With the amazing low light iso performance of the fuji xpro1 and xe1 I have come to the conclusion that for portraits flash is largely unnecessary in the studio unless I am looking for clean and crisp high key with arctic white backgrounds.
For Hollywood noir I have been using lupolux daylight fresnel units and photofloods from lupolux and Paterson. These units are large and imposing but produce a gorgeous wrap around light. They are cool running but over a couple of hours still get warm.
After seeing a couple of examples of LED’s in use by Damien Lovegrove and Mark Cleghorn I’ve moved into trying LED light banks. A couple of small led units were procured from Amazon which cost around £20 each. These are each around the size of a box of maltesers and run on various types of batteries including AA’s. During a shoot I can hold the unit and position it so the exact light and shadow is applied. With the AA’s each unit gives full light output for 5 hours.
Results are stunning. I had intended to render images black and white but colour and skin tone was rich and satisfying so ended up copying images and having colour and monochrome versions.
Have fashioned some lighting modifiers with silver insulation bubble wrap and gaffer tape so light can be even more controlled and diffused with fabric and lace to give a dappled and more natural effect.
Next have a couple more different units winging their way to me from China so will add a comparison and images to this over the next couple of weeks. In the meantime I recommend you experiment too.