If you are a beginner in photography and you are thinking of moving towards to camera photo lighting, then the umbrella is not only an affordable option but also an excellent tool which can help you with lighting. Umbrellas are mostly used to modify the light, and they are not just for armatures. You can see them on many pro shoots.

But, let’s look at different types and what features they provide.

Shoot through umbrellas

This is an excellent starting point for many photographers because it is used to shoot through and to spread the light. For instance, if you are taking pictures with small speed lights, then your light source is a few square inches. In this case, the umbrella comes as a handy solution because it uses the limited light source and spreads it out.


You will get softer light without harsh shadows that flash can often cause. You also get versatility with shoot-through-umbrella. You can bring it close to a person’s face for a classic portrait, or pull it back to spread the light.

The two of these will be excellent for key light and fill light. Considering this is an inexpensive setup, you can create beautiful and professional photos. Bringing the umbrella in close will not only provides you a softer light but put also offer you the perception of more power.

If you are taking photos under the bright sunlight, then make sure to get as close as possible to your light source, or it will get lost in the sun. Due to it’s all features this umbrella provides, it remains as one of the most used tools.

Reflective umbrellas

Here you can explore various options, then with see-through-umbrellas. But, let’s go over general reasons why you should use them.

The reflective umbrellas allow you to move the light source away from your subject, without losing the much light from your flash. It is excellent for full body and group portraits. If you use a transparent umbrella, then you will lose a lot of light.

Reflective umbrellas

With the reflective umbrellas, you get to manipulate the light. Considering the light is being reflected, it goes only where you reflect it. If you want to have more concentrated light, then you can open the umbrella just half way.

The size

Each photo umbrella comes in two sizes, small and medium, 32” and 48” for the reflective and 39” and 47” for the shoot through. Considering the general rule, the larger the umbrella, the bigger your source is and the softer your light is.

The color choices

Reflective umbrellas come in three colors, gold, silver and white. The silver and white are the most popular one, even though the gold has its place as well.

Silver umbrellas will provide you the most of light, while gold umbrellas will absorb a bit of light. The white ones will drain your light source. They are all designed for various shooting sessions, but you can buy the three of them, considering the price point.

How should you mount the umbrella?

The majority studio-style lights and strobes have a secure umbrella receptacle that the umbrella shafts can slide into. They are usually located at the bottom of the light, or sometimes within the light head. If you use Speedlite, then you will have to use a standard shoe-mount bracket, with a constructed umbrella receptacle.


However, if your studio light doesn’t have an umbrella receptacle, then you can use a Tilter Bracket. These types of brackets are very convenient to use and allow you to position your umbrella and light.

Which of the following is not a standard color for photography umbrellas?

When it comes to choosing the right colors for your umbrella, you will have to make this decision based on your needs. The most common colors are silver, gold, and white and they are used for various occasions and have a couple of pros and cons.

The color you should avoid for your umbrella is yellow. It will absorb the majority of light, and your photography will lose focus or become too dark. And if you are a professional, then you don’t want to make this type of rookie mistakes.

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