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Old October 16th, 2003, 05:20 AM   #1
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umbrella question

let me say first that I am a complete newbie on lightning.
In studios you see lightning pointing in umbrellas for lighting the set. The purpose of these umbrellas is to soften and diffuse the light coming from the lights, right? This would mean that the light falling on the subject is less "harsh" ?
Second question is about the color of the umbrella, Ihave seen them in white, silver, gold, sunlight. What effect does this give you? Would it be that white just softens the ligh, silver reflects in more than white and that gold adds a little more "warming" effect to the light?
Maybe someone also knows a good site where to find more information on lighting.

Thanks in advance for your replies
Joris Beverloo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 16th, 2003, 07:31 AM   #2
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lighting for TV and video

Perhaps this would be a great place to start
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 09:56 AM   #3
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and search on the keyword "umbrella". The cheapest one sells for $11.95, but don't get your hopes up. When you add in the costs of the lighting, stands, clamps, etc., several hundred or even thousands of dollars will pass you by.

When you photograph a living breathing thing with eyes, they will appreciate diffuse, uniform lighting. Shining a 150 w halogen spotlight on someone, even from above or the sides, can be a blinding experience. I don't know how tv people (in front of a camera) handle this. They must have a set pattern for scanning past or away from these lights. The temptation is to look at the sun, no matter how blinding it may be. Until your eyes burn out, that is.

If you are shooting inanimate objects, light away. The more the better, as long as you can avoid reflections. Gives you great depth of field, since you can use a narrower iris setting.
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 04:51 PM   #4
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An umbrella softens as well as reducing hot spots. Silver gives the greatest reflectance, white is the softest. White also has the greater loss. Gold and combo gold/silver or gold/white give a warmer look.

If you want softer than you would filter the light through a white satin umbrella.

umbrellas are cheap and a good starting point. Several words of caution.

Don't buy cheap lights, you'll want to use these lights for more demanding applications later. A good starter for a refected light is a Tota (300 to 750 Watts) and Omni (300-500 watts) or a DP (500-1000 watts) Arrilite open faced are a lot nicer as are their fresnels. Thr Arrilites don't have the versitility of wattage choice that the lowel does. The Arrilite,Tota,Omni and DP are an excellent light to use with a softbox. That would be the next logical step from umbrella and a lot more controlable.

If you're using umbrellasndont rely of the lamp yoke to hold the weight of the umrella. Invest 425 in a Lobo clamp or a manfroto lite tite.

Don't go cheap on the stands. A Bogen 8036 at B&H is approx $52 and it has mucho bang for the buck. It doesn't have quick locks or anything fancy it'll hold 11 lbs and has a decent spread on the feet. (the quik lok will eat body parts) The Bogen/manfrotto 8036 has an identical cousin in the Avenger line.

Have your wife or girlfriend sew you some sand bags, better safe than sorry. A few lbs of sand will stop any stand from getting tipped.

Get a fabric umbrella, plastic not only melts it smells pretty bad when overheated.

Any more question just ask. There's a lot of people with answers for you.
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 04:56 PM   #5
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Here are some links
a great starter from Arri
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