Yoshizen's Blog

LED Lighting in Photography

In most of the case and for most of the people, Photography starts when the subject

was found to be there. = Has found mean [It was seen] = it’s mean [There was a light]

= if it was in a total darkness, we couldn’t see = we don’t notice its existence,

hence no photography.

Though, more of the often, photographer need to take picture because the subject was still

known to be there = it could be a nocturnal animal or cave paintings —– when I needed to take

picture of French wine cellars, it was a challenge. = It has to be clearly visible in the photo, yet to be

seen as a deep dark cellar = what a contradiction especially all the bottles were covered

with black fluffy fungi. 😀


Modern Hi-Tech Camera seemed to be able to see better than our eyes though, it’s light measuring

capability is still only down to EV-o or -1 or so but  Auto Focus doesn’t necessary work under such

dim light. (Hence, Focus-assist-light in the Flash-light or so-called Active Focus System using

projected LED light).

But when the photography has gone outside of “expected scenario” of the use of camera, such as

[Pinhole photo] or use another lens for higher close-up magnification, lords of troubles comes in.

Equivalent F-aperture of Pinhole = F-125 (think, keep stopping-down F-22 to 32, 45, 64, 90

then to 125) or F-250 is far beyond of what camera can handle.—– Or, use a lens in reverse to

have x5 magnification, the image become too dark to see in the view finder

= additional strong light become necessary.


Thanks to the easiness to use LED, which doesn’t heat-up the subject like as Halogen-light does,

I’ve been using them as a focus-light or even to take picture. = Use one or some LED to make a

focus-light is very easy such as seen in the another post [Tiny Life] (link here) —– it is just a

matter to connect LED to a power, normally to the battery(s), normally series with

small register. (I’m going to write about those “Technical” details in the next post) but an

easiest way is to utilize ordinary LED Torch-Lamp or even a USB Keyboard light which you can

find in a Pound-shop.  🙂


Here some sample demonstration (of simple adaptation or simple “mod” work 😀 )

This is a little adaptation of a 1W LED Torch-Lamp (This one need only 2xAA battery !

= I’ll talk about a significance of 2xAA battery in the next post) —– in order to mount the lamp

to a stand, a piece of C-channel was drilled and 1/4” screw was tapped.

Use it as a spot light or diffused light etc is just up to your imagination.

And this is a way to use USB light.  = USB sockets were fixed and soldered to a piece of

circuit-board and they were connected to an 4xAA battery holder which acts as a stand as well.

One light has only one LED hence used as a spot-light and other has line of 5 LEDs hence covering

it with tissue-paper, it can be used as a diffused-light.

—– USB light was designed to be used on USB socket though, as long as it was

connected to 5V it will light up. (4×1.5V battery may give, up to 6V on the beginning though,

it wouldn’t destroy the LED, and even if you connected wrong polarity, it wouldn’t destroy them

neither, simply it wouldn’t light up = connect other-way round to make it light)

USB connector has 4 pins, of which both outside pins are carrying 5V supply.  You may find which

is + with multiple-tester though,  in this LED light case, JUST Connect = if it’s light = It’s right. 😀

Female USB socket can be taken out from Multiple USB Port which you can buy from £1 shop

= it’s much cheaper than to buy socket itself.  😀

If you don’t have soldering-iron and such skill, just smash open the USB plug = you

may find 2 wires in the spiral tube = fix the spiral tube with wire or what-so-ever the

manner and connect each wire to the battery + and – = if it doesn’t light-up,

change polarity.

(If you want to place the USB light on the camera, best way is to use camera bracket and fix the

spiral tube to the bracket and the cables can be extended to the battery holder.

(1m, 2m of wire wouldn’t make noticeable change of the brightness of LED)


If you are interested in = just try.

You may realized how easy it is, and fun to experiment with mini photo-studio !


7 Responses

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  1. drawandshoot said, on June 23, 2012 at 03:09

    Creative lighting, Yoshizen!

    • yoshizen said, on June 23, 2012 at 03:29

      Yah, in its tiny scale 😀
      Remember ?, our people also invented Bonsai 😀

  2. Lemony (Gr)Egghead said, on July 1, 2012 at 00:37

    I’ll have to experiment with this. You make it sound fairly easy… well, and at least some fun… the idea smashing up a USB plug, etc. 🙂 I’m inspired by your resourcefulness!

  3. yoshizen said, on July 1, 2012 at 01:08

    Good girl ! It’s very easy, but at least you need to get hold 4xAA battery holder
    and 2 (or 3) Spiral USB light. When you got material, tell me what you got include the tools.
    I’ll put additional instruction and photo to show [how to make] with your material and tool.
    ( Or would you like to try and find everything by yourself ?)

  4. Frank P. said, on July 8, 2012 at 09:46

    Great improvising. It’s awesome how the led lighting technology spreads its “claws” all over the domains today. I mean we got street lamps, TV’s, flashlights, car lights and many more.

  5. Zeiss Talon Lens | Yoshizen's Blog said, on May 8, 2015 at 22:45

    […] Bokeh on its close-up shot.    And the photo center was x1.5 […]

  6. Rice Beetle | Yoshizen's Blog said, on March 4, 2018 at 19:19

    […] I got few homemade macro lens. —– and I chose the Instamatic Macro and a LED illumination.  It was always the case, improvised Hi-magnification macro is very awkward — still, it was […]

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