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The Oh-So Powerful Umbrella

Lesson 34 from: Lighting 201

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

The Oh-So Powerful Umbrella

Lesson 34 from: Lighting 201

SLR Lounge, Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

34. The Oh-So Powerful Umbrella


Class Trailer

Chapter 1 Introduction


Welcome to Lighting 201!


OCF = Anytime/Anyplace


Chapter 2 Introduction


Wired, Infrared or Radio?


“Pocket, Medium, Full Strobe?”


Our 3 Favorite Flashes “Pocket Strobes”


4 More Flashes “Pocket Strobes” Worth Looking At


Our 2 Favorite Medium Strobes


Understanding Radios Part I: Channels & Groups


Our 2 Favorite Radio Triggers


5 Simple Steps to Trouble Shooting Radios/OCFs


Fantastic ND Filters at Any Price Range


Our Favorite “Sticks”


Our Favorite Ultra-Portable OCF Light Modifiers


12 Mounting and Must-Have Lighting Accessories


Gear Setup - Setting Up a Light Stand or “Stick”


Gear Setup - Setting Up a Monopod Light or “Boom Stick”


Gear Setup - Setting Up a “Medium Boom Stick”


Gear Setup - Setting Up a Manual Flash “Big Boom Stick”


Gear Setup - Setting Up a Full Feature Flash “Big Boom Stick”


Chapter 3 Introduction


8 Steps to Perfecting Each Scene & Image When Using OCF


Over Powering the Sun - Part I


Over Powering the Sun - Part II


Slow Down! Watch the Details


More Power Without The Power


Adding to Existing Light - Part I


Bare Bulbing with Large Groups


Back Lighting to Create Interest


Getting Crazy with the “Whip Pan”


Chapter 4 Introduction


The Flash Modifier You Already Own


The Oh-So Powerful Umbrella


Large Group Shots with an Umbrella


Exposure Balancing via Lightroom


Portable Softboxes - Westcott Apollo


More Light Control, Just Grid It!


Dusk + Modified Pocket Strobes


More Power? Medium Strobes FTW!


Perfect It In-Camera. Then Photoshop


Adding to Existing Light - Part II


Adding or Enhancing Light Direction


Our Ideal Group Lighting Technique


Incorporating Flares with Flash


Cutting Light, Grids and GOBOs


Chapter 5 Introduction


Fog + Flash + Grid = Dramatic Change


BYOL! The 3-Light Setup That Only Requires One Light!


What About the Fill Light?


Backlight + GOBO + Fog = Magic


Drawing Attention via Light Shaping


Visualizing Lights & Color Shifts


Mixing Ambient + Gobo w/ Flash


Better Light Can Change Everything!


Chapter 6 Introduction


Subtle Refinement = Massive Difference


Great Light Changes Everything! Part II


Manually Triggered RCS + Shutter Drag


The Right Power for Each Scene


Dodging and Burning via Light In-Camera


Subtle Light for Natural Portraits


Light Modification & Simple Compositing


Expanding Your Photographic Vision


Lesson Info

The Oh-So Powerful Umbrella

welcome to the oh so powerful umbrella. That's right, folks. In addition to this guy being able to stop rain, it's also an amazing fashion accessory that I could twirl. I love twirling my umbrella. No, but seriously, this is one of the most powerful light modifiers you can get, and it's incredibly inexpensive. This is the Westcott shoot through umbrella. It's, I believe, like, 20 bucks. Okay. And again, get the Westcott version of this. There are cheaper versions, but 20 bucks is already inexpensive enough, and this is actually well made and well built. So this guy ports around, of course, like an umbrella, which means that it's incredibly small. You can put it into any lighting accessory in bag, and once you need it, you're just gonna open it up and place it on to your flash bracket right here. So here we would have our flash on top of this would have this on our stand, and we place this right into that little umbrella port. Now, one thing to keep in mind that I wanted to actually dem...

