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Diffusing the light with an umbrella

From: Up and Running with Studio Strobes

Video: Diffusing the light with an umbrella

Now I'm a real big fan of the beauty dish. So, one of the things that I'm going to do, take that off carefully trying not to hit the dome.

Diffusing the light with an umbrella

Now I'm a real big fan of the beauty dish. Most of the time when you get a kit, however, you'll get something called an umbrella. And the umbrellas can have their special uses, and special challenges. Rich, you have a couple of different umbrellas there. Why don't you tell me about them. >> Yeah, and It's pretty easy to be confused by what these are for. We've got one that's white, and one that's silver. So, the outside is not reflective at all. But the inside in this case, white. Other one I have here is a bit more mottled and silver. And it has a little bit of a texture on it.

As you turn that around, you can see that it's going to not just diffuse the light and reflect it back, but it's got some speckling, which is going to break it up. >> And the nice thing Rich, about an umbrella, is they're very easy to set up, they throw out very soft light. You don't have to worry about lots of shadows. But on the flip side, you don't control the lights really well, they just kind of go everywhere. Let's go ahead, and switch out the beauty dish, with the really large silver umbrella. Let's take a look at how that looks. >> Alright. So, one of the things that I'm going to do, is I'm going to go ahead and set this down.

Rather than juggle things, I'm going to do one thing at a time. So we'll release this take that off carefully trying not to hit the dome. And we're going to attach this. There we go. Excuse me for a second. Let's make sure we don't brush our talent. Are you okay? >> Yeah, I'm okay. >> Alright. There we go. And of course Abba, the light is now going the wrong direction, right? >> As a matter of fact, this is the absolute wrong way to direct your light. And as you see Rich is turning it around 180 degrees now. I do want to point out, there is something called a shoot-through umbrella, where sometimes you can remove part or all of the black outer casing.

And it becomes basically a diffuser. So don't be surprised if you see somebody using an umbrella, and shooting through it in the other direction. It does serve that purpose. Now not all umbrellas have that shoot through option. So don't rip apart an umbrella by accident, and find out you just broke your umbrella. >> Alright, why dont you give that a shot, and let me know where you need it positioned. >> Okay, sounds good. I see that you raised it a little bit, and thank you for that. And it's going to flood the light down on to Valerie. And we'll do the same set up on three, two, one.

Now in this case, because of the dark background, that umbrella gave us a really nice shot. It gave us plenty of light along her entire torso. She's beautifully lit. And I get a little bit of separation from the background. So, I really like this. Now, if I wanted to play with this umbrella, I could raise it and lower it. Or rotate it around so that it hits the back wall a little more, as well as hitting Valerie. And get completely different looks. So, Rich, you brought it down, and you rotated it a little bit? >> Yep.

>> Okay, let's take a look. Three, two, one. >> Higher or lower? >> Rich, I actually like to use my umbrellas generally higher because it reflects more like the sun, and that's a more natural look. >> Alright, we'll take this higher. Course we have to be careful that we don't hit the ceiling. So we want to balance that out. That's pretty good, why don't you give that a shot Abba, see what you think. >> Okay, let's check it out. Three, two, one I really like where this is going.

But I do notice that underneath her chin, I have a little bit more of a shadow, because I raised it up. Now Rich, this is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of that reflector that we learned about earlier, and the umbrella, to really fill in our shadows. And we can very quickly get a nicely balanced shot. >> Alright, so I have the foam core. I don't have as much modeling light to work with since it's going away from me, and it's being diffused. But I can still get an idea, as I angle that where it's going. And, am I in your shot? >> You're in the shadow a little bit but we can crop it out.

The big thing we want to make sure is you get low enough that we reflect some of that light up underneath her chin so we don't have that dark shadow. Okay, one, two, three Okay Rich, just bring it in a little bit closer. We'll take the shot, three, two, one Now we have a lot of the shadow filled in on her face. We can always re-position the bounce guard and work it that way. Alright, let's go ahead and try to use one of the reflectors, because that's going to give us a little bit more light.

Three, two, one And I really like what we have here. That's a lot more filled in. The shadows are a lot softer Rich, and I think we're pretty close. >> What you saw there that worked out really well, is still with just one light and a cheap piece of equipment. We really had two lights and it made it that much better. Now in this class, Abba has me helping him, so I could sit there and move it. As the photographer, you might want to take advantage of your wireless controls. So you could sit there and actually trigger the shot. This is one of those benefits of shooting tethered so you can actually see what's happening as you're working.

