Lighting: Get more out of your Umbrella

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: April 4, 2019

Category: Kit

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever been given was by Atlanta based Photographer, Zack Arias which (and I’m paraphrasing now) went something like this…

Don’t go buying another piece of kit until you know the limitations of what you already have and find yourself thinking, “Man I wish I could just do ‘X’ with this” . Then when you do buy that new piece of kit such as a new soft box, you totally know why.

Case in point, the shoot thru / reflective umbrella…

Probably like most people, when I would first use a shoot thru / reflective umbrella I would open and use it fully open and love the big, beautiful, soft light it gave. However, by using something as simple as a clothes line peg we can do so much more.

Glyn Dewis

We can have so much more control over the light by, instead of opening the umbrella fully, placing the clothes line peg on the umbrella shaft we can control how open or close it is which as a result is giving us many different sized soft boxes all in one.


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1 Comment

  1. V Paul Bowers Jr

    A few years back when I could not afford a beauty dish, I closed down my umbrella and held it in place with a piece of duct tape, which made a very interesting catch light design in the eyes. Liked it so much, I never bought a beauty dish. Recently, I needed an octabox to go with my Buff 84″ PLM for a shoot, so I ordered the 51″ White Front Diffusion Fabric drawstring cover ($12.95 from Paul C. Buff) placed it on my small umbrella and instant “umbox”. If I need it softer, just add another fabric cover…for $12.95 it’s a lot cheaper than a octabox.

    Really like your tips and advice…thanks


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