onstrate in this video is to make sure that you place the flash and the umbrella at an appropriate distance Meaning? Remember, from lighting one on one. If a light source. If a diffuser is placed too close to the light source, the light doesn't have a chance to open up and to use the full length or tow the full size of that diffuser. So, for example, if my flashes mounted on here and I push this in, then when the flash fires I'm only using this little front piece of the diffuser, right? So I need to keep this diffuser further from the flash. And ideally, you want to keep the flash zoomed out so that it's basically gonna be zoomed like, say, 24 whatever wide zoom. So the flash hits the entire umbrella and you end up getting a much softer light. Now, of course, with a softer light, you do have more light fall off. But that's not the point. The point is to get a beautiful soft light. So in this tutorial, I'm gonna go ahead and walk through the umbrella in a little situation where what we're doing here is we're shooting a couple's engagement session. There's an actual client. We're out in downtown Los Angeles. There's a beautiful scene here where we have these kind of converging lines was building or on these buildings surrounding this area. I want to place him in a way where we could kind of use that and utilize it. And I thought the perfect modifier for this scene is the umbrella. Why? Because it's simple. It's easy to use. It gives me a soft light. And frankly, that's the modifier I had on me at the time. So why not use it? Okay, so for composition, attributes were using F 28 for two reasons. I'm actually using the cannon 24 70 mark to Why? Because I didn't yet have this guy. This guy is the Sigma 24 millimeter F 1.4. An amazing, amazing prime that we've got since we filmed this little piece. And if I had this at the time, I would have used this guy because it's absolutely fantastic. Plus, it gets us down to an aperture that will allow far more light in. We get two stops more light with this guy. F one For that we do at the cannons 2.8, although the cannon 24 70 mark too, is a fantastic lens. in and of itself as well. But we're using F to eight for basically, primarily just to allow in the Maxima light. Possible. Why? Because we're shooting wide angle anyway, so we're not really creating much depth of field. If we're on, this guy would have the option to create depth of field. But with the cannon 24 70 when it's wide, any wide angle lens, unless you're down to like 1.21 point 41.8 you're not creating a lot of depth of field. They're so with sink. We're in a lowlife scene, so we don't need to worry about our shutter speed being too high or too low. Well, actually, that's incorrect. We do need to worry about it being too low. So what we have here is that f 2.8 I want to shoot at a fairly low I s okay. So we're at I saw 100 but the scene is actually quite dark. And so we're exposing for about a second to get well, not about a second. We are exposing for second to get enough ambient light in there. We want to get the building's bright want to get everything bright. And so what we need to end up doing is firing rear curtain sink. But here's the thing. At the time, I was testing out the newer these air the TT 8 50 flashes, right. These guys were one of the budget flashes that we're recommending, and again, before he recommended anything in this course, we used it a number of times. The TA 50 is a great flash. We just said, due to quality control issues, make sure you have extra batteries and make sure you have one or two extra flat units in case something breaks. But with this guy, we have a manual flash with the ability to control power off camera. So this actually lets me control groups and power off camera. I can dial things up and down. The problem is that we can't. We don't have full feature flashing building. We don't have recurrent sink. We don't have first dancing. It's it's always gonna fire First curtain sync with this guy because there are no other options. It doesn't have high speed, doesn't have a t t. L. It's just a regular manual flash that gives us radio control over manual flash power. Okay, so we're down to a one second oven exposure, and I want to expose this with rear curtain sink because I want the flash to pop at the end of that exposure. Why? So that way, if there's any motion, our movement, when we fire at the end of that one second duration, we freeze the subject at the end of that motion movement. And it looks better typically for this type of a shot to do that. So we were on the dance floor. We're capturing motion, and you want to basically capture in a way where the motion leads into the frozen subject. We need to shoot, recur in sync. But what do you do when your flash does not have records? Think? Well, that's simple. What I did was actually pop this off of my camera and a hand held it, and then I put my camera on his tripod. So the cameras on the tripod and then basically, when I fired the shutter, I just count in my head. I mean, it's only one second, so you just fire the shutter and then pop by hitting the test button on this guy you just pop the flashes manually towards the end of the frame, so you might need to do it a couple times just to get the right exposure in the right image and so forth, because it'll take a little bit of practice. But it's a technique that we use constantly to fire manually recur in sync. We're gonna show you a longer version of that where you basically time it and then fire manually at the end of a 32nd exposure. So so long as the exposure is long enough that you can actually like kind of time it, Then you can fire Riker and sink just manually by manually pressing the test button on the trigger and then to fire the strobes. So let's talk through the rest of this set up. So we have our ambient light. Exposure is one second Isolate 100. This is Ford the sky. This is for the buildings so that we have a beautiful background so forth light direction quality had the flash place to the right. We're feeling again into the female subjects face to make sure that she's not left in the shadows. Okay, we're using the umbrella. We've also used a C t o gel again for stylistic purposes