Photography umbrellas are a popular way to diffusely light a subject with any harsh brightness or extreme contrasts. But how do you decide which types to use, and how do you use them? This article provides an overview on how to use photography umbrellas.
Umbrellas are dual purpose and can either be used for shoot-through or for reflecting lights back at a subject. Umbrellas are very efficient, and do a great job of softening light. Some umbrellas are shoot-through umbrellas, meaning the light goes through the umbrella and is diffused, rather than reflecting off the inside of the umbrella. The light from an umbrella tend to be less directional and may spill more than other modifiers. Photographic umbrellas, like all umbrellas, tend to catch the wind, so any umbrella on a lightstand has to be well secured, especially when used outdoors.
In wedding photography an umbrella can add romance, they can add a taste of style and they can add colour to your wedding. A retro twist here, a vintage twist there or they can do what I love – add an exciting splash of colour to your wedding photos – think bright red or rainbow coloured umbrella with your neutral coloured wedding dress. Or like we did, incorporate the colour scheme (ours was peach and grey, hence the silver heart) into the brolly.
The photographic umbrella is one of the fundamental tools of off-camera flash photography. Because of the low cost, ease of use and effective ability to increase the size of the light source, an umbrella (or brolly) is a useful utility for new and experienced photographers alike.