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Old Dec 24, 2008, 7:44 AM   #1
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I'm looking to buy a small studio lighting kit and have been reading on white versus silver umbrellas. I'm still not sure how much of this data is from speculation or actual field use.

Can anyone please share their comments on selecting an umbrella color and how it affects color and contrast?


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Old Dec 24, 2008, 8:38 AM   #2
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For people (i.e. skin tones), get a white umbrella. The light from asilver umbrella is often too harsh for skin tones. We do a lot of senior portraits and teen agers are famous for their acne problems; we stay away from very reflective silver during these times.If you want to get another color to supplement your white umberlla (I don't know how many lights you have), you might consider a gold umbrella. A gold umberlla gives a very warm look to skin tones. During the winter months when we do swim suit shoots, we'll use 2 white umbrellas and a gold umbrella to give the look of a tan, even though that may not be the case. Silver umberllas do have their place, and that's product shots. If you're shooting items for a catalog or for sale on eBay, silver umbrellas work well.
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Old Dec 24, 2008, 10:34 AM   #3
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Many of the umbrellas come in combination of 2 layers. Outer has a silver inside surface for silver reflection. Inside layer is white. Can be used as a white reflector in combination with the outside layer, or the outside layer can be discarded and the white layer used as a shoot through umbrella. Other combinations are also available I think.

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