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Umbrella in Photography (Part 1)

Umbrellas are far more than just a rainy day accessory. From props to lighting modifiers, umbrellas are affordable multi use photography tools. They’re can be colourful or semi-transparent. They can come in different shapes and patterns and are bursting with inspiration for photographers. Don’t believe us? We have so many counts of umbrella use in photography we have to split this article into two parts!


They Diffuse Light:

Shoot through umbrellas are versatile and inexpensive ways to soften the light from an off-camera flash or studio strobe.

To Create Light:

Reflective Big umbrellas are excellent tools for lighting larger subjects, such as for group photos.

To Create a Background:

A colourful big umbrella just behind the subject helps draw the viewer's eye. Or, a sea of several umbrellas can be used to draw the eye towards a particular part of the frame.

To Add Colour:

Rainy day photos often have dark tones — umbrellas are a great way to add a pop of colour. Since umbrellas are so common, it’s easy to find one in a specific colour to match an idea or another prop. Used in bunches, umbrellas can create a sea of different colours, or a pattern of one single colour.

To Create a Pattern:

Pattern is a powerful compositional tool — and umbrellas are perfect props for creating your own patterns where there isn’t one in the scene. Three small brollies in a row, whether held or lying on the ground, create an instant compositional boost.

To Break a Pattern:

What’s more interesting than creating a pattern? Breaking one. Think a red umbrella in a sea of black ones, or a rainbow umbrella-holding pedestrian breaking up the lined pattern in a crosswalk.

To Block Out Distractions:

One of the reasons that umbrellas are so wonderful is that they’re big — which means they can help fix a cluttered background. A large golf umbrella held behind a portrait subject works both as a prop and to hide an unsightly (or perhaps just boring) part of the scene.

We have amazing examples of umbrella photography on our Instagram so go ahead and visit our profile now!

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