Tomorrow I’ll use two LED lights for a head shot session. In case fill-light is needed I began looking for color temperature similarities in Dracast DRSL-R-400B LED and Impact VA-903 fluorescent studio lights. This being the first time I’ve used this studio set up, if fill-light was needed, the plan was to use both LED and Studio fluorescent lights together; fluorescent being fill-light. Although the Impact lights are for video interviews, I also use them for product shots. Recently I bought a second  LED and will use them together for the first time tomorrow.

With an actor head shot session scheduled tomorrow, today was prep day. I learned that Impact fluorescent lights have varying color readings when read with the Light Spectrum Pro app; I assume fluorescent flicker is why. Now I know they’ll be lousy fill light for LEDs.

I decided to shoot pictures with my iPhone along the way and talk about what I learned.

-Sample color temperature of fluorescent/LED
-The studio on prep day
-The studio on shoot day
-Mark’s head shots
-Other stuff

I first mounted the SpyderCHECKR Color Chart directly on the light stand, but couldn’t adjust it as a ‘stand in’ for my friend Mark- the head shots victim. A Manfrotto Micro Ball head was added for adjusting the SpyderCHECKR in the viewfinder while standing away from the camera. (This one has a cold shoe with a ¼-20 thread)

It helps to see what the camera sees. An HDMI cable from the camera to the TV’s HDMI port works well (except in the case of vertical. (Researching that one later). This viewpoint is from standing behind the SpyderCHECKR.

LEDs-02The SpyderCHECKR is about as tall as my head so I use it for person reference. Pictured here: Nikkor macro 105 2.8. Nikon D750. Gimbal head. Dracast 10″ round.

First reading was of the Impact fluorescent.


DRACAST ADJUSTMENT- 2 dials, one readout
After switching to the Dracast light, dialing in the temperature of 52 (5200k), and setting the power to full, Light Spectrum Pro read 4971k. With the camera WB set to 5000k  Dracast LED had better color than the Impact fluorescent (see photos below).

I knew the fluorescent lights have a green cast (Normally custom WB is used). Now I see just how much. Especially when compared to the Dracast.

Dracast #1 set at 52 (5200k) read 4971
Dracast #2 set at 52 read 4972 (pictured with my two finger tips indicating which light)
Impact read 5054-5060 and 5160

NOTE: This is not scientific by any means. Readings can’t be exact due to the inconsistency of hand holding where the light is read, but as you can see, there are different readings coming from the Impact, where I was able to get almost the exact reading from both Dracast lights


Left-Impact 5 bulb fluorescent. Right-Dracast LED
Note the space around the two lights, and the fact that the chart when using the LED is away from the wall much more than with the fluorescent. Those LEDs will save precious studio space for sure.

Just for fun, take a look at these screen shots from the iPhone video above (DRACAST ADJUSTMENT). Color grading video is the same as processing a still photo. With the app Video LUT, video I can be made new and improved just like stills after a good work over in editing software. LEFT-Before color grading. RIGHT-After color grading.


Two LEDs will be used, backdrop added, mail light position tweaked and/or diffused. Color setting; 5100k. ISO adjusted in order to keep 1/160-250 @ 4.5.

Here’s a sample my husband shot. The focus is off a bit, but the real deal will be much better tomorrow.

Mark Dessauer asked if I shoot actor head shots and I said, no but it sounds fun so lets do it! We made Mark’s current head shots inside and outside. Two LED 10″ rounds were enough, although I would have benefited from a third light. I took a picture of the studio with my iPhone to share it here.




Maybe I can pick up a third LED from B&H Deal Zone. These two Dracast DRSL-R-400B lights were purchased different times for $99 each. (Incl: A/C adapter, light stand, light bag)