Speed Lights: The Umbrella Connection

This Tutorial demonstrates with a set of Slides, how to configure your Main Speed Light, in conjunction with a 30″ Umbrella.

As the Speed Light(s) will be triggered with Scott Robert Lim’s “Tiny Trigger Set,” a very nifty way to aim the Speed Light directly at the center of the Umbrella is demonstrated in Slide #3. This is essential to provide for an even distribution of light from the Umbrella, while also maintaining a minimum Speed Light shadow profile.

Slides #6 – 9  demonstrate a little known secret for completely filling the umbrella with Light. This is very important for achieving a broad, soft light source, from a small umbrella. Speed Lights often include a Fresnel Zoom and a Wide Angle (14mm) flip out Fresnel Lens. To fill the full surface of the Umbrella with Light, use the wide angle flip over Fresnel Lens.

Note: Relative softness or the transition from highlight to shadow is a product of; the size of the light source, the distance from the light source to the subject, and the relative size and curvature of the features of the subject.

Note: The Speed Light should be placed 8″ to 9″ back from the center of the Umbrella. The Umbrella should optimally be placed 4 – 5 feet from the subject. This is where the boom arm or an assistant can position the umbrella. See Slide #11

This Speed Light configuration will serve as your Main Light in most situations. Upcoming Tutorials will cover the inclusion of additional Speed Lights to create separation, color and dimension.

Click on Thumbnails to advance Slides. Click on small arrows to advance slide groups. Enjoy!

List of Components:

1. Speed Light – 100 – 130 Guide Number (recommended)

2. 30″ Umbrella black/white – Photoflex p/n UMADW30 – $25

3. Umbrella Adapter – Dotline p/n DL-0316 – $24.95

4. SRs Tiny Trigger Set (radio slave) – $229

5. Giotto, small ball head p/n MH-1304 – $20

6. Light Stand – Manfrotto p/n 5001B – $49.95

7. Boom Arm – Lite Disc Holder – Photoflex p/n DL-BHLDRCOMP - $58

In closing, I hope this visual Tutorial presentation has been helpful in describing an effective way to create the Speed Light Umbrella Connection and that you will be coming back soon to View and Read more in the continuing Series on ™Shooting Smarter with Speed Lights.

Workshops & Tutoring:

• Hands On Tutorial Speed Light Workshops, coming soon! Check back for scheduling!

• Hands On Individual Tutoring – Hourly Rate of $65/hour – Your Location, (4 hour Minimum) 25 mile radius from Chandler, AZ.

• Phone Consultations are also available, at a rate $45/hour (One hour Minimum Prepaid)

• Hands On Individual Tutoring – Residential Studio in Chandler - Hourly Rate of $65/hour, (3 hour Minimum)

• Hands On Individual Tutoring - Adobe’s Photoshop and Lightroom in your Workflow - Hourly Rate of $65/hour

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