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    What Umbrella

    Do I Need?

    by Quentin Décaillet

    Umbrellas are the perfect tool for both starters and advanced photographers.

    It's a great and inexpensive tool to experiment with lighting. They produce a soft light well-suited to wedding and portraiture photography.

    Why Umbrellas?

    All in one

    What makes umbrellas so interesting is the light weight, the portability, the fast opening system, and its affordable price!

    But when buying an umbrella, it's important to know which one to use for your photography style.

    Let’s take a closer look together and see which one you should get.

    Size and Space

    The first thing to consider is size.

    Elinchrom offers umbrellas in either 105 cm or 85 cm.

    The choice is a matter of whether you intend to shoot outdoors, on location, or in a big studio.

    So, if you have space and want a slightly softer quality of light, then 105 cm is perfect. 105 cm may not seem big at first but, if you shoot in your apartment, the 85 cm will probably be a better choice, leaving you with more space to refine your lighting.

    The Umbrellas

    © Quentin Décaillet

    Translucent

    A great option for beginners

    The translucent is a great option for beginners with no experience with off camera flashes. It creates a very soft light, similar to a diffused window light.

    What is so great about this kind of light is that it won’t make skin imperfections as visible as what a beauty dish or a silver umbrella would.

    It’s also interesting when a wide spread of light is required. For example, wedding photographers will love this for group shots, while portrait and studio photographers may use it as a fill light.

    Silver

    The definite fashion photographer’s choice

    The silver umbrella is the definite fashion photographer’s choice. It’s fantastic in many ways.

    As you can notice with the comparative images, it offers great control over the spread of light.

    The light is harder than with the translucent umbrella. The shadows are well defined and the highlights are crispier.

    This kind of light is appreciated when details are key, which is why many fashion photographers use it – it makes fabrics’ details stand out like nothing else while being less harsh than a metallic reflector.

    © Quentin Décaillet
    © Quentin Décaillet

    2-in-1

    2 umbrellas for the price of 1

    As starter in the flash photography, you may want to invest in an umbrella with a removable cover. This way you can use it as both a reflective or as a shoot-through/translucent umbrella.

    Remove the black reflective fabric and you have a translucent umbrella. Need more control over the light? Put the reflector back on and you have a reflective umbrella.

    It’s also a great tool as a backup light shaper because it’s versatile and doesn’t eat space at all!

    Comparison

    Takeaways

    No matter what umbrella you go for, you will love it!

    Soft light

    Umbrellas do a fantastic job to softly illuminate the subject in a very simple way.

    Portable

    Umbrellas are very small and can easily be stored and taken anywhere.

    Easy set up

    Everyone knows how to unfold an umbrella.

    Inexpensive

    Photography gear is usually quite expensive, umbrellas are not.

    Get all of them and start to experiment and find out what works best for you.

    Have fun, be creative, and make great pictures!

    • Umbrella Shallow Translucent 105 cm (41”)

      Umbrella Shallow Translucent 105 cm (41”) N° 26349

      The shallow Translucent umbrella offers a choice between shoot-through and reflected use.

      The difference between the two can easily be seen in the catch-light of any reflective surface.

      The 7 mm Umbrella shaft fits to EL Compacts and Heads with the centred Umbrella support.

    • Umbrella Shallow Silver 105 cm (41”)

      Umbrella Shallow Silver 105 cm (41”)N° 26348

      The Shallow Silver umbrella offers a more crispy light providing greater specularity and texture.

      The 7 mm Umbrella shaft fits to EL Compacts and Heads with the centred Umbrella support.

    • Umbrella Shallow White/Translucent 105 cm (41”)

      Umbrella Shallow White/Translucent 105 cm (41”)N° 26359

      The shallow white umbrella with its highly reflective cover is often chosen for its slightly warmer tones and softer shadow transition.

      When the reflective cover is removed this converts into a translucent umbrella offering a choice between shoot-through and reflected use.

      The difference between the two can easily be seen in the catch-light of any reflective surface.

      The 105cm offers a softer result with a larger catch-light in any reflective surface.

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