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Title:
UMBRELLA DEVICE COMPRISING EXTERIOR RIBS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/151925
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention relates to an umbrella device (1) for controlling light.The umbrella device (1) comprises a base element (3) comprising a first end (5) and an outer circumference (7), and a light collecting umbrella (9), comprising a base portion (11), a fabric comprising a reflective inner surface (13) and an outer surface (15), and an aperture (17).The base portion (11) is arranged at the first end (5) of the base element (3).The umbrella device (1) further comprises a plurality of ribs (19), arranged to stretch out the fabric of the umbrella (9). Furthermore, the ribs (19) are protruding from the outer circumference (7) of the base element (3), extending along the outer surface (15) of the umbrella (9), at a distance (21) from said outer surface (15).The ribs (19) are further connected to the outer surface (15) of the umbrella (9) by means of connecting elements (23), wherein the connecting elements (23) are resilient elements,and being arranged to transfer outwards directed forces from the ribs (19) to the umbrella (9), so as to distribute said forces over the outer surface (15) of said umbrella (9).The invention also relates to an umbrella assembly (45) comprising such an umbrella device (1).

Inventors:
WERNER JOHAN (SE)
STENBACKA EMIL (SE)
ANSÉHN JOHAN (SE)
Application Number:
SE2019/050054
Publication Date:
August 08, 2019
Filing Date:
January 25, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PROFOTO AB (SE)
International Classes:
F21V7/18; G03B15/06; F16M11/00
Domestic Patent References:
WO2013098678A12013-07-04
Foreign References:
US20170248834A12017-08-31
US9267662B22016-02-23
US20130322051A12013-12-05
US20100265691A12010-10-21
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ZACCO SWEDEN AB (SE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. An umbrella device (1) for controlling light, the umbrella device (1) comprising; a base element (3) comprising a first end (5) and an outer circumference (7), and a light collecting umbrella (9), comprising a base portion (11), a fabric comprising a reflective inner surface (13) and an outer surface (15), and an aperture (17), said base portion (11) being arranged at the first end (5) of the base element (3), the umbrella device (1) further comprises a plurality of ribs (19), arranged to stretch out the fabric of the umbrella (9),

characterized in that

the ribs (19) are protruding from the outer circumference (7) of the base element (3), extending along the outer surface (15) of the umbrella (9), at a distance (21) from said outer surface (15), and that said ribs (19) are connected to the outer surface (15) of the umbrella (9) by means of connecting elements (23), wherein the connecting elements (23) are resilient elements, and being arranged to transfer outwards directed forces from the ribs (19) to the umbrella (9), so as to distribute said forces over the outer surface (15) of said umbrella (9).

2. The umbrella device (1) according to claim 1, wherein the ribs (19) are resilient rods (37).

3. The umbrella device (1) according to claim 1, wherein the connecting elements (23) comprises resilient fabric.

4. The umbrella device (1) according to claim 3, wherein each rib (19) comprises at least one strip of resilient fabric, wherein each strip extends from the base element (3) to the aperture (17) of the umbrella (9), and is attached to the outer surface (15) of the umbrella (9) and a corresponding rib (19), along a length (25) of said rib (19).

5. The umbrella device (1) according to claim 3, wherein each rib (19) comprises a plurality of strips of resilient fabric, wherein for each rib (19), each strip being attached to said rib (19) extends from the base element (3) to the aperture (17) of the umbrella (9), and each strip being attached to the outer surface (15) of the umbrella (9) at separate radially spaced out positions along said outer surface (15).

6. The umbrella device (1) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the umbrella device (1) is a collapsible reflector.

7. The umbrella device (1) according to claim 5, wherein the base element (3) comprises an adjustment device (33) for moving the ribs (19) between a relaxed state and an expanded state, which expanded state stretches out the fabric of the umbrella (9).

8. The umbrella device (1) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the umbrella (9) is shaped like a truncated parabolic cone.

