Product Spotlight: Umbrella Diffusion Covers & Panel

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This lesson focuses on how to use the new line of Photoflex Umbrella Diffusion Covers and Black Panel Umbrella Cover. Lightweight and easy-to-use, these are the perfect accessory product for photographers who are fans of umbrella lighting.

Umbrella Diffusion Cover

The Photoflex Umbrella Diffusion Cover is designed for use with 45″ and 72- reflective umbrellas. This cover fits over the front of a reflective umbrella to covert it into a lightweight soft box. The one-stop diffusion material transforms the bright, wrapping light of a bounce umbrella to a softer portrait light. Perfect for all genres of photography where a soft box would be used.

For maximum light output, the Umbrella Diffusion Cover works best with silver interior umbrellas. Below you can see the Photoflex 45″ Adjustable Silver Umbrella paired with the 45″ Diffusion Cover.

This is an excellent combination for portraits, head shots and beauty photography. The bright, wrapping light of the umbrella improves skin tone and yields high contrast results. This setup works well for individual portraits as well as groups.

In the examples below, f5.6 was used to throw the background slightly out of focus and each image was captured at shutter speed 1/125 (ISO 100). The light from the umbrella also illuminated the background and the wrapping quality of umbrella light prevented a strong shadow from falling on the backdrop.

In the comparison below, you can see the effect of the umbrella with and without a cover. In the image on the right with the umbrella cover added, the hard shadow beneath the chin is softened and the overall exposure is more even in terms of contrast.

For a softer look, you can substitute a white umbrella in place of silver. In the setup shot below, you can see the 45″ Diffusion Cover paired with the Photoflex 45″ Adjustable White Umbrella.

The white umbrella in place of silver resulted in softer highlights and less contrast overall. The white-warm surface of a Photoflex 32″ 9-in-1 MultiDisc Reflector was added to pop more light into the subject’s face and soften shadows beneath the chin, brow bone and nose.

The images below were captured with f5.6 at shutter speed 1/125 (ISO 100).

Large umbrellas are excellent for full body images and adding a diffusion cover converts a large umbrella to a large soft box with wide-spread light. To achieve the full-length images you see below, we paired a 72″ Silver Reflective Umbrella with the 72″ Umbrella Diffusion Cover.

One advantage of this technique is the need for only one light source. With such a large umbrella, the wide-spread and softened light illuminates the background/backdrop without the need for a second light. The images below were shot at f5.6 with a shutter speed of 1/125 (ISO 100).

Umbrella Silver Panel Cover

The Photoflex Black Panel Umbrella Cover is designed to work in tandem with the Photoflex 72” White Satin Shoot-Through Umbrella. The cover fits securely over the back of the umbrella to direct more light through the shoot-through fabric, making it even more effective. The result is soft and widespread light, which is perfect for portraits, fashion, beauty and glamour photography.

For this part of the shoot we positioned the umbrella directly in front of the subject at a slightly downward angle to illuminate her as well as the backdrop. The SunLite surface of a Photoflex 32″ 9-in-1 MultiDisc Reflector was added to intensify the highlights and minimize shadows beneath the chin.

The backdrop from Serendipity Backdrops was chosen for it’s blue color as the contrast with gold really made the colors pop. We wanted the beautiful backdrop to be in focus so the images below were captured at f5.6 with a shutter speed of 1/125 (ISO 100). Towards the end of the shoot we added a fan to give some lift and movement to the hair.

These new Umbrella Diffusion Covers and Black Panel Umbrella Cover are excellent tools for photographers who like to use photographic umbrellas. Super lightweight and easy to transport, they are sure to become your next beloved accessory.

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