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Shoot thru vs Bounce Umbrella

June 21, 2010

(I shot this near the South Street Seaport with two umbrellas in shoot through arrangement.)

One of the most basic and affordable lighting modifiers is an umbrella.  There are two types of basic umbrellas and you can also get it as a two in one.  The first time is just a white translucent umbrella called a shoot thru umbrella.  As its name suggest, you aim a light placed around the shaft of the umbrella into the concave part of the umbrella.  The second type is one that has a reflective concave surface with a black cover on top to prevent the light from shooting through the top of it.  If you look at the below photo I found on the web, you will notice the two light spreads of the two types of umbrellas.  The shoot thru has light going every which way while the bounce umbrella has only light reflective from its concave surface.  So, the choice of which to use depends on whether you need that light scattered everywhere or you need it to be restricted more.

In the picture above, it was shot outside and with a basic shot like that, I really didn’t care much if the light went everywhere or not so either a shoot thru or a bounce umbrella would have done just fine.

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