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Photographing Fun with Umbrellas

Updated on August 8, 2015
LuisEGonzalez profile image

I enjoy photography and have been doing so professionally and independently for over 30 years.

Public Domain
Public Domain | Source

Umbrellas are typically used when you want to keep the rain from getting you wet or even to keep you cool under a hot Sunny day.

But if you look at an umbrella with a photographer's mindset you may see other possibilities involving these useful tools and your camera.

People can be shown having fun with umbrellas or simply being whimsical . All it takes is a good imagination and some creativity to make the project come to life.

You can even make the umbrellas the center of attention and capture images that only feature them.

Whatever the final use you give your models and umbrellas or even the umbrellas alone, just do your best, try new techniques, be creative and think outside of the box.

Professionals can take an image of a common everyday subject and turn it into a magical and often surreal photograph which people love to look at. This is what you should always aim for. | Source

Besides photographing when it is raining like most of us are used to seeing umbrellas being used, try to come up with creative poses when the umbrellas are used in a situation that it's not a typical one like when standing in the middle of a water fountain, in the middle of the night on a clear sky, using the umbrella to "hide" from prying eyes like a couple kissing and so on.

You are capturing images of people having fun with an umbrella and using scenes that are atypical of an umbrella's use is what will work.

Think this is a cool fun way to practice photography?

See results

The best approach is probably going to be to get several types of umbrellas in varying colors and designs and use models to work with them.

Plan ahead and carefully select your optimal locations. Don't forget that you can also do part of this project right at home.

Get a water hose to mimic the "dancing in the rain scene". Shoot at night using photo lights, make some silhouettes, couples hiding behind the umbrella and so on.

However exotic or nice looking locations do add to the charm of the shoot so if able try to find several to work in.

CC0 Public Domain
CC0 Public Domain | Source

You can also take the opportunity of taking photos that fit a more natural purpose or even have a more "romantic" appeal.

Images of finely dressed ladies like times of past are appropriate for this topic. Keep in mind that if you have the models, the umbrellas and the scenery you can turn this fun project into a more formal one simply by altering the apparel worn by your models.

You can take regular rainy day shots and by manipulating portions of the scene, turn them into better more eye catching images that can capture and retain the gaze of your viewers. A good technique is to blur out the edges of the shot like in the picture below. | Source

If you want to add "feeling" to your images try altering the light to depict a more gloomy or nostalgic atmosphere.

This is best done in a studio setting but you can also turn cloudy day images into the same "nostalgic" feeling ones with a digital editing program.

Look at the photo below. Making it darker and playing with the tones gives the image a old looking and nostalgic. although a bit gloomy, appeal.

Do not overlook turning color images into monochromes since the lack of color in and of itself renders photos into more "old" kind of nostalgic looking ones and monochromes have their own appeal. | Source

© 2015 Luis E Gonzalez


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