9. The umbrella device (1) according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the base element (3) comprises a hole (41) arranged at a centre of said base element (3), which hole (41) comprises form fitting coupling means (43) for selective coupling to auxiliary photographic devices.

10. An umbrella assembly (45), comprising a light source positioning device (47), comprising form fitting coupling means arranged to receive an umbrella device (1), attachment means (49) for receiving a stand (51), wherein a stand (51) is coupled to said attachment means (49), and docking means (53) for receiving a light source (55), wherein a light source (55) is coupled to said docking means (53),

characterized in that

it comprises an umbrella device (1) according to claim 9, wherein said umbrella device (1) is arranged at the form fitting coupling means of the light source positioning device (47).

Description:
UMBRELLA DEVICE COMPRISING EXTERIOR RIBS

TECHNICAL FIELD

The invention relates to an umbrella device for controlling light during photograph operations according to the appended claims.

BACKGROUND ART

Incoming light is of uttermost importance during photographing as said incoming light aimed at the motive greatly affects the end result of the photo being taken. Such incoming light affects the motive with regards to several characteristics of said light, such as incoming direction, the size of the light source, the amount of light shining on the motive and other additional light sources affecting the motive as some examples. It is therefore often desirable for professional photographers to use light controlling devices such as light flashes, reflectors and other light controlling devices to achieve proper light conditions when taking

photographs. This is especially important and useful in a photographic studio where natural light is absent and all incoming light is in one way or the other provided and controlled by the indoors environment and the photographer.

Two such light control devices which are commonly used are light controlling umbrellas and/or so called light boxes having a reflective interior, wherein a light flash is positioned to flash light towards the interior of said umbrella, which reflects the light towards to motive. Due to the light being reflected by means of the reflective inner surface of the umbrella, the flash of light will be perceived as a larger source of light than the initial flash of light from the light flash itself. This is often beneficial as a larger light source provides softer shadows which are sought after for many types of photographs, such as portrait photos for example. There are various designs for these types of reflectors, wherein the different types of design have correspondingly various characteristics with regards to functionality. Depending on factors such as size, durability, quality and intended usage such umbrella assemblies may be manufactured in various ways, with different types of materials used, and having a variety of functions and/or accessories adhered thereto. For such an umbrella assembly intended to be of high quality with regards to the light output it provides, the shape and finish of the inner reflective surface is of vital importance as flaws in the reflective surface will be reflected in the quality of the given light output. A smooth shape and finish is therefore desired as an uneven surface may cause diffraction in the reflective light. This may be difficult to achieve, especially for large umbrella assemblies of the collapsible type, as it may be difficult to provide an even distribution of forces when expanding the shape of the umbrella.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Despite prior art there is a need to develop an umbrella assembly which provides an even reflective surface with good finish. There is also a need to develop an umbrella assembly which provides a reliable perceived light source with a low amount of diffraction related to the reflection of the light.

An object of the invention is thus to provide an umbrella assembly which provides an even reflective surface with good finish. Another object of the invention is to provide an umbrella assembly which provides a reliable perceived light source with a low amount of diffraction related to the reflection of the light.

It should be noted that the term umbrella device is meant to be seen as such devices commonly used in a photographic studio, and may be of various designs such as soft reflectors (commonly called umbrellas) but also so called light boxes, which may be perceived similar to umbrellas but having a more polygonal shape, or other. When using the term umbrella device within the disclosure, it is to be read as a device having a light source and some sort of light shaping/controlling reflector, like that of an umbrella, a cone, truncated cone, a cylinder or other, wherein said shape is formed and defined by means of a plurality of ribs arranged to expand and stretch out a fabric of such a reflector.

According to an embodiment an umbrella device for controlling light is provided. The umbrella device may comprise a base element comprising a first end and an outer circumference. The umbrella device may further comprise a light collecting umbrella, which may comprise a base portion, a fabric comprising a reflective inner surface and an outer surface, and an aperture. The base portion may be arranged at the first end of the base element. The umbrella device may further comprise a plurality of ribs, arranged to stretch out the fabric of the umbrella. The ribs may protrude from the outer circumference of the base element, and extend along the outer surface of the umbrella, at a distance from said outer surface. Furthermore, the ribs may be connected to the outer surface of the umbrella by means of connecting elements, wherein said connecting elements may be resilient elements, arranged to transfer outwards directed forces from the ribs to the umbrella, so as to distribute said forces over the outer surface of said umbrella.