here. Why? Because there's really if you look at this first shot, there's not a lot of ambulance on them when you see that the first shot is that one second half to eight isolate 100. Is that 3000? Kelvin. I pull it down because I knew I knew right off the bat that I want the background. I want the buildings. I want everything to fall in that nighttime blue, so I'm gonna cool it down right in the beginning. So taking the shot, you see that we don't have a lot of ambulance on them, which means that I can choose whatever color of light I wanna put on them because there's not really any existing ambient light color. If there was a lot of existing ambient light color that we have a problem where we basically need to match that amulet color, otherwise we're gonna get mixed lighting, but there's not. So we papa cto gel on. We're balanced at Kelvin and we get a beautiful warm light on them. We get this beautiful background and so forth, and it looks fantastic. Now with a test shot. We have the cameras on the tripod to prevent camera shake. We end up getting good light power. Basically good balance at around 1/8 toe. 1/16 flash power on the umbrella. The umbrella is placed pretty damn close to them in the scene. It's just right barely out of frame on this right side. So it's pretty close, and we get a nice little you could see how beautifully diffuse that light is. And just making sure that the flash is far enough from the for burn of broom. It's far enough from the flash on the, uh on the bracket will give you a better diffused light. Okay, So, like color, we ended up jelling to CTO. We pulled it to 3000 Kelvin to exactly the blue tone of the sky. We pose, We frame, we shoot. Now check this out. I'm Mark. This image is an ex right here. Why do you think that is the lights good. Everything else is good. Well, with this shot, I felt like it looked a little bit unnatural. And it was like I wanted this kiss to look like he was in the moment to look like it was passionate to look like it was just It was bang on. That's a total top gear word that I just used right there. Jeremy Clarkson, Top gear. Okay, so what I end up doing is I just tell himto Hey, you know what? Get into a guy's, like, lean her back a little bit and he gives her a little bit of lean, and she kind of create that finishing curve in the spine. And it looked beautiful and it looks so much better. Just that subtle shift looks so much better, more natural. Then the shots, We end up going with this one. Now, with the framing of the image, do y'all notice the framing in the position of the subject? So actually, position the subject in between these converging lines, these lines coming down and they open up right here. That's where we basically placed The subject is right between these lines so that we have this beautiful kind of composition where these lines kind of leading down right into the couple, so use those background elements again to create a stronger image. There was even a subtle backlight coming from some of the street lights, I believe. And we had that back like, kind of landing right on his arm and created a nice little rim and essentially on his on his shirt and everything on this suit jacket, so look fantastic. One thing to make sure that you're watching out for is that with that direction of light, you need to watch the shadows on their bodies. OK, just watch the shadows. Make sure that the faces aren't covered in the shadows or anything like that. But this is such a simple tool. A $20 modifier, $100 flash a our basic camera set up. Okay. Again. You can do this with any wide angle camera, our wedding, a lens. And if you haven't purchased anything yet, the 70 cannon is like two grand, right? This guy is like less than $1000 you get a prime that can open up to stops wider. The image quality is impeccable. It is as good if not better than the cannon. 24 7 mark, too. And we have a fantastic set up with just this simple, simple life set up. Okay, So don't discount the umbrella. now. One thing to keep in mind when it comes to an umbrella is that you do not have a ton of light control umbrellas kind of spill everywhere, and they kind of fill everywhere. Okay, so there's not really a shape to them. They just open up. And, of course, wherever it's point is going to the brightest point. But it's gonna fall off and kind of light that entire area for this scene. I'm not really worried about that for the scene. I don't really care about that. I like the fact that you know they're the brightest point. We have a little bit of light on the staircase, and we have a beautiful shadow and everything like that. But if I wanted to put the light just in one specific spot, then the umbrella would not be the right tool. But in this case, it's absolutely fantastic. Want the liketo open up in the filling area? The umbrella is an amazing tool. Let's go on to the next video. We'll show you another fantastic usage of the umbrella

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Lighting 201 Slides

Ratings and Reviews


Pye is a god. His teaching style is really engaging, breaking down everything you could want to know about each example in a fun yet detailed manner. The course is absolutely jam-packed full of great information and fantastic inspiration. This course, as well as Lighting 101, give not only a perfect foundation for anybody learning about flash from scratch, but also have more than enough tips and advanced techniques in them to help experienced flash users seriously up their game. Cannot recommend it enough.

Lê Tiến Đạt

I'd like to say thank you to SLR Lougne, Creativelive and especially Pye for creating this wonderful Lighting series. Pye has a great sense of humor and he is also a great teacher. He expains everything in tiny details. I love his creativity, all the tips and dedication. Recommended!

Karen Ruet

I'm watching this live and am seriously considering buying this course. I really like the examples and all the information. Pye is super generous and easy to listen to. I also appreciate the talk about gear and am happy that Pye is giving us options for different price ranges. Thank you, Creative Live.

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