• Monday , 20 August 2018

Umbrellas 101 – Photography & Video Tutorial

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From Jay P Morgan,

Today on the Slanted Lens we will discuss how to use umbrellas on set. Umbrellas are a great modifier and the one that most people start with. They’re inexpensive compared to soft boxes and octodomes making them very attractive. They collapse and fold away making them very simple to transport and carry with you. They are the first step in controlling light to achieve your photographic vision. We will discuss the materials the umbrellas are made of and how these materials affect the light. To test our umbrellas we will set up a target that will allow us to see how the light spreads. Then we will use the umbrellas to shape light on a person’s face.

Keep those cameras rolling and keep on clickn’.
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Products used in this video:
Photoflex White ADW 30″ Umbrella: http://bhpho.to/1Xo93qN
Photoflex Silver 30″ Umbrella: http://bhpho.to/20QoTA4
Photoflex Silver ADH 45″ Umbrella: http://bhpho.to/1Qc3qpZ
Photoflex Silver 72″ Parabolic Umbrella: http://bhpho.to/1QwNq2v
Photoflex 72″ Shoot Through Umbrella: http://bhpho.to/1oxCnPO
Kessler Cineslider: http://bhpho.to/1TdjA7J
Vanguard Alta Pro Tripod: http://bhpho.to/1SLZ2VA
Tabelz Laptop Platform: http://bhpho.to/1PHSYau


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  1. Mark Harris
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    What an amazing video! Packed with really useful information that even I can understand, a big thank you for this one even though it's 4 years old now.

  2. Johan Schmidt
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    JP – excellent video! What umbrellas (size and colour) would you recommend to shoot a large group of 25 (e.g. sports team)? At what angles and height would you place the lights / umbrellas to prevent shadows from people in front falling on those behind them, and where should the lights be aimed (e.g placed a 45 degrees aiming at 2/3 distance across row)?

    Would a Profoto D1 500 Ws be enough to have even light over the team? 

    Thanks in advance.

  3. iamthismoment
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    Very well explained and very useful. Thnak you. I am looking for a 72 inches black and silver. such a beautiful light

  4. Peter DeGiglio
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    I'm a little unclear on what "losing a stop" means. Could someone explain? Thanks!

  5. Harvey Louis
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    You pack a lot of information into your videos, which is good. Although, since you are reading from a script, you tend to talk fast and the pace of the videos tend to be a little quick to follow the finer details. I wish you could slow down the pace of your videos.

  6. omnistyles
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    very helpful…thanks for sharing 🙂

  7. Pan x
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    i don't get it…there was a lot of equipment a lot of ppl …but i can take a good pic with just fong on my speedlight and don't need an army beside me and a ton of lights

  8. pccreator25
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    Man, you are so right, I just bought my first set of light control and they were umbrellas due to affordability.  Thank you for describing the different types and what they are good for =)

  9. a
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    Excellent video! Many thanks!

  10. Thomas Delegram
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    Parabolic umbrellas are designed to be used with a bare flash tube and not a flash tube surrounded by a reflector. That is defeating the purpose of the parabolic shape! Standing back and looking across the edge of the umbrella to the opposite edge and then sliding the umbrella's shaft until the flash tube aligns with the edges is the proper way to focus the light source with the parabolic umbrella. When the parabolic umbrella is used  this way you will get entirely different results. The curvature of the umbrella now will give a beam of light that has faster and greater fall off (great for feathering if desired) and more light in the center. This is especially true with the silver umbrella. Placing a diffuser sock over the face eliminates the spill light and turns it into an almost soft box!

  11. Abigail Sockeye
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    Yeah but don't you get bad luck? Always opening all those umbrellas indoors.

  12. Luciane Zumba
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    One of the best videos about umbrellas! You helped me a lot 🙂

  13. Ivan Kleshnin
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    Parabolic umbrellas produced narrower light spots because flashes was placed much futher than focal points. Beams from focal point of parabola go straightforward after bounce so if light was placed better (much closer to the umbrella itself) it would produce the most even spots… Distance from flash to reflecting matherial is critical for parabolic umbrellas.

