When the very first LED lights came out, they were usually available as a fairly simple torch; that’s what I remember anyway. The light was bright enough, but nowhere near as good as a regular globe and the only benefit was that the battery would last a lot longer. Back in those days I never envisaged that things would improve so significantly and so rapidly (one prediction that I got wrong). Such was not the case and those early, dim, LED lights transformed into something quite different indeed and almost overnight. Not only have they improved, they have taken over every aspect of lighting that you can imagine, from home lighting, camp lighting, car lighting to photography lighting and then some. And this story is a bit of an extension of an earlier story that I wrote a few years ago.
The word ‘photography’ pretty much translates from the ancient Greek words of ‘photos’ (light)and ‘graphe’ (drawing) to mean ‘drawing with light’; so without light, there would be no photography. In the early days, that light was the sun and, as technology advanced, new methods of providing light when there was no sun or the sun was obscured came about. But because of the nature of film in those days, even with emerging incandescent lighting, it required subjects to remain very still for the entire, long, exposure. This drove photography to other methods of lighting such as flash powder, which provided quite a bit of light, but also presented its own problems because of the medium’s volatility.