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Uses of Modifiers: Umbrellas

Lesson 16 from: FAST CLASS: How to Shoot with your First Flash

Mike Hagen

Uses of Modifiers: Umbrellas

Lesson 16 from: FAST CLASS: How to Shoot with your First Flash

Mike Hagen

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Lesson Info

16. Uses of Modifiers: Umbrellas

Lesson Info

Uses of Modifiers: Umbrellas

first thing you gotta consider with an umbrella is the size, and you already know the answer before even asking the question. The answer is bigger. Bigger is better. Um, there are a number of different sizes of umbrellas. You know there's some like in the inch range, 32 inch, 45 inch 60 inch, which is almost five feet in the more years I do photography, flash photography the bigger my umbrellas get. You know, I started out like everyone else. I'm like, Oh, I need an umbrella So you go up on the Internet or this time it was go to the camera store. You know, back in those days when they used to exist and I go to the camera store and I'm like, Ooh, that one's $30. I think I can afford it, But it's about this big, you know? So I had that umbrella for a number of years, and it was a it was actually a 32 inch umbrella. And then, as I kept shooting caption, you realized I need a bigger umbrella. So I bought a slightly bigger one about like a 45 inch and now holy cow I've got some big honking...

ones, and I'll show those two and we'll swim team right now. What the heck? Why wait? All right. So there are a number of different styles of umbrellas from almost all of them are kind of round like that. This is a silver umbrella. Okay, so its silvered on the inside silver is very highly reflective. So if you find over time that your flashes just don't have enough oomph, for example, maybe you like shooting at F 11 2 F 16. For the specific scenario that you have, you're gonna need more reflection. You know, you're more of the light to actually reflect back onto the subject. So then you might use a silver umbrella that said, for most of my portrait work for a number of years, I've used white umbrellas. I think white is gentle. Er kinder, softer, takes less skill to use is more forgiving. All of those words going toe white. Uh, this umbrellas made by a company called Pro Photo. And in the industry, they're kind of the best, you know, Pro photo gear. And I know other professional photographers. There's lots of other gear out there. I personally use pro photo gear. I like it. It's durable. It's tough. This one has a spring. It's spring loaded, you know, It's just it's high end stuff, and it's never gonna break. And even if it does break, they're always gonna back their product. It's not cheap, though. It's not cheap. You can find yourself a good umbrella that'll work, you know, in the $30 range. Stuff like this from pro photos mawr into the 150 to $250 range. Okay, we also I mentioned big. So this one is a new toy, Actually, Creativelive just got this new toy. So they said, Hey, Mike, you want to use our new toy? Yeah. How big is it? They said big and I said, I'm in. All right. Who? Uh right. So you you look at stuff like this and you think You know, I really am I really gonna use this and I say yes. Yes, you are. And you're gonna rock it. You're gonna rocket. Your little flash will work with this big umbrella. And it's going to be soft, the lights going soft and gentle. It's gonna wrap around your subject, you know, If you're photographing female models or kids, this is gonna be the nicest, gentlest look for photographing guys. It still looks good, so I like big umbrellas like this. I'm six feet tall, so you can see that this umbrellas about feet or so. So this is like a 60 inch something like that. And again, it's not cheap. It's pretty expensive. Made by pro Photo. I don't even know the cost of this because I didn't buy it. But here's what I did by I bought this one online, and you'll all be able to find it, too. It's made by a company called Impact, and I paid $69 for this one, and it's about the same size. Okay, almost exactly the same same size. Oh, actually, this one's a little taller, so this one's a little bit bigger. What are the differences? Well, it's just not a strong, you know. The rod here is not as durable, the materials not as thick. So you get what you pay for. You all know that. So if you want the size, you can get something like that for around 70 bucks. Well, because I like pro photo. I'm gonna go back to the pro photo equipment, and I'm going to use that and we'll start with the silver umbrella. Okay, so here's how the umbrella amounts. So very simple set up here. Okay, so we've got this is, Ah, umbrella bracket. And it fits on the standard lights stand. Now, this is like an industrial level light stand. The creative life, folks, they just had a bunch of these laying around. I don't have any light stands myself there this big. It's hard to be mobile with big light stands like this. So when I travel or when I go on on on location, my light stands are much smaller. My recommendations for lights, Tim, make sure your light stand goes toe it least eight feet tall. I think that's important. Eight feet. Why, eight feet? Well, because you want to photograph men and women and you know, most adult men or what? 5 10 63 somewhere in that range. And you're pretty tall. Your 6263 Something like that. And what you want to do is you. When you shine your flash under the subject, you want to be high enough. So that this shadow will go down to the ground behind them. If you're light stand is only six feet tall. You can't really get the light above the subject. Right? So get a light stand that's at least eight feet. And I think most of the things that are recommended in those free handouts for the R S. V p people, I think most of those are at least eight foot light stands. Okay, So here's the light stand. Here's the umbrella bracket. And this This this little thing here typically cost 15 bucks. Something like that. You get in plastic, you can get a metal. It just really comes down to How much do you want to spend? How durable do you want it? And how much weight are you willing to carry around again over the years, even though they weigh more, I tend to go with the metal stuff because it just never breaks. Okay, that slides on their tighten that in Cool. Now, the guy to put the umbrella in there just like this, that screws in like that. A lot of people ask, you know, how close should it be, how far we're gonna be talking through that all day for the whole fourth segment here, every lightbox and every modifier slightly different. And back to that zoom question that someone asked online earlier. We're gonna just do this kind of fine tuning between Flash's distance and zoom and filling up the interior with light. Okay, Now we have to find a way to mount the flash to that. Okay, so I'm using a cable, and the the receipt of the other end of this basically has 1/4 by 20 inch thread in there, so that will screw right onto the stud right there. So that's an easy, mounting solution that goes there. Now. I got to be careful that I don't pull my camera over or pull the light stand over. It's an issue. It's a big issue. So be very careful. And now you can start to see why it's important that everything swivels and rotates right, cause I have to figure out a way to get the cable up up here. I still have to see the LCD screen on the back of my flash, but I have to fill the modifier with the flash head, so whatever flash you end up buying. I know some of you have already told me you haven't bought a flashy just to make sure it's fully controllable and goes all the way around back if necessary. Okay, Now I have to think. Well, how do I aim this thing at my model Will. Typically you aim the shaft of the umbrella at the model's face typically, but I'm gonna show you some other fun things you can do. You can, like, skip the light off of, um, you can put it behind them, but for a traditional umbrella shot, you basically aim this at the model.

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Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student
 

Great fast-class! Mike Hagen got straight to the point and made it super easy to understand!

user-182390
 

Great course very informative and so easy to understand.

Craig
 

The class covers exactly what you would expect. Very good basic information about how to set-up and operate a flash on any camera. Mike was extremely personable and communicated very well.

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