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LED light for outdoor/landscape photography ?

In photographing outdoors, I sometimes find myself wishing for more light. In particular, if I were taking a picture of petroglyphs or rock art in the shadows, there often times is just not enough light. It has got me to thinking; does anyone use a portable hand-held light source outdoors for landscape photography? The new LED lights look very compact and portable.
Alternatively, I imagine that a fill flash could be an option. What flash are outdoor photographers using with the Phase CF camera system?


Well-known member
I do a lot of night work, mainly astro, but incorporate landscape into the frames.

In my experience, LED, is too white, and can alter the image considerably. Amber LED is worse.

What I carry at all times, is a Coleman lantern, you can use propane or white gas. The effect is amazing at night, very muted light, no harsh look to the image and the shadow cut off is not as extreme. It is amazing just how far the light from one lantern can travel and illuminate near landscape objects. The illumination is much easier to work with, unlike the LED lights, which even with a flood can not give the same effect, at least from what I have seen. The other nice feature is you can just let the lantern do the work, not worry about having to hold the LED light source and play it across your scene. Frees up your hands to focus more on the task at hand.

I will use a small LED head lamp to do some pinpoint lighting at times, but with the newer cameras out there, I tend to just push my shadows.

Note, I don't use my MF gear for this type of work as I don't see the need and 35mm does a great job even for larger prints with night work.

This shot is from a Milky Way shoot from last year, single exposure, tracked approx 2 minutes. At 2 minutes the bluff was a bit overexposed, but 1 minute did fine.

Paul Caldwell


Subscriber & Workshop Member
I use the Coast HP5R and HP7R and a monstrous HP314 for night photography and light painting. However, for daylight work as you described I prefer to go old school and just use a white / silver fold up circular reflector for fill.

Btw, for night work with LED, Rosco filters are your friend ...


Well-known member
yes the light output is amazing, I believe I was at ISO 250 for that shot. I just find it so much easier to use than the LED flashlights. Only issue you can run into is making sure the lantern is not in the shot, but there are times it also makes the shot better.

Paul Caldwell


I've been a believer that no artificial light should be used for milky way landscape, and I never knew that a lantern can do such magic work! Really nice pictures there!

By the way, the first picture showed that the top right corner was not tracked well - one more reason not to carry the bulky and heavy tracking mount! :grin:


Well-known member
Hi Voidshatter,


I use a K1 and the internal tracking the camera offers. However most times I need 14mm to 15mm for the scene and due to the rectilinear nature of the ultra wides, the IBS astro tracing feature on the sensor can't accommodate it. So as you pointed out the best image will be in the center of the frame and as you move towards to the top you will start to see trails. For me, it's worth it not to have to carry the extra weight of a tracking device/and time to setup. From what I have determined it's not as much a problem with the tracking in the K1, but instead the use of such a ultra wide lens.

Paul Caldwell