Help, reflective or shoot through umbrella?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by cleveland, Dec 7, 2006.

  1. cleveland

    cleveland TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello.
    I'm new to taking the next step towards more "professional" photography.
    I need to purchase lighting and umbrellas.
    What is the difference between reflective umbrellas and shoot through umbrellas, besides the obvious?
    Which is better to use and what are the advantages and disadvantages?
    Thanks for the advice...
    -Alexander
     
  2. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2004
    Messages:
    1,646
    Likes Received:
    6
    Shoot throught give you a more diffused light

    Reflected is more efficient

    The character of light is different

    You can put the shoot through really close to the face, when with reflected you're limited by the umbrella rod.
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,817
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    A photography instructor I had...said that he never shoots through...only reflects. I've heard others say this as well. Some of them don't like the shadows caused by the umbrella's ribs. If your budget allows...softboxes allow more control of the light than umbrellas. A lot pros will use only soft boxes and no umbrellas at all.

    Here is a link that has examples of many different types of lighting modifiers.
     
  4. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,594
    Likes Received:
    135
    Unfortunately diffusion doesn't soften the light. What does that is the size of the light source relative to the subject. Reality is that a reflective umbrella softens the the light more because it creates a larger source. Getting the light source closer does soften the light for the same reason. None of it has anything to do with diffusion.

    In all my years in the studio, I never used a shoot-through umbrella. I did use soft boxes which would produce about the same effect but normally used six foot tall ones so they still produced pretty soft light. If I wanted harder light I either used a small umbrella or a honeycomb or simply moved the umbrellas or soft boxes away from the subject if I had enough flash power.

    In my opinion, a soft box will do a better job than a shoot through umbrella. If you have enough flash power it will usually provide more control and consistency than an umbrella. If you don't have enough flash power, the reflective umbrella is more efficient as mentioned above by Doc Frankenstein.

    These decisions need to be based on the subject, the studio size, the amount of flash power available, the desired result etc. You can't just say I'll use this instead of that.
     
  5. cleveland

    cleveland TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think what I'm trying to do is to illuminate without the need for a flash and to avoid glare and shadows. Inanimate objects no bigger than 3' square, indoors only, display type of photos.
    -Alexander
     
  6. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2004
    Messages:
    1,646
    Likes Received:
    6
    Sorry, I meant to say the characted of light is different. I only have 3 umbrellas to compare, silver being the harshest and shoot-through being the softest. White falls in the middle somewhere.

    It's hard to describe. But reflective makes the skin appear shinier than the shoot through.
     
  7. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,594
    Likes Received:
    135
    Then you need a light tent. You can make one yourself or buy a ready made one from any of the mail order photo sources. The light tent will give you shadowless light. Good shooting.

    Fred
     
  8. cleveland

    cleveland TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    What type of matterial should be used and where can I get it from?
    I've heard nylon velour is the best, but where to get it - I have no idea.
    -Alexander
     
  9. Mad_Gnome

    Mad_Gnome TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Messages:
    209
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    So. Maine
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Any transluscent white material should work. Go to a camera store and see what the material used in a softbox looks like, then check your local fabric store to see if they have anything similar.
     
  10. Goontz

    Goontz TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2009
    Messages:
    1,275
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Austin/Houston, TX
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
difference between shoot thru umbrelaa and reflective
,
difference between silver photo umbrella and shoot thru umbrella
,
reflective umbrella
,
reflective umbrella vs white umbrella
,
shoot through or reflective umberella for group shots
,
shoot through or reflective umbrella
,
shoot through umbrella vs reflective
,

shoot through vs reflective umbrella

,
which way do lighting umbrellas face
,
which way do umbrella lights face