How a Lighting Umbrella Works

Light is very important when taking a photo, which is why a lighting umbrella might be so useful. All photographs are made up of light, and a lack of light could result in your photo being underexposed. Too much light, and the photo could be over-exposed. Getting the light just right can be challenging when working indoors and especially outdoors. Lighting umbrellas can be used to provide an even and portable source of light.

A lighting umbrella works by creating a diffused light, which is much less subtle than a direct flash. The light is bounced off the umbrella which naturally diffuses it. If you are taking any photos, then you might want to discover why you need to use a lighting umbrella.


When working with a direct flash, the objects in the photo will be exposed to a harsh light. This can create harsh shadows, which might affect the quality of your picture. A lighting umbrella can minimize these shadows because the light is reflected through the umbrella. The light is diffused through the curved surface, which will minimize the shadows.

Multiple Light Sources

Using one lighting umbrella will minimize the shadows. However, using multiple umbrellas can virtually eliminate all of the shadows in an image. This is only normally possible in a studio as they are fairly difficult to set up. The different light sources can be positioned at different angles to provide a move even light.

Choosing Equipment

When you want to use a lighting umbrella, you need to choose the right equipment. A lighting umbrella kit is an important thing to purchase as this contains the umbrella itself. You will also need a flash and may need a flash shoe. If you are using a flash which can be fitted onto a camera, then you will need a flash shoe. This holds the flash securely on the tripod. It's worth using wireless flash guns which can be triggered without any wires.

There are also studio lights which can be mounted directly onto a tripod without any specialist adapters. There are also some kits available which include everything you need. These can be found easily in many photography stores.

Shoot through or Reflected

The most common use of an umbrella is to reflect the light from the flash gun. They can also be used as diffusers. These make good diffusers because they have curved fabric, which often works better than other diffusers.

To use shoot through, you will need to be able to remove the black cover from the umbrella. Shoot through is only normally suitable for shooting at short distances. Reflected should be used wherever possible. If you are interested in shoot through, then you will need to choose an umbrella which has a removable back cover.

A lighting umbrella is an ideal way to provide perfect lighting for your photographs. This makes it possible to ensure that the lighting is perfectly even and not too harsh.