Flashlights and headlamps for night photography
The time between dusk and dawn is truly beautiful but it can be difficult to capture with just a camera. Sometimes a photographer will need a little extra light to help you capture your next shot. We know this from experience. Hours have been spent trying to capture nighttime environmental product photos and it is not easy! It requires more than our Nikon’s regular flash. We have found that the best flashlights to use for night photography are compact, offer multiple color outputs, feature high CRI value, and come with a hands-free carrying option. Flashlights that offer different color outputs are perfect for photographers interested night painting. However, if you are more into the natural landscape photos then having different brightness levels, and LEDs with a high CRI value will let you capture the natural color of your target. Being compact is essential in most circumstances because you are already lugging around camera equipment and you don’t want to be weighed down even more just for additional light.Lights that come with hands-free capabilities such as headlamps or right-angle pocket clip lights prove to work well because you can illuminate an area while holding your camera steady with both hands!
After dozens of nighttime product photo shoots we have learned that the headlamp that works best is the Fenix HL50 Lightweight all-weather headlamp. The Fenix HL50 is a compact right angle light that you can hold in your hand or attach it to the included headband for a hands-free lighting option. Using the headband is convenient because we can opt to have both hands free for the camera. The Fenix HL50 utilizes a CREE XM-L2 T6 LED bulb which creates a neutral white light output that does not heavily distort how the colors are being rendered in the photos. This flashlight has three main outputs that can illuminate your area to any degree of brightness you need. We recognize the Fenix HL50 costs more than other compact lights that provide the same neutral white output, but you are paying for the option of having a hands-free headband included which can be critical for photographers that spend hours trying to get the perfect night time shot.
Best Lights and Flashlights for Photography
What’s so great about CRI lights?
CRI stands for Color Rendering Index and out flashlights that use CRI technology lets you accurately visualize the colors of the objects in front of you. High color rendering flashlights are critical for night photography because the beam of light will not wash out the natural colors. Neutral and Warm LEDs follow a similar suit. When you have a flashlight or headlamp with neutral LEDs the color will not be washed out like it can be if you are using a light with Cool White LEDs. A photo taken at night will come out the best when you have a flashlight that will produce a neutral, and high color rendering, beam of light. Another helpful aspect of lighting that should be acknowledged when looking for the best flashlights to use for night photography is the Kelvin Temperature of the light beam. For natural night photography, you want to have a light that shows colors as they are in nature. For an accurate color rendering, you want a flashlight with a light temperature that ranges from 4000K to 4700K. This range doesn’t have highly visible blue or red tones that would typically distort your perception, making it the optimal temperature range for night photography.
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