Atmospheric session in a hair salon with GlareOne lamps

Light in photography plays the first fiddle! After all, without it, no photo would be created, and it shapes the character of the photos. How many times have you waited for a beautiful golden hour, or hid in the shadows during sessions taken at noon? The next step in the development of most photographers is to reach for artificial light. Here, of course, we can choose between flash and continuous light, and each has its advantages and disadvantages, which I will briefly write about. Flash is all about power. For example, the GlareOne Vega 400 flash, which costs 700 zloty, can easily manage to illuminate a sizable set with exposure parameters of ISO100, f/8, 1/200s. At a similar budget, in continuous light there is no question about it – continuous light is simply weaker – end of the dot. However, it’s important to remember that we don’t always need such exposure parameters, in fact the opposite – during my shoot I worked at ISO800, f/2 and 1/160s. Continuous light is easier to tame, because you can just see it, and what you see on the camera screen will be recorded the same way in the final photo. Myself, I don’t take sides – I use both flash and continuous light, selecting them to suit the needs of a particular project. For the rest, the continuous light market only got interesting in recent years, when LED technology began to displace discharge, halogen or fluorescent solutions. Of course, the film industry still uses discharge lamps, but the undisputed market leader Arri is also getting stronger into LED technology, which is definitely a good sign. But not about that…because, after all, this is a description of our session, not the LED lamp market. However, let’s start with what I selected to implement it.

Equipment list:

GlareOne LED2000D BiColor x 2 – this is my main lamp in this shoot and it gets the job done! It has 200 watts, so there’s plenty of power, plus it has a variable color temperature in the 2700-6500K range. This was a key parameter in choosing a lamp for this shoot, as I wanted to match the color of the light to the lighting in the hair salon. In addition, the lamp can be powered by both mains and V-Mount batteries using an optional adapter.

GlareOne LEDAV is just the optional adapter for powering the 2000D BiColor and 1500D lamps using V-Mount batteries. Thanks to it, without additional cables my lamp could work outdoors. One 190Wh battery can power the lamp at full power for up to an hour.

GlareOne LED 1000 – is a 100-watt lamp with a constant daylight color temperature. In my shoot, I used it mainly to illuminate myself during filming. This is a very good and inexpensive lamp that will work well for both photography and film. Its biggest advantage is the power of 100 watts, so it can easily cope with illuminating wider sets and using “light” modifiers, all for the price of PLN 799.

GlareOne Softbox Hexa 120 PRO with grid – this is a new line of softboxes that is really great! The new unfolding system with rods that you bend towards the ring is fast and convenient, plus nothing obscures the light source as in the case of classic softboxes with umbrella unfolding. In addition – the rods are on the outside of the softbox, so they do not slide out of the softbox when folded, as well as due to this, the softbox has a rounder shape. The biggest advantage of PRO softboxes is color neutrality – they don’t change the color of the lamp light at all, so we don’t have to worry about any rippling.

GlareOne LED Fresnel Kit – is a small lens cap that is ideal for focusing light. Thanks to a wide range of adjustment, we can focus the light achieving a stage light effect, as well as increase its intensity, illuminating only the elements of interest. A pleasant gradient appears on the edge of light and shadow.

GlareOne LED20 BiColor – is a small, lightweight but powerful LED panel with variable color temperature. It can be powered by both NP-F batteries and using the included power supply. It is great for background lighting, hair, as a fill or contrail.

GlareOne Fatboy Boom – is a sturdy, tall c-stand boom type tripod. It will work great both in the studio (it is worth equipping it with dedicated wheels) and in the field, where it is incomparably more stable than classic tripods. It has a large lifting capacity, and the boom-type design is ideal for beauty photography, where we often want the flash to be in alignment with the camera.

Canon R5 with 28-70 mm f/2.0 L – this is the kit I used to complete the entire shoot. It’s fast, doesn’t make noise at high ISO, and the lens draws well and blurs the background nicely.

