Skip to main content

photo & video

Light Shaping Tools for Professional Photographers

Lesson 26 of 32

Shooting with a Large Silver Deep L Umbrella

Tony Corbell

Light Shaping Tools for Professional Photographers

Tony Corbell

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

26. Shooting with a Large Silver Deep L Umbrella

Lesson Info

Shooting with a Large Silver Deep L Umbrella

And let's take a look at the difference, in terms of specularity, between the white and the silver. If you go in and look at each face, and look at all the details, you know, we got light, I would take the time and get everybody positioned better, and posed correctly, and all that. What you're seeing up there is pretty crunchy, but that's that monitor so much, over here it's a lot smoother than that, it looks like it's almost over sharpening up there on that monitor. I'm sure at home it looks fine, comin' through my Lightroom. So now here we go, that other one, that was called the deep XL, and this one is the regular L, not deep XL, so it's just large and it's silver, and this light is, look at the light on her. It's blinding. It's blinding, it is so specular, it responds so much, and sends so much light that it's just, but there are times when you really need it, and it's not very expensive. These umbrellas don't cost that much money. So, let's just bring it up a little bit higher...

, and in this case, I'm gonna cheat it toward the background a little, just about like that. Now I think you did it, and let's get one more reading there, and I'm probably gonna wanna power it down, because it's gonna be pretty bright. Yeah, John says 32. There we go. Now 22. 22, even? 16:9. Yeah, okay, alright. So then go ahead and power it down minus two there. I didn't see where I started from. Okay. 11:9. Yeah, so I can shoot 16, I'm a lot happier with 16 than I was. So that'll work. Great. Now let's just bring your head around just a little, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, good, good, good. That's a pretty look for you. Chin down a tiny bit, right there, good. Good. I like that. Let's take a look here. It doesn't look, as it's comin' up on the screen, it doesn't look as specular as you feel that it might. Right? The reason it doesn't feel that hot, and shiny, and specular, and contrasty is because of how close I have it. Most people that use umbrellas, they use 'em back pretty far away, and that's fine, except that you are making this thing a lot more contrasty than maybe you need to. And if we're gonna do a head shot anyway, just bring it on in, and I can do better and more favors for my model by using the light closer. I think they just look better. I think they just look better. Now I had another photographer, a big name guy who shall remain nameless, who said I was doing more damage to our industry because I'm always talking about big sources. I'm not always just talking about big sources, I'm just talking about making someone's face always look great, and sometimes a big source is the answer to make a face look great. If you've got smooth skin, and perfect features, and perfect eyes, and your nose is straight, maybe I can use more smaller lights, but most people aren't that way. (laughs) You know, most people need a little help. So let's just help 'em with a better light source. Okay, any questions about that before we change our light source? Not pertinent to this particular setup, but if you were doing a course of 40 people on three tiers, would you use silver or white with the big umbrellas? I would probably use silver, and if I've got three rows of people, I would probably have two or three lights minimum, yeah. Yeah. Group photography is a good business, there's money to be made out there, and event photography. I've got a friend in Houston, this guy's makin' all the money there is, and all he does is events. Yes ma'am. Tony, I had a question that had come in from Michael Tolls Photography, maybe you could clarify, how does the silver parabolic work on darker skin? Is there anything you have to change in terms of your approach? The only thing I change in terms of my approach is, as with anything that's a dark surface, skin, a car, anything, the specular highlight, the reflected value of a highlight is our number one contrast that we have at our command. So it's a great question, and my only concern is, if I back the light up too far on dark skin, it's gonna become even more contrasty. If I move it up, it'll become a little bit less contrasty. So just be careful about not lighting dark skin too far away, because it will appear shiny. What about a situation where you have, you're photographing a couple, and one has a lighter complexion, and the other one a darker complexion, how would you handle that? Yeah, so I would probably put the darker complexion skin closer to my light source. Now it's not gonna make a big difference, but it might help a little bit, because the closer they are to the light, the bigger the source, the more I can calm down the highlight, so that's all. I mean, there are some situations, listen, there's a whole lot of photography that is, sometimes you just go huh, oh well, and you just do the best you can. Not everything can you control, everything is a trade off, I might be able to make him look great, but she might suffer, or I might make her look great, but he might suffer. Great, what do we choose here? So it is a delicate balance sometimes between the trade off. But not so much on that. There's so many interracial marriages right now that are happening, it's great, and people are loving this work. Well you get a woman with really, really, dark, dark, dark skin wearing a white dress and you get a guy that's lily white skin, Bobby O'Donnell from Ireland with white, white, white skin wearin' a black, black, black suit, and then you put 'em all together, you've got nothing in the midtone, you've got a lot of highs and a lot of darks. And so you're playin' the game with contrast control, exposure's easy because we have a meter, and it says f11 and 1/3. So I'm gonna shoot it at f11 and 1/3, you can't change that, but light quality, you've gotta consider all the stuff that we've been talkin' about for two days. So you know, the tools are important to know when you get in those situations, I'm in trouble and I gotta do this, or I gotta do this, or I gotta do this. So, that's why this foundation's important, and that's why I'm trying to tell the new folks that are comin' up. Yeah, I know you're good, and I know you can see, and I know you get this, but there are situations that you need to understand the foundation a little bit. Not so much the basics, I always tell people you learn 60 to 80% of what you need to learn in photography in the first five or six years. You'll spend the rest of your career chasin' the other 20%. I don't know it all, I'm a long way from knowing it all, I learn stuff every day, I learn stuff from John all the time. We all learn from each other, and we're not done yet, there's still much to learn.

Class Description

Light is the photographer’s most powerful medium. Professional photographers know how to shape it and reflect it, divert it and redirect it. They can tame its harshness and coax it into a subtle glow, use it to dispel troublesome shadows or highlight a striking moment. 

Effectively curating light during a shoot can bridge the gap between mediocre images and truly captivating photography. All it takes to bend light to your will is knowledge of the right gear, and when to use it. Tony Corbell is a professional photographer and a master of studio lighting. Join Tony for this course, and you will learn:

  • How to use light shaping tools and their specific uses
  • How to creatively use reflectors of all kinds
  • How to use soft boxes, umbrellas, ring flashes, and other unique tools in the studio
Tony will draw on his decades of experience to teach you a full technical understanding of the gear you need to shape light to your purpose. 

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Corrective Lighting Techniques for Portraiture

Light Meter Display & F-Stop Setting for Exposure

Scene, Subject, & Light Contrast Article

Judging Image Effectiveness Criteria

Gear List

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Stefan Legacy

Bought this class on sale for 19$ and it was a great buy considering it was my first class I purchased on CL. Tony is an excellent teacher and demonstrates extensive knowledge on lighting and different uses of modifiers. Overall this is an excellent course for any one who is interested in learning studio lighting, this will give you a great detail of information.

a Creativelive Student

This is my first time watching Tony Corbell teach and work he was great! I am a natural light photographer and this class made me think about picking up some lights and umbrellas! You can tell he absolutely loves what he does. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

a Creativelive Student

Important information if you want to be a photographer. Great teacher, good pace!!