Painting umbrella with "U-V Killer."

Mack

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Following up on my thread about UV light upsetting the birds (Here: https://www.mu-43.com/threads/uv-light-and-skittish-birds.110937/post-1464302 ), I got a wind-proof umbrella off Amazon for $12. It has two layers with slots in it to let wind blow through unlike normal photo umbrellas that take flight in desert wind. Why manufacturers of photo gear don't adopt them is odd. Took off the handle and shoved it into a coupler and 5/16 drill rod for a support rod that slips into the flash mount.

Bad part is the polyester fabric has UV brighteners in it so your flash will go very blue, likely even more than the sun if used for a fill with a flash unit.

So I also got the "U-V Killer" off Amazon as well. I added a teaspoon of 91% drugstore alcohol and about a tablespoon of the "U-V Killer" which helped to stick it to the fabric. I painted the stuff onto the triangular panels to see what happens with flash. I painted one panel three times with an hour dry between each, and one panel with just one layer of the mix. Rest of umbrella I left stock.

Firing a Godox AD600 through it, I could measure the color temperature of the"U-V Killer" through the three panels. The flash was firing at 5,750K, and the panel I painted three times passed the same 5,750K through it. The single application measured bluer at 6,220 K, and the untreated (stock) fabric went really blue up to 6,750 K, or about needing an 1/8 CTO filter to bring it back to that of the flash.

Looking though the umbrella below with the three panels. I will painted the rest of it three times tomorrow.

Umbrella-UV-Treatment.jpg
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fortwodriver

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Are you using that to take photos of birds up in trees? On the ground?

With something like that around you, even if you remove the UV component, they're still going to see you.

You might want to check in with Moose Peterson about ways to keep birds around. I don't think he has ever had to resort to that kind of hiding. Even if you were to somehow permanently de-brighten your reflectors, they can still see YOU. Ultimately, the birds have to get used to you being there, and you have to have patience, or distance, to make that happen. That may include creating an environment the birds would want to visit (like a branch or something like a natural perch.)

Curious to see what your application is.
 

Mack

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Are you using that to take photos of birds up in trees? On the ground?

With something like that around you, even if you remove the UV component, they're still going to see you.

You might want to check in with Moose Peterson about ways to keep birds around. I don't think he has ever had to resort to that kind of hiding. Even if you were to somehow permanently de-brighten your reflectors, they can still see YOU. Ultimately, the birds have to get used to you being there, and you have to have patience, or distance, to make that happen. That may include creating an environment the birds would want to visit (like a branch or something like a natural perch.)

Curious to see what your application is.

The umbrellas are mostly for shooting fashion and people, not birds, although one could possibly make up a bird studio using them (Aside, I normally use long-throw parabolic reflectors for the birds.). I'm tired of dragging out 2-4 soft boxes and putting the things together, only to have the wind kick up and bend them up, or kink a light stand's tube so it doesn't collapase any longer, or have the flash head ripped off into the wild-blue yonder. Don't get me into lugging sand bags or piing up rocks on stands anymore either. One of the movie sites has four flights of stairs and dragging all the stuff ap up and down them is taking a physical toll on me too. I end up spending about three hours setup and tear down and packing time with all this lighting stuff.

Umbrella is cheaper than some $250 soft box, easier to carry and pack, and much less setup time. However, they suffer the same UV issues that many soft box cover/diffusion fabrics suffer from by passing too much UV due to their fabrics (E.g. White wedding dress that is blue on one side due to UV flash and normal on the sunlit side.).

I only made the bird's reference from them being able to spot UV better as the UV brighteners seem abundant in clothes so the wildlife spots them easier and makes them more skittish, imho.

Fwiw, I've been in contact with the design engineer at Westcott and they are thinking of returning to study a wind-proof umbrella design. Odd it hasn't hit the photo field, but they have in beach and golf wind-proof umbrellas. Have to wait and see what they come up with.
 
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The umbrellas are mostly for shooting fashion and people, not birds, although one could possibly make up a bird studio using them (Aside, I normally use long-throw parabolic reflectors for the birds.). I'm tired of dragging out 2-4 soft boxes and putting the things together, only to have the wind kick up and bend them up, or kink a light stand's tube so it doesn't collapase any longer, or have the flash head ripped off into the wild-blue yonder. Don't get me into lugging sand bags or piing up rocks on stands anymore either. One of the movie sites has four flights of stairs and dragging all the stuff ap up and down them is taking a physical toll on me too. I end up spending about three hours setup and tear down and packing time with all this lighting stuff.

Umbrella is cheaper than some $250 soft box, easier to carry and pack, and much less setup time. However, they suffer the same UV issues that many soft box cover/diffusion fabrics suffer from by passing too much UV due to their fabrics (E.g. White wedding dress that is blue on one side due to UV flash and normal on the sunlit side.).

I only made the bird's reference from them being able to spot UV better as the UV brighteners seem abundant in clothes so the wildlife spots them easier and makes them more skittish, imho.