By means of stretching out the fabric of the umbrella from the outer surface by means of the ribs and the connecting elements, the reflective inner surface will not be fragmented by the ribs. This is beneficial as light reflected by such an inner surface may be reflected more evenly as the ribs are not interfering with the reflection of the light as they would if said ribs would be stretching out the umbrella from the inside as with a conventional umbrella. Furthermore, the connection elements being arranged to pull the fabric of the umbrella from the outside instead of stretching out the fabric by means of a pushing force from the ribs alone (if arranged at the inner surface of the umbrella) may distribute the forces stretching out the umbrella more evenly, and thus in a more advantageous manner. Even further, by means of arranging the ribs at the base element, wherein they are protruding from the outer circumference of said element, it may be easy to provide large outwards directed forces to and from the ribs. As the ribs are positioned in such a manner, located at the base element and directly at the umbrella, said base element may be designed as bulky and rigid to provide and sustain a large amount of force to the ribs without interfering with the design of the umbrella. This may have the advantage that the provided forces acting on the umbrella are provided in a reliable and consistent manner. It should be noted that the term outwards with respect to the direction of the forces provided by the ribs, and acting on the umbrella, are meant as outwards with respect to the outer surface of the umbrella. As should be obvious, such forces are thus forces which stretch out the fabric of the umbrella in such a manner that the intended shape of the umbrella is achieved. The connecting elements may assist in distributing forces over the outer surface of the umbrella as they may be manufactured in various ways to transfer a force acting in a single directed to be more evenly spread out over said outer surface. The connecting elements being resilient elements may further provide an advantage in that the connection elements have a flexibility which further enhances the distribution of forces acting on the fabric of the umbrella. Such connection elements may provide a smoother pulling force on the fabric as such non-rigid connection element will not transfer the pulling force of the ribs in a fixed manner. Thus the risk of undesired spots of the umbrella being pulled with too much force locally may be alleviated, and a smoother reflective inner surface may be provided to the umbrella.

It should be noted that the term umbrella device is meant to be seen as such devices commonly used in a photographic studio, and may be of various designs such as collapsible soft reflectors (commonly called umbrellas) or light boxes, which may be perceived similar to umbrellas but having a more polygonal shape. When using the term umbrella device within the disclosure, it is however to be read as a device having a light source and some sort or widening shape, like that of an umbrella, a cone, truncated cone or similar. When relating to an aperture of such a device it is then to be viewed as an opening of such a device wherefrom light is provided, wherein a circumference of such an aperture have some sort of side walls, wherein an end portion of such side walls form said aperture.

According to an embodiment the ribs may be resilient rods.

This may provide an advantage for umbrellas having an at least somewhat rounded profile shape. The resilient rods may thus have a flexibility which further enhances the distribution of forces acting on the fabric of the umbrella. Such rods may follow the shape of the umbrella at least partly, and also provide a pulling force on the fabric which is not static and thus alleviate the risk of undesired spots of the umbrella being pulled with too much force locally, and thus even out the pulling force over a large area.

According to an embodiment the connecting elements may comprise resilient fabric.

This may provide the same advantages as previously described with regards to the connecting elements being resilient elements. Furthermore, the connecting elements comprising resilient fabric may provide additional benefits as having the connection elements and the umbrella both be made of fabric may provide an easier attachment process. Both said structural elements being fabric makes it possible to attach said elements to each other by means of various simple and cost effective ways, such as stitching, gluing or other. According to an embodiment each rib may comprise at least one strip of resilient fabric, wherein each strip extends from the base element to the aperture of the umbrella, and is attached to the outer surface of the umbrella and a corresponding rib, along the length of said rib. This may provide the same advantages as previously described with regards to the connecting elements comprising resilient fabric. By means of providing such resilient fabric in the form of at least one strip, said strips may then provide additional advantages as said strips will offer connecting elements having a large contact between said strip and the outer surface of the umbrella. At the same time as said strips are made of a resilient fabric, they provide a smooth distribution of the pulling forces from the ribs, all along the outer surface of the umbrella.

