In this video, I'll show you how to use a
shoot through umbrella to create four
different looks in a small home studio.
Hello I'm Gavin Hoey and you're watching Adorama TV
brought to you by Adorama, the camera store
that's got everything for us photographers
and today I'm back in my small home studio
and I'm gonna show you how to create
four different looks
but using just one shoot through umbrella.
They're the type with the white, translucent fabric
and it's a sort of thing you might get as your very first
light modifier. It was for me.
It was this one right down here.
It's well over 20 years old and it's still going strong.
Now they come in a wide range of sizes
from small up to in my studio, this one here
which is a 60"/1.5m across wing-like umbrella.
That means it's slightly cropped so in my
small home studio with limited ceiling height,
I can get it just that bit higher and it makes a bit more
sense when I'm using a speed light
with a rectangular front.
At this point I'd normally say let's get a model in and
get shooting, but we're not quite ready because
we need to set up the speed light and umbrella.
Now the speed light is on a 20mm zoom but it's the
distance from the speed light to the umbrella
I'm most interested in.
If you have it too close to the surface
you'll find you have a surprisingly small light source.
However if you have it too far back
well then light can go past the edges and
that can cause problems too.
The best thing is to photograph
the surface of your umbrella and then
adjust the distance until you have most of it
filled with light.
Once you've got that,
put a little mark on the shaft of your
umbrella and then you can quickly
set it up again in future.
Now remember light from a shoot through umbrella
goes in two directions it will go through
but it will also bounce off
and light that bounces off will bounce
around your room and well let's just say
these umbrellas aren't the most directional.
But with that in mind they
are still really good light modifiers.
So, let's get the lights set properly.
Let's get a model in.
Let's get shooting.
So to help me out today I've got the amazing Charlotte.
Charlotte is going to be the model for this shoot and the
first setup with the umbrella that I'm
going to do has the umbrella set way over there.
In fact it's so far away you can't actually
see it in the video.
But trust me it's around about 12 feet from the model.
Now having the light that far gives the light some
interesting properties so I've already worked out
the metering I know what that is.
All I need to do is take a shot so if Charlotte you're ready?
Okay let's take a test photo
Here we go.
And when I do that we can see a couple of
interesting things let's start with the
shadow behind Charlotte there is a
definite shadow there but the edges are nice and soft.
Then there's the exposure across the scene.
It's really even.
Now the reason for those two things are all down to the
distance of the umbrella.
The further away I put it the more even the exposure
becomes across the scene.
But the further away I put it the smaller it is relative
to the size of Charlotte
so the harder the shadows become.
However that evenness is really good news if you've got
a subject that moves around so children,
animals, that kind of thing.
Or if we want to just shoot Charlotte but not
have to remeter.
Which is exactly what we're going to do.
So Charlotte if you're ready let's take a few pictures.
Here we go.
Do you want to lean back against the wall
right behind you?
So as you can see Charlotte can move pretty much
anywhere in my studio and the exposure,
the lighting, everything stays the same
and I can move around which is really handy.
However this is a very safe light.
It isn't exciting or dynamic.
We can do a little bit better than that.
So for the second look I've moved the
umbrella much much closer.
In fact now it's about 4.5ft from Charlotte more-or-less.
That's gonna have an impact on the style of light but
also the exposure so let's work that out.
Remember I'm shooting at f/4
I haven't changed the power from before.
Charlotte, I'm gonna pop this near your chin.
But at this distance it's gone up to f/9
So more than two stops more light.
I can wind the power down using the transmitter until I
get to f/4 and we're good to go.
Okay let's take this shot and see how the
pattern of light has changed.
Okay Charlotte here we go again.
So this time the shadow next to Charlotte is
much much softer compared to the first setup
and that's because the umbrella is that much closer and
therefore it is relatively larger in size.
However there's no real deep dark
shadows anywhere across this scene because
the shoot-through umbrella is bouncing light all around
the room and to a certain degree,
it's filling the shadows with light.
So with that in mind, let's take a few pictures
and see how they look.
Charlotte are you ready?
Okay here we go.
So my third lighting position is with the umbrella
really really close to Charlotte.
In fact it's so close that I run the risk of it
appearing in my frame or worse stabbing Charlotte
which is not something you ever want to do.
But one of the advantages of a shoot through umbrella
is you can get the light that close to your subject.
Now that will have a couple of impacts on
the look of the shot but also the exposure.
Now remember I'm shooting at f/4 so let's see what
we're getting at the moment.
Charlotte I'm gonna pop this new your chin and I'm
getting well f/8 so two stops extra light .
I can dial that down take the same
test again now we're back to f/4 okay so
the light's correct let's see how it looks.
I'll take a test shot.
Here we go Charlotte.
That looks absolutely fantastic.
I love the light on Charlotte.
When you have your modifier this close
it always gives great wraparound lighting.
However if I go out a little bit then I would see
the edges of the umbrella.
Looking at the background
that's interesting too because the umbrella
being such a wide spread of light
so I'm lighting both Charlotte and
the background with the single speed light.
So the umbrella has lit Charlotte perfectly
but because it's so large and close to the wall it's also
put some light on that right hand background.
If I want to do a wider shot I'll need to do
a little bit of work in Photoshop but
there is one more way that you can use
this umbrella and speed light to get a
very different looking picture
and it makes use of the one thing I said not to
do right at the beginning of this video.
Because I'm gonna slide the umbrella
much closer to my speed light.
So now this is a really small gap between the two.
That's gonna have a couple of impacts.
The first one is now much
further away from Charlotte than it was before
so I'm gonna move this a little
bit closer a little bit lower down
and of course it's gonna affect my exposure
Get it back to f/4 there we go perfect.
Okay let's take a test shot. Here we go
Effectively I've reduced the size of the umbrella
by just lighting a small part of it.
That's made the light a bit harder on Charlotte
but also means it's not going to light
the background so much.
That's gone darker but it's not completely black
because once again the shoot through umbrella
is bouncing light
around my studio and a tiny bit will
always reach the background.
It's all down to the distance between
this speed light and the surface of the umbrella.
The closer they are the harder the light.
The further back they are the softer the light.
Shoot through umbrellas are probably the
cheapest light modifier that you ever
buy but they are incredibly versatile.
For example, this one comes with a black
outer cover transforming it into a reflective umbrella.
We'll cover those in another video.
Now if you've enjoyed this video or
you've got any questions,
leave me a comment below.
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I'm Gavin Hoey.
Thanks for watching.