In fact, I end up using it a the dimmest possible setting.  It takes readily available Sony video camera rechargeable batteries – you can find third party batteries and chargers also at Amazon.  A 5,800 mah battery lasts over 2 hours at the max power, and forever on the min power.  It has attachable gels, barn-doors, and handle and even a remote control.

I’m sure the much more expensive lights are built more rugged, but this light has worked fine even after the tripod it was attached to blew over in the wind.  So far, I would say for the price, it is a great value.

Now for additional lighting, after reading some positive reviews, I opted for this Coleman LED Lamp:   It has 4 separate removable panels giving me up to 4 more separate lights. I like using it in the lantern mode for setup, then pull of individual panels for supplemental lighting.  I do tape some warm gel material since they tend to be a bit cool for my taste.

The biggest drawback to the Coleman – even though the individual panels have a built in rechargeable batteries for when they are removed from the base – the base is powered through a bunch of D batteries.  I do wish it had a rechargeable that could be plugged in.  It isn’t dim-able either, so I vary the intensity my adjusting the distance.  But, other then that, it has worked great, it gives me lots of flexibility giving me 5 total lights.

 

Anza-Borrego Weekend

Ron Niebrugge Anza-Borrego, California, Photos, Travel 2 Comments

Beavertail Cactus, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California.

Beavertail Cactus, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California.

Had a fun workshop last weekend!  Great group of people, and interesting weather including rain, cool clouds and nice sunrises and sunsets.

Couldn’t wait to get out myself – This is from last night as Janine, and our friend Andy chased hummingbirds and sunsets!

Anza-Borrego Photography Workshop

Ron Niebrugge Anza-Borrego, Photos, Travel Leave a Comment

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California.

I have been doing spring weekend workshops in Anza-Borrego for many years now, and with rain in the forecast, this weekends could be really interesting!

I haven’t mentioned my Anza-Borrego workshops at all this year and I kinda feel bad – when people inquire about signing up Anza-Borrego Photography Workshops, I tell them to keep an eye on Facebook, or my blog for information, as I usually begin to promote it in the late fall.  This year my weekend workshops filled last Summer back when I first put them on my website and emailed prior guests, before I had a chance to even mention them here, so I apologize to those who missed out.  In the future, we are going to add a email sign up list to our website so I can send out notices a couple of times a year of our workshop offerings to everyone at once.

Borrego Springs Sculpture

Ron Niebrugge Anza-Borrego, California, Photos, Travel Leave a Comment

Sculpture, Borrego Springs, California.

Sculpture, Borrego Springs, California.

I spent last night photographing one of the many cool sculptures found around Borrego Springs.  I lit this one with a couple of LED panels.  I tried a red one it its mouth, but not sure if I like that version – a bit over the top, but interesting.

 

Anza-Borrego Slot Canyon

Ron Niebrugge Anza-Borrego, California, Photos, Travel Leave a Comment

Slot Canyon, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California.

Slot Canyon, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California.

 

Since the slot canyons around Page, Arizona had changed so much between our June and September visits due to flashing flooding. I figured we better check out the one here in Borrego, since this area experience the same weather.

There are a few more boulders that fell down from above, but none of them block the canyon. And, the cool mud arch is still standing – barely.

 

Common Yellowthroat

Ron Niebrugge Anza-Borrego, California, Photos, Travel 2 Comments

Common Yellowthroat, Borrego Springs, California.

Common Yellowthroat, Borrego Springs, California.

I have been trying for a couple of evenings to get a nice clean image of this beautiful bird, but it likes to stay in the thick reeds watching for bugs to pounce on.  So, I decided to embrace the reeds by including the plants.  🙂   As Janine pointed out, seems like such a beautiful bird shouldn’t have “Common” as part of its name.