Furthermore, if the distance between the ribs and said outer surface is not uniform along the length of the strip, the flexibility of the resilient strips may assist in distributing the transferred pulling forces from the ribs to the outer surface of the umbrella, which in turn will smooth out the reflective inner surface and thus provide a good finish to said inner surface. According to an embodiment each rib may comprise a plurality of strips of resilient fabric, wherein for each rib, each strip being attached to said rib extends from the base element to the aperture of the umbrella, and each strip being attached to the outer surface of the umbrella at separate radially spaced out positions along said outer surface.

This may provide the same advantages as previously described with regards to the connecting elements comprising resilient fabric. By means of providing such resilient fabric in the form of a plurality of strips, the pulling forces from the ribs are spread out over a larger area of the umbrella and thus distribute said forces more evenly. Thus, a smooth reflective inner surface is reliably provided to the umbrella, which inner surface has a finish of high quality.

According to an embodiment the umbrella device may be a collapsible reflector. Thus an umbrella device having a smooth reflective inner surface with finish of high quality is provided, while at the same time having the advantage of being collapsible. A collapsible umbrella device may be advantageous as storage and transportation is made easier when the umbrella is in a collapsed state. Furthermore, as such an umbrella may be expanded and collapsed, the features provided by the connecting elements which distributes the pulling forces from the ribs to the fabric of the umbrella provides a reflective inner surface with high accuracy and reliability over repeated usage over time.

According to an embodiment the base element may comprise an adjustment device for moving the ribs between a relaxed state and an expanded state, which expanded state stretches out the fabric of the umbrella.

By means of positioning the adjustment device at the base element, and thus behind the reflective inner surface of the umbrella, the adjustment device will not interfere with either incoming light from a light source, providing light towards said reflective inner surface, nor the reflected outgoing light being reflected from said surface. This is advantageous as the risk of undesired shadows is lowered, which shadows could be the result of positioning devices and/or mechanisms within the span of the umbrella.

According to an embodiment the umbrella may be shaped like a truncated parabolic cone.

This may be beneficial as a parabolic shape is ideal for providing correct reflection of light for certain applications. If a light source is positioned at the focal point of such a parabolic shape, a maximum amount of light may be reflected to provide a laminar light flow away from the reflector, and thus provide an even light source with proper shadows for certain photographs and/or motives.

According to an embodiment the base element may further comprise a hole arranged at a centre of said base element, which hole comprises form fitting coupling means for selective coupling to auxiliary photographic devices.

Such form fitting coupling means may be utilized to couple the umbrella device to a device holding a light source, wherein such a device may provide said light source to an interior of the umbrella device. By means of providing corresponding form fitting coupling means to both the umbrella device and to any suitable auxiliary photographic device, a plurality of useful and beneficial photographic equipment may be used in combination with ease.

According to an embodiment an umbrella assembly is provided. Said umbrella assembly may comprise a light source positioning device, comprising form fitting coupling means arranged to receive an umbrella device, and attachment means for receiving a stand. The umbrella assembly may further comprise such a stand, coupled to said attachment means. The umbrella assembly may also comprise a docking means for receiving a light source, wherein a light source is coupled to said docking means. Furthermore, the umbrella device may comprise an umbrella device having form fitting coupling means, wherein said umbrella device is arranged at the form fitting coupling means of the light source positioning device.

Thus an umbrella assembly is provided which in turn provides the advantages of the inventive features of the umbrella device to said assembly. The light source positioning device may further comprise a pivoting arm arrangement arranged adjacent the attachment means for the stand. By means of providing such a pivoting arm arrangement, and in combination with the features of the umbrella device, the umbrella may be controlled in a precise manner with regards to aligning the aperture towards a motive to be photographed or similar.