And what would, that would allow you to do is actually make adjustments, trigger the shot. Look at it on the larger monitor, and you can actually make adjustments. Then using light stands or other grip equipment, you can set that and walk away. Of course it is a lot more fun to shoot with two people, and that's going to work out well for you. So perhaps you can find an assistant for the day, or take turns helping out a friend and asking them to help you. Alright let's go forward and take a look at some other modifiers.

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This video is part of

Image for Up and Running with Studio Strobes
Up and Running with Studio Strobes

62 video lessons · 5550 viewers

Richard Harrington and Abba Shapiro

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  1. 4m 6s
    1. Welcome
      2m 4s
    2. What you should know to get the most from this course
      2m 2s
  2. 6m 26s
    1. Shooting with strobes
      1m 23s
    2. Strobe lighting allows you to shoot with an increased depth of field
    3. Strobe lighting has faster recharge times than flashes
      1m 39s
    4. Strobe lighting is good at freezing action
    5. Strobe lighting offers many modifiers to shape light
      1m 38s
  3. 7m 34s
    1. Continuous lighting is easier for a beginner to understand
      1m 47s
    2. Continuous lighting makes it easier to achieve soft-light looks
      2m 57s
    3. Continuous lighting is useful if mixing video into the shoot
      2m 50s
  4. 20m 47s
    1. Buying piecemeal vs. buying a kit
      2m 29s
    2. Criteria for selecting lights
      5m 57s
    3. How many lights do you need?
      3m 0s
    4. How much power do you need
      5m 37s
    5. Mixing brands
      3m 44s
  5. 16m 40s
    1. Monolights and flash heads
      2m 22s
    2. Reflectors and diffusers
      3m 54s
    3. Lighting stands and booms
      3m 49s
    4. Power pack or power supplies
      4m 29s
    5. Sync cable
      2m 6s
  6. 19m 7s
    1. Handling the lamp or bulb
      2m 52s
    2. The role of the modeling light
      4m 36s
    3. Keeping lights cool
      1m 46s
    4. The master and slave relationship for lighting
      4m 5s
    5. Essential controls
      5m 48s
  7. 14m 59s
    1. Connecting the sync cable
      3m 16s
    2. Using a wireless transmitter
      7m 7s
    3. Slaving with a speedlight
      4m 36s
  8. 34m 6s
    1. Setting shutter sync speed
      4m 56s
    2. Setting an initial aperture and ISO
      2m 28s
    3. Controlling power output
      3m 1s
    4. Moving lights (the inverse-square rule)
      2m 8s
    5. Using a light meter in camera
      4m 4s
    6. Using an external light meter
      1m 45s
    7. Test shooting with one light at a time
      2m 5s
    8. Putting it all together
      1m 39s
    9. Controlling exposure with power or aperture
      1m 6s
    10. Refining exposure with ISO
      1m 39s
    11. Tethering to a laptop
      5m 22s
    12. Checking the shots on a computer
      3m 53s
  9. 31m 38s
    1. Modifying strobe lights
      1m 9s
    2. Bouncing the light with a reflector
      4m 26s
    3. Bouncing the light with a bounce card
      1m 12s
    4. Shaping the light with a beauty dish
      3m 5s
    5. Diffusing the light with an umbrella
      5m 50s
    6. Diffusing the light with a softbox
      4m 49s
    7. Focusing the light with a snoot
      6m 58s
    8. Modeling the light with grids and honeycombs
      2m 2s
    9. Using flags to restrict the light
      2m 7s
  10. 14m 50s
    1. Three-light setup
      6m 52s
    2. Three-light dramatic portrait
      4m 59s
    3. Four-light setup
      2m 59s
  11. 46m 56s
    1. Take the challenge
    2. Solution
    3. Portrait challenge 1
      8m 6s
    4. Portrait challenge 2
      3m 10s
    5. Portrait challenge 3
      12m 55s
    6. Portrait challenge 4
      3m 19s
    7. Portrait challenge 5
      4m 28s
    8. Portrait challenge 6
      9m 5s
    9. Portrait challenge 7
      4m 29s
  12. 39s
    1. Next steps

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