They say you're not a true Portlander if you own an umbrella, but I'm pretty sure they weren't talking to photographers when they decided that. Umbrellas are some of the easiest to use and least expensive light modifiers available, a perfect option for photographers just getting into off-camera flash. They are portable, take just seconds to set up, and are very effective at diffusing light from a variety of sources—a speedlight, strobe head, or even a constant light. I have found, however, that people often get confused by the myriad options available. So here's a brief overview of the different types of lighting umbrellas.