Additional objectives, advantages and novel features of the invention will be apparent to one skilled in the art from the following details, and through exercising the invention. While the invention is described herein, it should be apparent that the invention is not limited to the specifically described details. One skilled in the art, having access to the teachings herein, will recognize additional applications, modifications and incorporations in other areas, which are within the scope of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Fig. 1 shows an umbrella device in a perspective view according to an embodiment,

Fig. 2 schematically shows parts of an umbrella device in a side view according to an embodiment,

Fig. 3a schematically shows parts of an umbrella device in a front view according to an embodiment,

Fig. 3b schematically shows parts of an umbrella device in a front view according to an embodiment,

Fig. 3c schematically shows parts of an umbrella device in a front view according to an embodiment,

Fig. 4 shows an umbrella device in a perspective view according to an embodiment, and Fig. 5 shows an umbrella assembly in a perspective view according to an embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Fig. 1 shows an umbrella device 1 in a perspective view according to an embodiment. The umbrella device 1 may primarily be used for controlling light from different types of light sources during photographic procedures. The umbrella device 1 may comprise a base element 3, which may comprise a first end 5 and an outer circumference 7. The umbrella device 1 may moreover comprise a light collecting umbrella 9, which may comprise a base portion 11, a fabric comprising a reflective inner surface 13 and an outer surface 15, and an aperture 17.

The fabric which forms the shape of the umbrella 9 and the aperture 17 of said shape may, as seen in fig. 1, have a rounded shape so as to provide a large round flow of light when used in combination with an interiorly positioned light source such a light flash. However, other shapes are of course possible without deviating from the scope of protection according to the disclosure. The base portion 11 of the umbrella 9 may further be arranged at the first end 5 of the base element 3 of the umbrella device 1. The umbrella device 1 may further comprise a plurality of ribs 19, arranged to stretch out the fabric of the umbrella 9. Herein it should be obvious that the shape of the umbrella 9 is directly derived from the number of such ribs 19 and their positioning. Wherein, if another shape, such as a more polygonal type of shape, i.e. a light box, is desired, the number of ribs 19 may be drastically lowered compared to the umbrella 9 as depicted in fig. 1. An even more rounded shape may also be provided if the number of ribs 19 instead is increased. The ribs 19 may be protruding from the outer circumference 7 of the base element 3, extending along the outer surface 15 of the umbrella 9, at a distance 21 from said outer surface 15. The ribs 19 may further be connected to the outer surface 15 of the umbrella 9 by means of connecting elements 23, arranged to transfer outwards directed forces from the ribs 19 to the umbrella 9, so as to distribute said forces over the outer surface 15 of said umbrella 9. By means of arranging said ribs 19 along the outer surface 15 of the umbrella 9, the ribs are not positioned along the inner reflective surface 13 and will thus not interfere with a reflection of light at said inner surface 13.

Furthermore, the connecting elements 23 may also comprise a resilient material wherein the connecting elements are to be perceived as resilient elements. Such resilient elements may have a flexibility which may provide a smooth transition of force from the ribs 19 to the outer surface 15 of the umbrella 9.

The connecting elements 23 may be provided to interconnect the outer surface 15 of the umbrella 9 and the exteriorly arranged ribs 19 in a variety of ways. Depending on the desired shape and size of the umbrella 9, different embodiments of connecting elements 23 may be preferred. One larger connecting element 23 may be used per each rib 19, or a plurality of smaller connecting elements 23, spread out over a length 25 of each rib 19 may also be used. The connecting elements 23 may further be attached to the outer surface 15 of the umbrella 9 with a comparatively large surface area so as to enhance the distribution of forces over a larger area, which in turn lowers the risk of locally high pulling forces in the fabric of the umbrella 9.

