Using Constant Light for portraits

I’ve been talking a lot about flash lately and typically flash photographers have a certain “disdain” for constant light which leads me to want to discuss with you the usage of constant light for photographers. Being a portrait and a sports photographer in the beautiful (but cold) city of Montreal, flash in important to me as I need motion to be frozen and images to be crisp.  Well, I did a little test run for this and I spoke to David Lee, an Arizona photographer who uses all 3 sources of light which are natural light, flash or constant light. to see him in the video - skip to 56 seconds! For this test I am using D&O Kino 180W light panel. 

Full disclosure: I wasn’t paid to review or use this but I did receive this unit for free. 

Here are a few things I’ve noticed:

  • When using constant light with flash you have to lower both shutter speed & aperture to let the constant light blend in. Flash is really powerful and can overpower most constant lights. 
  • If used alone with a light less powerful than 180W, you will need to bump your ISO to avoid either a too low shutter speed or shooting too wide open. 
  • This was lighten strictly with a single source of light.

  • Some constant light source are single color. All example the D&O has both colors (5600, 3200K) to match your flash you need to it to have it balanced at 5600K. Keep that in mind if you plan to mix it in your flash workflow.
  • Light panels are great at seeing light. You can easily control how the light behaves by rotating and seeing it’s behavior. Quite refreshing from those low powered modeling lights.
  • Typically, lights that are constant produce harsh/hard light make sure there is a diffusing panel available or that you can modify it with the aid of an umbrella or a modifier. 

  • So that’s it for this blog. I wanted to thank David for his thoughts on lighting. David has a Youtube channel. I encourage you to give him a sub! I also want to thank D&O for sending me this. If you are interested in adding this light to your arsenal, D&O gave me a link where you can get 15% off this panel which is already discounted (600$ off). Use code SUMMER15 on your checkout.

    Hope you enjoyed this and I’ll see you in the next video/blog. 


    Gear used to make this video (Disclosure : The links included in this blog entry are affiliate links to and and other websites. Which means that if you click on them and buy an item, I get a small commission for the referral. Prices do not increase whether you click the links above or found them yourselves. Purchasing through those links allows me to publish more content for you!)

    Sony a7rIII:

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    Sigma 35mm ART 1.4:

    Godox SL-60 :