hair light

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every couple weeks when you big market guys from up the highway come down to my market i see you use an amber gel over a smaller light boomed behind the report during the live shot. What color gel and type of light are you guys using. cause it looks a hell of a lot better than mine.


Any amber gel and any small light will do. It's not rocket science.


Get out there and try it yourself. Experimenting with light is a fun way to hone your craft. When you have some downtime give it a shot and see what works.



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Most people I know use a Lowel Pro Light with a dimmer and diffusion for a hair light. At our station we often put an Omni with a Chimera with the extra baffle and maybe a gel in it way up high on a C-stand. The Pro light is a lot easier to work with though.

I don't know exactly which amber gel we use. Some times with a blonde I'll use a "straw" yellow gel, but in general I avoid using gels in my hair lights.

Next time those guys are in town, ask them what they're using.


David R. Busse

Well-known member
I also like using a backlight at night with a dichroic filter...especially in snowstorms. I'm an old film guy and can't get used to this "hair light"'s a backlight to me, and generally, the colder the better.

Watch the chase scene in "The Deer Hunter" if you want to see the effect...

Try an 85 gel if you are looking for the amber effect.


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OK "stiffler" you asked so I broke out my ROSCOLUX gel samples to look up the gels you are asking about. There are several to chose from which will give you the look you desire. So here they are:

#11 Light Straw
#15 Deep Straw
#16 Light Amber
#3 Dark Bastard Amber

These are the ROSCOLX numbers and names good luck. The ROSOCOLUX #85 is a Deep Blue just to let you know. Different companys may have a different numbering system.

For the record I am one of those that "2000lux" refers to that use a Lowel Pro Light with a dimmer as a backlight. I also use a Snooot on it to give a round edge to the light. Mounted on a heavy duty light stand with a sandbag and a lobo arm so the light is held high about the talent just back of the head and shoulders.


"Racing is life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting." --Steve McQueen

Terry E. Toller

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I like the "Bastard Amber" by Rosco. Besides a nice warming effect, it's just fun to say... Don't forget the dimmer! Or, at least defuse the hair light. Too often I see hair lights that are the same intensity as the key light and it looks AWFUL!


One look I like is even backlight on both shoulders. Almost an edge light falling evenly and without spill down the subject's chest. To get it, I put a light (I love a Mole Tweeny with a 350 lamp and some diffusion) on a c-stand about four feet behind the person. Then point and spot the light at the back of the person's neck. Flood it full, raise the c-stand so the angle of the light falls evenly on both shoulders, flag off lens flare with black wrap clipped to the top barn door. Let it simmer for three or four minutes, then serve.

I've found that this fast method works well with bald guys, too. You want some back light, but not the dreaded head-shine. So pull the wrap on the barn door down enough to take the light off the head so it just lights the tops of the shoulders.
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