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Uses of Umbrellas

Lesson 17 from: Light Shaping Tools for Professional Photographers

Tony Corbell

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Lesson Info

17. Uses of Umbrellas

Lesson Info

Uses of Umbrellas

I think I wanna try one thing that's kind of odd, in fact, John, let's put this umbrella on that head. Yup, question? Are umbrellas a good choice with speedlights, in that they seem like they'd let through a bit more light, so do they help you more when you have lower power? Yeah, I think it's probably a good idea. I think that most people that are using speedlights on location use umbrellas a lot, and it does, because of the reflectance value of the silver that's on the inner baffle, or the inner liner of most umbrellas, I think it does help speedlights a bit. The trouble with speedlights is you've gotta increase the size, you just have to increase the size. They're great, but they're too small for most pictures, so you have to find a way to make 'em bigger. Umbrella, softbox, whatever you have to do to make 'em bigger, make 'em bigger. I have a question about hot spots on faces, what would be the reason you'd get one if you're using just a softbox or an octabank? Why would you ...

see? If it's hot in the studio and somebody's trying to perspire, if you've got it a little bit too far away and it makes it a little bit smaller, if it's a woman with zero makeup on. Most portrait guys that I know, in their dressing rooms have some makeup, and they tell the guys, I had to go get makeup this morning by the way. I felt very special. (audience laughs) I asked her if she could put a little hair on top, I'm just, but I think for the most part, you can add a little bit of makeup, and that kills most of that. It'll kill a big percentage of that issue, it'll make that kinda go away for you. So you know, get the light in close, work it in close, and tell your clients, they have to know and have confidence that you are trying your best to make the best portrait of them, and sometimes you have to tell the guys, you're not gonna like what I'm about to tell ya, we gotta do one little thing, I think we can make this picture 10% better, but I need to put a little bit of makeup right up in here. Can I just put a little dulling spray on your head? Right? If you're trying to make them look better, they get that, of course the guys are gonna say absolutely. Nobody's gonna say, no I don't want you to make me look better. Of course they wanna make you look better, right? It's our job. Okay, so, I wanted to do this, yeah, this is a perfect example. So let' measure that, and I want that to read the same thing that I'm shooting at, just for fun, and then I'm gonna-- What are you shooting at? I don't know. (audience laughs) F10. Gonna hold that down? Yes, spot, sure, ready, set, go. 5:6. Yeah, so let's go up two big ones. Here we go, nobody moves. Eight even. Can we go up another six tenths. Ready, set, go. Eight and a half. Okay, fine, I'll live with eight and a half. Look, there's an interesting thing about shutter speeds, apertures, and ISOs that you should know, and I'll try and be real brief about this, 'cause I wanna get back to this guy, 'cause I don't wanna lose my connection with my client. In shutter speeds, just this is a little training exercise for ya, 'cause some of you don't know your shutter speeds and apertures very well yet. In shutter speeds, if you know any shutter speed, you know 'em all. Because it's either double or half for the next full shutter speed. 125, the next one up is 250, the next one down is 60. 250, the next one up is 500, the next one half below that's 250. You get the idea? So it's every number, every shutter speed is double or half. That's shutter speeds. Apertures, if you know any two apertures, you know 'em all. 5:6, and 11, okay so let's say 5:6 and eight. You know those two numbers, okay great, double 5:6. What do you got? 11. 11. Now let's double f8, what do you get? 16. Right, let's double 11, what do you get? 22. Right, double 16, what do you get? 32. Right, get the idea? If you know any three ISOs, you know 'em all. 400's an ISO, so is 320, so is 250. Might not be one that you use very often, but we used to get films in those numbers, we used to get Plus-X film was a 125, Kodachrome was a 25 and a 64. We had all these ISO numbers, and we've figured out that if you know any three, you know 'em all. 'Cause 125, 160, and 200, 125 doubled is 250, 160 doubled is 320, makes sense? Just look at the numbers. Well all of this is to say, if that meter reads f8.0, and then three, that's three tenths. So that's not f8, that's f8 and a third, f8 and a third is f9 on your digital camera. Now can I confuse them? No John, not 'til tomorrow. (class laughs) F10 is two thirds, and f11 is eight and three thirds, or one full stop, okay? Okay. Okay, confuse 'em John. Back in the old days we went, read the meter, it was between eight and 11, it was eight and a half. So to eight and a half, now we go third stops, it goes eight, nine, eight and a half, 10. Eight and a half becomes between nine and 10, so. It's very odd, what? Yes, eight and a half is below 10. But above nine. But above nine, it's pretty nuts, but there's handout material about that for the bonus handout material. It's in there, I wrote it all down Kenna, just for you. Okay, so let me take this picture real quick, but not until I raise my camera a bit, 'cause I'm lookin' right up this guy's face here. Okay, so we got a reading back there, so watch what happens with this umbrella in this position. Good, so again, here it is, I'm tryin' to get the best and most use out of that umbrella. So there it is, now I've got a little bit of an accent from him, holy Toledo that's lookin' good, and it's also lightin' my background. Hey, I'm diggin' that. So here's the next change we're gonna make, you know what, in fact, timing wise, can we grab Mona? Let me do a couple more of these, but I wanna pull you out and I'm gonna bring Mona in 'cause I wanna do one other thing and I think it'll look better on her than you. Sorry. (class laughs) You know, she's a girl, I'm just sayin'. Let's bring your head around this way a little bit. Right in there. You look good right there, I'm gonna come in, oh let's do that one more little bit of a smile in your eyes on that one. Good, good, good. And now I'm gonna come a little bit closer, that was Jay and the Americans, 1968, ♪ Come a little bit closer ♪ It's what we do around here at photo city. Here we go, good, good, good, good, good. Good, that's it, right there, one more, a little sparkle in your eyes, good. Interesting thing about photography, relax just a second Jason, so many photographers have a background in music, it's ridiculous. In any other audience, if I say, how many of you have a background in music? Two or three hands go up. And in photography if I say that, five, 10, 12, 15% of the audience raise their hand. How many drum kits do you have? Three. (all laugh) I play drums, I play DW, I've got a DW kit that I play, and now I'm playing guitars.

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

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!!

Student Work