The intention of the session

Some time ago, the hair salon I’ve been using for years – Hedonist Hair – changed its location, and when I came there for the first time, I immediately knew that sooner or later I would realize a photo shoot there. The interior is heavily industrial, but decorated with taste with lots of interesting accessories and natural vegetation. An additional advantage are the large windows, and since the premises are on the first floor, you can easily get light from the street. Konrad, the owner, also took care of good lighting – both that which is supposed to make the atmosphere – designer lamps on the ceiling and wall sconces – and that by which the hairdressers work – white, strong spot lighting over each of the stations. However, I was only interested in the former – it’s what creates the atmosphere of the place.

I wanted to do the session in a rather dark atmosphere, using only artificial light, so it was created only in the evening. The whole thing was to have a slightly old-school character and interesting lighting complemented by smoke, which helps bring out the rays of the control light. All this had been brewing in my head for a long time and I was finally able to realize the idea. For posing I invited Ala Jurek, who perfectly fits into this atmosphere, in turn styling was provided by Amelia Krząpa, which completed the whole. The video footage was shot by Sebastian Górecki, and we were assisted by Remek Krzyzaniak.

First photos

We started with a simple but striking outfit – shiny pants and a voluminous blouse. I mainly wanted wider frames, although there were also some closer ones – an undoubted advantage of the zoom, which allowed me to totally change the angle of view in a second. During the whole session I relied mainly on wider focal lengths in the 28-50 mm range. After all, I didn’t plan to do the session in the living room to hide it through a long focal length. We shot by the window and mirror, against a backdrop of sprawling palm trees, which refracted the light brilliantly, and the smoke further enhanced the effect. The lighting was fairly simple, but not obvious. The living room was lit with ceiling lamps and wall sconces with halogen bulbs at +/- 3000K. I wanted to match this light, so I used two 2000D Bi Color lamps set at 2700K, making them shine very similar to the living room lighting. The first lamp went to the street on a Fatboy Boom tripod, which I additionally weighted down with a sandbag. I put a lens on it and focused the light so that it only hit the window behind Ala. The infinitely adjustable focus is very convenient, because I have full control over the angle of the light. I didn’t waste it by shining it into the walls next to the windows, but filled the entire window perfectly. The lamp was running on about 50% power from the V-Mount battery.

The second light was the same lamp, but with a Hexa 120 PRO softbox with a grid, also set to 2700K. Thanks to the softbox, the light was soft, but thanks to the grid – directed, so that I did not illuminate the entire interior of the living room, but only the model. I set the power of the lamps so that it dominated the frame, but did not extinguish the lamps permanently installed in the living room. Here I really appreciated the ability to change the color temperature in the lamps. Otherwise, I would have had to use gel filters, and yes – just a flick of a finger across the potentiometer and there you go! Of course, I could also mix color temperatures, which would also give an interesting effect, but here I was definitely more comfortable with the uniformity of the color scheme. Exposure parameters are 1/160s, f/2, ISO800.

In this photo I used a cool light on the front and a warm light on the back. It’s ok, but the aligned color scheme was more to my liking.

Another set

Alla dressed up in a sequined dress in bottle green. This played perfectly with my sizable mondel, which stands on the sill of the second window. I wanted to achieve a slightly different atmosphere – I wanted to simulate the effect of the strong, cold light of the full moon streaming into the living room. The 2000D Bi-Color fresnel lamp still stood outside, but this time with a color temperature of 6500K. Unlike the first photos, I wanted to vary the color temperatures. So a cool light fell on Ala, but you can see the warm light from the wall sconces in the background. I passed the light through the dense leaves of the monstera, and unfortunately the shadows were too deep in places. Here, however, an LED20 lamp also with a temperature of 6500K came to the rescue, which I set at the height of Ali’s chest. It gave me more reflections in the sequins and filled in the deep shadows.