  14. Dave Reid - Daly
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    Great video, easy to understand, thanks !

  15. David Thrower
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    This is a fantastic resource for anyone shooting with umbrellas, thanks so much for doing this!

  16. a123foryouandme
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    thanks for the info.
    collected the end shots for comparison: http://i.imgur.com/KbfG9p2.png

  17. Roger Choatech
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    I'm looking for something that will help me shoot videos. I never seem to have enough light, so the video looks grainy. When I add a lamp, there is a large amount of glare in the video. I usually shoot videos of me working math problems on white paper. The light causes a huge glare on the paper, which makes the video hard to watch. I was wondering if one of these would prevent that, and still provide enough light for the video camera.

  18. Leo Loyola
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    Hi 🙂 could u pls tell wich program would be nice to have to burn with a nice presentation on a cd or dvd ? pls..

  19. Petru B.
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    i don't know man, but looks like he is checking the image after each shoot. so annoying.

  20. Sydney
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    Just started using an opaque shoot through umbrella… Found this very helpful. Thank you.

  21. Alejandro Puente
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    A nice and very detailed video. Great!

  22. tattotoro
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    the kind of video I needed! thanks!

  23. Zoe Summers
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    Thank you for such a detailed, logical and scientific evaluation, and all the time that took.

  24. pscully1969
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    A no frills comprehensive umbrella tutorial. Excellent!

  25. Jose Correa
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    guys, you had made the fullest insight on umbrellas i have ever seen, got a couple of 42inches convertible black &whites, use them when i need to light a couple or more people, but now you make me feel like use them even more, great video as usual!

  26. photofarmer
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    Love the placement of the light slightly behind the subject at 8:38. Beautiful!

  27. god563616
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27


  28. dhennis888
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    Love the portrait shot you did on 9:11. Appreciate the tips you have shared.  Many thanks!

  29. polopapful
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    Thanks for the great video.

    I have a quick question.

    For an amateur level of photography, is it ok to use a smaller light source and move a reflective umbrella closer to the model. say 2-3 feet. since the reflective umbrella is pretty efficient when reflecting ? also what is the smallest light source you can realistically use ? a suggestion of a product would be greatly appreciated.

  30. TheArtemosky
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    Gracias, con esta información me considero un profesional xD

  31. Thomas
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    Jay, I just discovered your channel. As an enthusiast photographer looking to build my portfolio, I can't thank you enough for all these educational vids. You condense weeks of learning into tight lessons. It's greatly appreciated. Thank you, Thomas in Toronto.

  32. zoso1
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    most useful comparison video ever.  thank you!!

  33. viktorija bali
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    great video! thanks!

  34. ERic Wai Lap Tang
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    Very nice of umbrella light sources demo! Love to subscribe!

  35. Kevin's Fotografik Experience
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    very detailed and well presented. Thanks! 

  36. Jeremy Kinney
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    I haven't subscribed to a new channel in a long time! I'm subscribed now. Nice video! Thanks

  37. Philip Dunn
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    Such a great video…thank you very much !!

  38. Shiznaft
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    The level of detail and examples, demonstrate not only the various uses of the umbrellas but also the results that each size and application gives. Getting this kind of detailed explanation for free is amazing. Thank you for taking the time to do such extensive reviews and explanation of these umbrellas.  

  39. Deep Desire
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    what is this yap yap yap yap ??? is this the way you teach ?? instead of talking so much why don't you show a detailed video on how to get great results using umbrella ??? so much talking talking talking ???

  40. Doberman
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    Great video, best umbrella video tut so far….Do you have those sample shots with the umbrella descriptions posted on the web? 

  41. Ashik Reza
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    what will be the best umbrella to use for outdoor portrait shoot ????? i will use only 1 flash with the umbrella as a external light source.

  42. MishoMods
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    Damn, good tutorial and very beautiful model

  43. Ana Aguilera
    August 20, 2017 at 18:27

    Amazing! Thank you for making this. I'm in real estate and i'm looking for something I can use for interior photos. I'm no professional but I like to put a lot of LOVE into my pictures. Any specific recommendations? Thank you again Slanted Lens. 

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