The connecting elements 23, as depicted in fig. 1, may be designed in various ways while providing their intended function. The connecting elements may, as depicted in fig. 1, be perceived as a single elongated connecting element 23, extending from about the base portion 11 of the umbrella 9 to about the aperture 17 of the umbrella 9. The design of the connecting elements 23 may be modified however, and may comprise a plurality of smaller connecting elements 23, arranged spread out over the extension of a rib 19. Furthermore, the umbrella device 1 may comprise additional connecting elements 27, arranged at tips 29 of each rib 19, and connecting the tips 29 of the ribs 19 to an edge 31 of the aperture 17 of the umbrella 9. Said additional connecting elements 27 may have a shape corresponding to the desired shape of the umbrella 9 and its aperture 17, wherein a surface of the additional connecting element being connected to the outer surface 15 of the umbrella 9 may have a rounded shape, an angled shape or other, so as to correspond with said desired shape of an umbrella 9 and aperture 17.

The umbrella device 1 may, as depicted in fig. 1, further comprise an adjustment device 33 for moving the ribs 19 between a relaxed state and an expanded state, which expanded state stretches out the fabric of the umbrella 9. Such an umbrella device 1 may thus be a viewed as a collapsible reflector. A collapsible reflector may provide an advantage with regards to storing and handling of the umbrella device 1, as a folded umbrella 9 is easier to carry and place in storage. The adjustment device 33 may comprise two handles 35, wherein the handles 35 may be used in a pumping manner to shift an angle of the protruding direction of the ribs 19 relative the base element 3. Thus the ribs 19 are moved outwards relative a centre line 39 of the umbrella 9, wherein the umbrella 9 hence moves to its expanded state. An embodiment of the umbrella device 1 comprising such an adjustment device 33 may further also comprise a release mechanism so as to release the expanding forces of the ribs 19. Such a release mechanism is however not depicted in fig. 1, but may be any type of known mechanism in the arts.

The umbrella device 1 may comprise ribs 19 comprising various characteristics and functions without deviating from the scope of the disclosure. The ribs 19 may be regarded as stiff elements, or as resilient elements in the form of resilient rods 37 (this will be explained in more detail with reference to fig. 2). Furthermore, a resilient connecting element 23 may comprise resilient fabric. A fabric-type material may provide several benefits to the

construction of such an umbrella device 1, such as being easy and cost effective to

manufacture and likewise easy and cost effective to attach to the fabric material of the outer surface 15 of the umbrella 9.

For an embodiment of the umbrella device 1 having resilient rods 37, and resilient connecting elements 23 of a fabric-type material, the umbrella device 1 is provided with several advantageous features, which will be explained in detail with reference to fig. 2.

Fig. 2 schematically shows parts of an umbrella device 1 in a side view according to an embodiment. As should be obvious, the depiction of the embodiment of an umbrella device 1 shown in fig. 2 is simplified in a very schematic way. This is not to be viewed as restrictive for such an embodiment but simply as a means of exhibiting technical features in a clearer and easier manner. The parts of the umbrella device 1 shown in fig. 2 are the base element 3, part of an umbrella 9 and one rib 19 in the form of a resilient rod 37, connected to the outer surface 15 of the umbrella 9 by means of a connecting element 23 of resilient fabric. As should be understood, the umbrella 9 may be provided with any number of similar resilient rods 37 and resilient fabric connecting elements 23 around the circumference of the umbrella 9 in a rotationally symmetric manner. The resilient rod 37 as shown in fig. 2 may be perceived as having a straight shape when the umbrella 9 is in a relaxed, non-expanded state. When expanded, as in fig. 2, the resilient rod 37 may be bent due to its flexibility. The umbrella 9 according to this embodiment may be shaped like a truncated parabolic cone. As is shown in fig. 2, the shape of the resilient rod 37 and the profile of the umbrella 9 are not parallel, wherein the 21 distance between the resilient rod 37 and the outer surface 15 of the umbrella 9 varies along the extension of the connecting element 23, which may be perceived as a strip of resilient fabric. By means of providing the umbrella device 1 with connecting elements 23 of resilient fabric, the disparity in shape between the resilient rod 37 and the profile of the umbrella may be bridged by the flexibility of the resilient fabric. The expanding force from the resilient rod 37 may thus smoothly be transferred to the outer surface 15 of the umbrella 9, regardless of the shapes of the resilient rod 37 and the umbrella 9.

