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Old 14th of August 2007 (Tue)   #1
stefeb
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Default Bounce or Shoot Through For Main Light

Got the Alien Bee Digital Kit- (2) AB800, Bounce Umbrella, Shoot Through Umbrella, stands, etc.

Which umbrella would you use for your main light, the bounce, or shoot through?

Thanks.
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Old 14th of August 2007 (Tue)   #2
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Default Re: Bounce or Shoot Through For Main Light

I would use the shoot-thru umbrella if you don't have a softbox.

The bounce can be used as a fill.

K.
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Old 14th of August 2007 (Tue)   #3
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Default Re: Bounce or Shoot Through For Main Light

I agree, shoot-through for main. I love the nice, diffuse lighting of a shoot-through umbrella
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Old 14th of August 2007 (Tue)   #4
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Default Re: Bounce or Shoot Through For Main Light

Quote:
Originally Posted by kav View Post
I would use the shoot-thru umbrella if you don't have a softbox.

The bounce can be used as a fill.

K.
Thank you K.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcap View Post
I agree, shoot-through for main. I love the nice, diffuse lighting of a shoot-through umbrella
Excellent. Thank you.
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Old 14th of August 2007 (Tue)   #5
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Default Re: Bounce or Shoot Through For Main Light

Useful site which has lots of tutorials:

http://www.photoflexlightingschool.c...ons/index.html

K.
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Old 14th of August 2007 (Tue)   #6
TMR Design
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Default Re: Bounce or Shoot Through For Main Light

I've done a lot of testing and found that there are characteristics of both that I like. In general, if you want the softest light then work nice and close with the shoot through. If you don't need or want that very soft light then the bounce works very well.

Fo instance, when working with subjects that are young and have very smooth skin with no blemishes then bouncing is great and there is a bit more definition than the shoot through.
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Old 14th of August 2007 (Tue)   #7
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Default Re: Bounce or Shoot Through For Main Light

Quote:
Originally Posted by kav View Post
Useful site which has lots of tutorials:

http://www.photoflexlightingschool.c...ons/index.html

K.
Great site. Just what I was looking for. Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMR Design View Post
I've done a lot of testing and found that there are characteristics of both that I like. In general, if you want the softest light then work nice and close with the shoot through. If you don't need or want that very soft light then the bounce works very well.

Fo instance, when working with subjects that are young and have very smooth skin with no blemishes then bouncing is great and there is a bit more definition than the shoot through.
Thanks Robert, your tips are great.
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Old 14th of August 2007 (Tue)   #8
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Default Re: Bounce or Shoot Through For Main Light

If you haven't bought anything yet seriously look into a softbox. I prefer the quality of light over both shoot through and bounce into umbrellas. Get a box with several layers of diffusion.
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Old 14th of August 2007 (Tue)   #9
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Default Re: Bounce or Shoot Through For Main Light

Steve states celarly that he bought a package containing the umbrella.

Of course we can suggest he buy all kinds of goodies but let's have him making use of the equipment he has to learn about them and the characteristics of each.

If at some point he wants to advance to other light modifiers and has the money to do so then he can explore softboxes, diffusion panels and a host of other modifiers.

I'm sorry to say that too often someone asks a question like this and they are told to spend money. It simply isn't necessary. He can do wonderful things with a shoot through umbrella. I know. I've done it. Nothing at all wrong with learning with simple gear and upgrading later.

Steve....I would use the shoot through as the main light and the other umbrella as a bounce for fill source.
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Old 14th of August 2007 (Tue)   #10
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Default Re: Bounce or Shoot Through For Main Light

Of course you can do wonderful things with umbrellas. He asked for some advice I gave it. I have always preferred the quality of light from a soft box especially when dealing with formal portraits of a single person or a couple. Also I find the rectangular catch light that mimics a window more pleasing that a circle from an umbrella. Because of the very diffused nature of a softbox you have less light spilling in areas that you might not want it in so it gives you far more control. If you are doing single or couples try one light on subject and a reflector.
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Old 14th of August 2007 (Tue)   #11
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Default Re: Bounce or Shoot Through For Main Light

He stated he has 2 umbrellas and asked which to use, not what to buy. He was not looking for recommendations on other gear. Did you read his question?
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Old 14th of August 2007 (Tue)   #12
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Default Re: Bounce or Shoot Through For Main Light

How much is a soft box and an adapter? It ain't like buy'n a 300 2.8L. Cheap investment for another option. Why would that get you so worked up anyway? Isn't learning and sharing of ideas what a forum is all about? Its just advice, its free, no one got hurt in the process. Set down the coffee and step away from the keyboard.
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Old 14th of August 2007 (Tue)   #13
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Default Re: Bounce or Shoot Through For Main Light

Worked up? Back the train up. I answered his question. You suggested he buy something. He didn't want to know what to buy... and who are we to say what others consider a small amount of money.

I was simply pointing out that the OP asked a specific question and you didn't answer his question. Instead you are recommending he buy gear. He just bought a kit. Let him learn with it. He can do amazing things with it.
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Last edited by TMR Design : 14th of August 2007 (Tue) at 09:28.
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Old 14th of August 2007 (Tue)   #14
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Default Re: Bounce or Shoot Through For Main Light

This thread reminds me of...

Q: Would it be more economical to drive at 65 mph with my windows open, or with my windows closed and the air conditioning on?

A1: Tests show that air conditioning is more effecient than the increased air drag caused by open windows.

A2: You should get a convertible because it looks cool, as you feel cooler.

If he had asked "What kind of car should I buy?" both answers are useful facts. But for the question posed, A1 is on the mark, and A2 is useful information that has no bearing on the guy who already owns a sedan with air conditioning.
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Last edited by Wilt : 14th of August 2007 (Tue) at 09:47.
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Old 14th of August 2007 (Tue)   #15
airfrogusmc
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Default Re: Bounce or Shoot Through For Main Light

Actually its a guy thats just getting his lighting set up started and I know my advice is unsolicited but I'm gonna give it anyway. Wilt its kinda more than that its knowing when to use what quality of light. So many portrait guys out there go with the Sears method of lighting main light umbrella fill light one stop down umbrellas and F/8 and the light stands are secured so you can't move them. Never learning quality of light let alone when to use an umbrella and when to use a softbox or when to use a short light, broad light or butterfly. My advice as always is start with one light and learn how the use it with an umbrella then with a softbox. Master that and learn the different quality of light and when to use a broad or a short light. How many times have you seen a portrait with a thin woman with a long nose shot with a short light and a normal lens or a heavy woman, round face with a broad light? Learn one light then add another and figure out what time you need a fail and when you don't. The only way to learn this and what worked best for you is to actually do it. Once you've started to get a grip then you know for yourself whats best for you. In my opinion a softbox in the tool kit is just anther way to get the right light in the right situation. Some things umbrellas are better at and some things softboxes are better at and the only real way is to find the answers yourself. Can't find the answer if you ain't got the tool.
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