Lighting modifiers: Umbrellas
Everything you need to know about umbrellas
LIVE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP
Recorded Live on 7th Nov 2019 - Now Available On Replay
Often one of the first modifiers many photographers work with, umbrellas form the focus for this live workshop, where Karl covers everything you need to know about these popular modifiers.
Affordable, portable & versatile lighting solutions
Understand different types of umbrellas
Advantages and disadvantages of umbrella lighting
Creative lighting techniques
Lighting modifier comparisons
Ask your questions
Available on replay
Everything you need to know about umbrella lighting
In our 'Umbrella Lighting' live show, I took a closer look at these popular modifiers, exploring the science behind them, demonstrating how they work and show you exactly how to use them. But for those of you who haven't yet watched the show, below is some of the key information you need to know about umbrellas (all of this is covered in much more detail in the show).
What are umbrella lights used for in photography?
If you’ve ever bought a studio lighting kit, chances are a couple of umbrellas were thrown in too, which means you’ll have at least some knowledge of what they are and how to use them. If you’re totally new to studio lighting, umbrellas are lighting modifiers that are compatible with both studio lights or speedlites and can be used to achieve a few different looks.
Available as shoot-through, reflective or deep, umbrella modifiers are most commonly used for portrait or fashion photography due to the soft, diffused light the shoot-throughs produce and the more contrasty sparkle on reflective silver umbrellas (though I did use an umbrella to mimic natural sunlight in this food shot).
Different types of photography umbrellas
As I’ve already touched on, there are a few different types of umbrellas. These include shoot-through, reflective and deep (sometimes referred to as parabolic) umbrellas, each of which are often available in different sizes.
Shoot-through umbrellas, as the name suggests, are made of white, translucent material which allows you to shoot the light directly through them. Reflective umbrellas have a black outer material and either a white, silver or gold interior lining. Deep umbrellas are similar to reflective umbrellas in that they have a black outer coating and a silver inner lining but are slightly deeper and more parabolic in shape.
In the show I show you how the different types of umbrellas work in the live show and explain the benefits of each, showing a clear comparison of their results.
Do you know the difference between shoot-through, reflective and deep umbrellas? Each of the images above were taken using a different umbrella, but can you tell which was which?
How to use a photography umbrella
There are endless ways to use photography umbrellas — from creating high-key fashion style images to bright, punchy lighting for portraits. In this live show I not only show you how to use umbrellas, I also explain when to use umbrellas and outline some creative techniques for using them.
In many of our courses you’ll see me use modifiers such as softboxes, reflectors and grids and even more expensive light shapers such as ring flashes and paras. But what if I told you that instead of using a $3000 ring flash, you could use a $200 umbrella and get even better results? That’s exactly what I demonstrate in this show — explaining the advantages of umbrellas and how they can be used to get the best results (and what I proved in this past live show).
Remember, the information in this post only touches on a part of what there is to know about umbrella lighting. To learn more, sign up to Karl Taylor Education and get access to thousands of courses and live shows, where you’ll learn both the theory and practical of studio photography.
LIVE PHOTOGRAPHY WORKSHOP
Recorded Live: Now Available On Replay
Umbrellas are often one of the first modifiers many photographers work with. They’re affordable, portable, versatile and easy to use. In this live workshop Karl takes a closer look at when and how to use them.