The shape of such a resilient rod 37, exposed to expanding forces and coupled to resilient connecting elements 23, is thus not reliant on having a specific shape corresponding to the outer surface 15 of an umbrella 9 to which it is connected. This makes manufacturing easier as a stiff rod having a specific shape, or a resilient rod 37 which will obtain such a specific shape when bent with a certain amount of force, are more difficult to manufacture and more susceptible to flaws in said specific shapes.

The umbrella device 1 according to the disclosure may however be provided with rigid ribs which do not bend, or bend very little when used to expand an umbrella 9 of such an umbrella device 1. If such an umbrella device 1 is provided with rigid stiff ribs, a strip of a resilient fabric arranged as a connecting element 23 may have a total surface area which corresponds to the larger disparity in shapes between the ribs 19 and the profile shape of the umbrella 9. Such an umbrella device 1 may thus have a conical profile shape defined by the ribs 19, and any desired other type of shape of the umbrella 9, wherein the resilient fabric-type material of the connecting elements 23 bridges the gap between the ribs 19 and the umbrella 9.

Thus, an umbrella device 1 may be provided, which comprises a plurality of ribs 19, wherein each rib 19 may comprise a strip of resilient fabric, wherein each said strip may extend from the base element 3 to the aperture 17 of the umbrella 9, and may be attached to the outer surface 15 of the umbrella 9 and a corresponding rib 19, along at least parts of the length 25 of said rib 19. Such an umbrella device 1 will hence provide a smooth transition of forces between the exteriorly positioned ribs 19 and the shape of the umbrella 9 by means of the resilient strip of fabric, which will flex as a result of a locally higher applied force instead of transferring such a locally higher force to the outer surface 15 of the umbrella 9. This in turn leads to an umbrella device 1 which provides a smooth reflective inner surface 13 to the umbrella 9, which surface 13 may have a good and reliable finish. Light reflected from such a surface 13 may thus be of excellent quality for photographic purposes.

Fig. 3a schematically shows parts of an umbrella device 1 in a front view according to an embodiment. This embodiment may be perceived as similar to that of fig. 1 or fig. 2, but seen in a front view wherein only a top portion of the aperture 17 is shown. The five ribs 19 shown in fig. 3a may be connected to the outer surface 15 of the umbrella 9 by means of resilient connecting elements 23, wherein each such connecting element 23 is positioned in such a way that it extends radially from the centre line 39 of the umbrella, as depicted by the dotted lines. The connecting elements 23 may provide the same advantages as described with reference to fig. 2, wherein each connecting element 23 provides a distribution of forces from its corresponding rib 19 to the outer surface 15 of the umbrella 9. As shown by the simplified schematic view of fig. 3a, the shape of the aperture 17 may be seen as polygonal

representation of part of a circle, wherein the number of connecting elements 23 and ribs 19 directly affects the shape of such an approximation of a circle.

Fig. 3b schematically shows parts of an umbrella device 1 in a front view according to an embodiment. The embodiment of fig. 3b may be viewed as similar to that of fig. 3a, wherein the same number of ribs 19 is arranged at the same positions with respect to the umbrella 9. However, the embodiment depicted in fig. 3b may be perceived as an umbrella device 1 wherein each rib 19 may comprise a plurality of strips of resilient fabric, acting as connecting elements 23. For each rib 19, each strip may be attached to said rib 19 extending from the base element 3 to the aperture 17 of the umbrella, and each strip may be attached to the outer surface 15 of the umbrella at separate radially spaced out positions along said outer surface 15. The embodiment of fig. 3a comprises three such strips for each rib 19, wherein an intermediate strip is arranged in the same manner as for the embodiment of fig. 3a, with the addition of two outer strips, arranged at equal angles relative the intermediate strip. Each rib 19 may thus provide a larger number of contact points or contact lines with the outer surface 15 of the umbrella 9 without altering the number of ribs 19 being used. As should be obvious, this may provide a more rounded shape to the aperture 17 of such an embodiment. The outer strips may not be attached to the rib 19, but instead merely be attached to the outer surface 15 of the umbrella 9, wherein said outer strips may be formed by means of a single strip, attached to the outer surface 15 at a distance from its corresponding rib 19, extending over the rib 19 and then be attached to the outer surface 15 at an equal distance at the opposite side of the rib 19.