Fwiw, I've been in contact with the design engineer at Westcott and they are thinking of returning to study a wind-proof umbrella design. Odd it hasn't hit the photo field, but they have in beach and golf wind-proof umbrellas. Have to wait and see what they come up with.

I dunno if I would call them wind-proof. I believe the slots help to bleed off air pressure on the concave side to reduce the chances of the umbrella blowing inside out. I don't think there is enough air flow to prevent the umbrella from being blown over in a breeze. Still need to be thoroughly anchored down outdoors. I don't do lighting stuff, but from personal experience using umbrellas in windy rainy conditions to try to stay dry, the slots do help with reducing blow out, albeit not completely in strong winds.
 

Mack

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I dunno if I would call them wind-proof. I believe the slots help to bleed off air pressure on the concave side to reduce the chances of the umbrella blowing inside out. I don't think there is enough air flow to prevent the umbrella from being blown over in a breeze. Still need to be thoroughly anchored down outdoors. I don't do lighting stuff, but from personal experience using umbrellas in windy rainy conditions to try to stay dry, the slots do help with reducing blow out, albeit not completely in strong winds.
Agree.

Fabric need not be so tightly woven to the point of being rain proof, maybe more of an open weave would suffice. Adding more slits to the umbrella too and not the over-lapping canopy design as currently used. Maybe multiple slits just touching so wind can readily pass through them easier. Lots of possibilities for Westcott to work on, but likely to be more different than the current windproof/rain ones. Hopefully less UV brighteners too. Maybe a stiff spring in the shaft for flexing a bit too.

Another thought would be to replace the umbrella fabric with a one inch wide ribbon and spiral it onto the umbrella frame with glue holding it at each rib - sort of like a pinwheel. That would allow wind to pass through it freely. Dunno about the opening and closing though.
 
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fortwodriver

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Fancy that, we're discussing passing wind...through umbrellas.
I'm surprised Westcott doesn't have something for this (other than branded sandbags - I broke a toe on one) ...

I thought Broncolor had a wind-proof brolly-reflector in the 80s or 90s though. I think it was almost completely open in the centre, and instead of having a white material, it had a ring of silvered fabric around the edge that was quite wide. Essentially the centre of the device reflected nothing, and everything came from the material around the edge.
 

Mack

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That ray crown looks interesting. I wonder what amount of difference that missing middle gives vs a whole umbrella.

I wondered the same thing about the light loss. The two outside beach shots looks like it barely was a fill for the sunlight, but I need more info. Those ring-light looking catch-lights bother me too (other-worldly). I prefer nice solid round ones that my defunct 30 yr. old Lighthouse Moonlights give me. Back in that era, Reflectasol made some square umbrellas, and Lighthouse came along and went to the round ones but their round aluminum frames required a lot of assembly (I leave mine partially assembled now.).

fortwodriver mentioned about the open center and I was wondering if one were to rip off the top canopy of a generic white or silver one and use it with an open flashtube how it would work? The Ray Crown idea looks like he uses some sort of chrome reflector on an open tube flash to direct the light to the sides for his open reflector. The flash looks to be a large 1,200+ws unit given the extension cables in some shots.

If the Ray Crown unit goes into production, the cost seems to be between $3,200-$3,800 on the Facebook link to it. Quite a bit if it does get blown over and breaks a rib. Six pounds on the Bowens/Balcar mounts might be taxing too. I dunno...

I've used one of those 86" Paul Buff PLM umbrella things (Still only $39 too!) and it was just too heavy for the flash mount, imho. The shaft was hollow so I added a hardened steel drill-rod to it for support (The Buff site mentions no replacement shafts available and no warranty if bent either.). I used a heavy-duty separate mount and stand to hold it, aside from a second stand for the flash which then ended up being quite a bit of kit to haul and set up. Luckily, it was indoors at the machinery site so no wind present else it would be a disaster.

Looking at the Paul Buff website, wonder if one could take a cheap $29 PLM umbrella and hot-knife some slits in it? If the fabric is a plastic type, a hot-knife cut would seal the edges from fraying. Sail makers use them to edge the fabric in sails. Basically, they are a wood-burning soldering iron with a chisel-like knife edge where they cut the fabric and sear the edges while cutting out the sail's pattern on a glass plate. The Buff site says the fabric used is +/150 Kelvin color shift so they are ahead there.

Aside, wish I could get this stuff down to a quick "Grab-and-Go setup" and not something that takes a full day to pack, double-check the extra parts needed, assembly tools (Hex wrenches for when things slip.), and the time to setup and dismantle it all. Too much work!
 

Mack

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Took an old (wind bent) umbrella to a 25 watt wood burning iron fitted with an X-acto blade. Burned some slits through the thing about three inches apart and about 3/4" from the frame ribs. I used a sheet of glass since it won't dissipate the irons heat and makes a smoother cut and less tendency to stick to glass as it melts and cuts the slits. I've used this before with polyester fabrics and it really works well (Sail maker's trick.).

Now to see what happens with it in wind. Of course there is no wind today. Figgers.

Wind-Slits-in-Umbrella.jpg
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Wind-Slits-in-Umbrella-2.jpg
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