Then, without changing the styling, we changed the shooting angle. Now the monstera and the window were behind Ali’s back. However, I ran out of light on her face, so the LED20 lamp became my main light. I changed its temperature dye to 2700K, so that it was agreed with the world, thanks to get yet another effect – warm light on the face and cool on the outside. Of course, I topped the whole thing off with smoke, which in a way became the theme of the shoot. Exposure parameters all the time oscillated around ISO800, f/2, 1/160s.

Curtains play first fiddle

At Hedonist Hair, part of the salon is hidden behind thick satin curtains of furious orange. They had to be in the photos! Alla wore another sequined dress in strong purple. And after airing out the room, I started thinking about the light. I came to the conclusion that a light that would mimic stage spotlights would work best. So I used the same set that stood outside the rest of the time and created the atmosphere of the place – it was a 2000D BiColor lamp with a fresnel. I set the proper focus of the light and started shooting.

Here the continuous light showed both its advantage and disadvantage. I could control the position of the lamp and the model in real time, because I could see exactly how the light was shining, but the disadvantage was that I couldn’t use more power to keep Ala from squinting. My exposure parameters were ISO400, f/2.8 and 1/160 sec, and I would have preferred to use f/5.6, 1/200s and ISO100, which would have been possible only with flash. However, this doesn’t mean that I’m not satisfied with the photos, on the contrary! After the first pictures, I noticed that what is out of the light is lost in too deep a shadow. Here, however, the LED1000 lamp, which was mainly used to illuminate me for video footage, came to my aid. I increased its power and bounced the light off the gray wall, so the shadow was still deep, but not as much, I after the first shots. The light was ready, so my job was just to work with the model and vary the frames. We are finishing the session!

A few words at the end

As you can see, LED lights are not only suitable for filming, but they do equally well in photography. It all depends on the needs and intention of the shoot. Here, the continuous light from GlareOne was ideal mainly due to its ability to adjust color temperature and battery power – two powerful features in the LED2000D BiColor. However, it’s not only the technical aspects that matter here, as it’s really all about the idea and proper execution. Even having such an interior, but coming there in the daytime with a reporter’s lamp and a model in jeans and a white T-shirt – it would have no right to succeed. In such sessions, every element is important – the idea, the right model, styling and skillful handling of light. When it all plays out, good results are guaranteed!

Jakub Kaźmierczyk – Profile

My name is Kuba Kaźmierczyk and I have been professionally engaged in photography for over 10 years. It’s something that accompanies me every day during my sessions, but also in my free time. I strive to be a versatile photographer, which is why my portfolio includes photos from various fields of photography. Commercially, I mainly work with companies creating photos for advertising campaigns. I have worked for companies such as Renault, Dacia, Lexus, Grycan, Pizza Hut, KFC, Burger King, Eurobank, Shopee, Acer, Olympus, and many others. I photograph interiors, products, people, and culinary subjects. After hours, I indulge in portrait and fashion photography – it gives me the most pleasure and satisfaction, especially when creating thoughtful sessions with interesting stylizations. I increasingly reach for analog cameras, which make me feel like I’m returning to the roots. I like to challenge myself and try new things – underwater and drone photography, for example. During my numerous trips, I observe the bustling life of the city, photograph landscapes, food, and the local community.

My second area of activity is photographic education, both live and online. I actively manage social media, record videos for my YouTube channel, and engage in preparing training materials for the platform. Recently, I’ve been developing the photographic path of the platform, a community of photographers, where I create numerous photographic guides. I also conduct live streams, during which I do sessions, edit photos, and provide business advice.

I also collaborate with many companies in the photography industry, leaders in their fields. Mutual support and appreciation of my work are extremely important to me, and thanks to it, I can prepare materials from photo sessions and demonstrate the practical use of equipment. I collaborate, of course, with Peak Design, as well as brands such as GlareOne, Canon, OM-System, Eizo, Wacom, Manfrotto, Acer, Nvidia, WD, Sandisk.

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