Lighting Umbrella: Making One for Cheap

If you have ventured into photography, one of the most useful accessories you can have is the lighting umbrella. This peripheral is a collapsible dome with a reflective surface. Best used for portfolio or studio photography, it helps in controlling light reflections if you want your subject bathed in diffused lighting. If you’re starting out with photography, or even if you’ve already taken the professional route, you need not shell out a lot of cash to get spanking new equipment. You can make your own lighting umbrella for cheap. Here’s how:

Step 1: Gather the Materials

For this DIY lighting umbrella project, you will need:

  • Umbrella
  • Reflective spray paint (gold for warm, or silver for cool)
  • Old newspapers
  • Optional: C-stand

Step 2: Prepare Your Umbrella

If you were able to find an umbrella with a silver, reflective face, then the job has been done for you already. If not, any cheap umbrella will serve your purpose. Spread out the newspapers so as not to do any damage on your floor. Place the umbrella upside down, and spray paint the inside with your choice reflection. Gold spray paint is great for warm light, and silver is perfect for creating cool lighting.

Step 3: Set It Up

Once the paint has dried, your lighting umbrella is done! To set it up, simply attach it to a c-stand and angle accordingly. You can opt to attach your flash to it, and simply set it off with a wireless trigger. Or, you can set up a light into the umbrella, and just adjust it to get the lighting you desire.