Portraits with RGB tube led lights

Feat. GODOX TL120


I’ve shared some images from my first session using only RGB tube led lights on the blog earlier this week. This session was made shortly after with a different approach in mind. These RGB tube led lights can be fun to use. As an accessory, a prop, and of course, to light your subject. Let's continue this journey exploring the possibilities.



Working with color is tricky. With so many options, and combinations, you can easily feel overwhelmed. I am using 8 tube led lights, more precisely, I am using 2 GODOX TL120 4 tube kits. It took me a few sessions to really feel comfortable with these. less powerful than my flashes but faster to set up and easier to shoot with as you can immediately see what the light does to your scene, and on your subject.


Sarah Lemzaoui (Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100s and GF 80 mm f/1.7 R WR

1/160sec f/1.7 ISO 100 at 80mm



I will share a little bit more about my experience with them overall, in another video. For now I want to talk about the difficult task of decently exposing your subject while keeping as much detail as possible on your led lights when they are visible in your shot.


Sarah Lemzaoui (Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100s and GF 80 mm f/1.7 R WR

1/160sec f/1.7 ISO 100 at 80mm


Finding the right balance requires a bit of practice. You can easily have a perfect exposure on your subject and lose all the details on your tubes (Clipped highlights), or it’s the other way around, you have all the details you want on your lights but your model is way underexposed.


Sarah Lemzaoui (Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100s and GF 80 mm f/1.7 R WR

1/160sec f/1.7 ISO 50 at 80mm



You can actually see this in the video as my 360° camera is often unable to render the high contrast and saturated colours properly.


Unlike the session I already shared on the blog, the lights are always used as props and therefore are visible in the shot. The easiest way to make this work, is to have your model really close to your lights. I didn't want to do that all the time, so I had to accept and force myself to slightly under-expose my model to keep all those details in my lights. After a few tries I knew how far I could go to be able to recover the details in my shadows in post.


Sarah Lemzaoui (Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100s and GF 80 mm f/1.7 R WR

1/160sec f/1.7 ISO 50 at 80mm




Working those transitions aint easy. Complementary colors work great but the transitions sometimes can be too harsh. On the other hand the easiest way to learn and experiment is to work first with only one colour and then add a nearby (analogous) colour.


The goal of course is to reach that point where you are able to combine any colors effectively and use them only creatively, to convey emotions and better tell your stories.


Sarah Lemzaoui (Toulouse - France)

Fujifilm GFX100s and GF 80 mm f/1.7 R WR

1/160sec f/1.7 ISO 50 at 80mm



Having 8 tubes offers many options. I can create all sorts of shapes or chaotic lines. I was only scratching the surface here, I am still exploring so look out for future posts on the subject here and on social media.. Have you ever considered using RGB tube led lights? For what kind of work? Tell us!