Apollo Orb vs Umbrella for Flash Photography Portraits

Apollo Orb vs Umbrella for Flash Photography Portraits

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Which is a better light modifier for flash photography portraits?

Other lighting videos you should watch:

Apollo Orb Tilt Problem:

3 Rules of Lighting for Photography:

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Free Lighting Course:

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12 thoughts on “Apollo Orb vs Umbrella for Flash Photography Portraits”

  1. one advantage the Orb has over other light modifiers has is outdoors in weather…shooting with it in a snow shoot, my light was protected from the moisture…other photogs were scrambling to keep their lights dry

  2. I frequently use the Orb in a feathered orientation. Softer shadows and less background spill. Also better if I’m using background gels – less contamination by the ungeled Key Light. The grid might also be an interesting addition to provide added control and directionality.

    Try shooting without the front diffusion panel for a more specular light due to the silver interior.

    Did you set the speedlight zoom to 14mm and/or use a diffusion cap? Try using 2 speedlights for greater coverage of the interior of the Orb.

    Thanks for the fine videos. Keep up the good work.

  3. Just popped up in my mind: What you could also do is reverse the umbrella, cover it with a black sheet (or buy a reflected umbrella) and face the speedlight to the inside the umbrella so the light will bounce back directional to the model.

  4. Because of the infrequency of how often I use my studio set up I do tend to use cheaper makes. Thus far its worked out well, but would I recommend that someone who uses their soft boxes several times a week? I don’t think I would without pointing out the risks.

    I don’t think you mentioned in the video which way you have the speedlight facing inside the box? I tend to have mine facing to the back to take full advantage of the lining and to reduce the hot spot having it facing forward can cause. It also makes it a softer larger light source as the entire box comes more into play rather than the centre and whatever stray light bounces off the sides. It’s a small but noticeable difference I notice most when shooting food where a softer, maybe flatter, light can be desirable for your keylight and then to create your own highlights and controlled shadows later. Perhaps I should have brought this up last week in conjunction with the multi-speedlight bracket I mentioned then.

    A very enjoyable and interesting video, thank you very much indeed for the effort you put into making it. The thing I noticed most was how you managed to get separation between your model's beautiful hair and the darker background. That to me that is real skill and craftsmanship.

  5. Agreed and my two cents on the comparison:
    First of all, the model has her face more towards the light therefor there is less shadow on the nose at the Apollo shot.
    Second , the specular highlights on her cheeks are more intense with the Apollo which imply the light is more intense (directed to) that area.
    However on her breasts is equal.
    So the umbrella should be (measured and directed ) more to the middle of her face.
    And overall you are TRUE, the fall off of the umbrella is much more at the outside , but this is the best video and detailed explanation I have ever seen !

  6. do you think it's possible to demonstrate the lighting setup for both a Low Key portrait and a High Key portrait?



  7. Thanks a lot, Ed for showing the comparisons of the umbrella and the Apollo Orb brolly, specially for doing the clamshell shoot. I expected the photo using the Orb would be more contrasty than the umbrella. But your photos show just the opposite. The photos using the umbrella have more shadows. Very interesting. I bought both kinds on eBay and they are among the least expensive light modifiers (Neewer and Godox). I use the brolly mainly, with a silver reflector on the stand. I use another brolly or soft box as the kicker light. Sometimes, i add a bare flash with gel to light the background. (I learned this from your past vids. Thanks.) The results appear satisfactory. I took some photos of my colleagues. And they were amazed how good the photos turned out. Thanks again for doing this. I always look forward to your next video.

  8. I was surprised the umbrella produced slightly harder shadows. Normally shoot-through umbrellas throw light everywhere. That usually results in walls becoming reflectors(particularly in my small home studio, so I tend to stick to boxes/octas), filling the shadows as you said. I guess the spill lost enough power(inverse square law, chosen aperture and all that) to not affect the image.

  9. Got some experience with the Apollo Orb? Better yet, have you tried one of the knock-off brands? I'd really like to know your opinions on these.

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