Fig. 3c schematically shows parts of an umbrella device 1 in a front view according to an embodiment. The embodiment depicted in fig. 3c comprises three ribs 19 instead of five as for the embodiments of fig. 3a and fig. 3b, wherein every other rib 19 is removed comparatively. Each of the three ribs 19 instead comprises a total of five strips of resilient fabric, acting as connecting elements 23, arranged between each said rib 19 and the outer surface 15 of the umbrella 9 at radially separated positions. As is illustrated, the number of ribs 19 may thus be lowered but by increasing the number of connecting elements 23 a good shape may still be provided to an umbrella 9 according to this embodiment of an umbrella device 1.

As shown with reference to the embodiments of fig. 3a-3c, the inventive concept according to the disclosure may be modified in various ways without deviating from the scope of the disclosure and the appended claims. As should be obvious, the embodiments described and compared herein may be further modified with regards to the total number of ribs 19 and connecting elements 23 used for a specific embodiment of an umbrella device 1. The embodiments of fig. 3a-3c are thus to be viewed as illustrative examples and not restrictive. Further modifications may also be possible, such as using connecting elements 23 having a non-uniform shape, as in not being shaped as strips but having a varying thickness over their extension from the ribs 19 to the outer surface 15 of the umbrella 9 for example.

Fig. 4 shows an umbrella device 1 in a perspective view according to an embodiment. The embodiment depicted in fig. 4 may be perceived similarly to that of the one depicted with reference to fig. 1, but with the difference that all ribs 19 are provided with connecting elements 23 of the same design. The umbrella device 1 may, as depicted in fig. 4, further comprise a hole 41 arranged at the centre of the base element 3 of the umbrella device 1. The hole 41 may comprise form fitting coupling means 43 for selective coupling to auxiliary photographic devices. Said auxiliary devices may be devices such as flash devices, stands and/or intermediate coupling devices which in turn are coupled to a stand, pivoting arm arrangement for positioning of the umbrella device 1 or other similar devices used for photographic purposes. The coupling means 43 may be designed in various ways depending on an intended usage, wherein the shape and size of said coupling means 43 of course may vary. The coupling means 43 may also be complemented by comprising any commonly used locking means known in the arts, so as to provide a more secure attachment of the umbrella device 1 to an auxiliary device. Auxiliary devices intended to be used in combination with an embodiment of the umbrella device 1 comprising such coupling means 43 may naturally be provided with corresponding coupling means arranged to receive such an umbrella device 1. Thus different types of combinations and umbrella arrangements may be attained.

Fig. 5 shows an umbrella assembly 45 in a perspective view according to an embodiment. Such an umbrella assembly 45 may comprise any embodiment of an umbrella device 1 according to the disclosure; the only required feature being that said umbrella device 1 comprises a hole 41 having coupling means 43 arranged at the base element 3. The umbrella assembly 45 may comprise a light source positioning device 47, comprising form fitting coupling means arranged to receive an umbrella device 1, attachment means 49 for receiving a stand 51, wherein a stand 51 is coupled to said attachment means 49, and docking means 53 for receiving a light source 55, wherein a light source 55 is coupled to said docking means 53. As depicted in fig. 5, the stand 51 mentioned may be a tripod, and the light source 55 may be a flash device. Said coupling means 43 of the umbrella device 1 may thus be coupled to an auxiliary light source positioning device 47 comprising corresponding form fitting coupling means. The light source positioning device 47 may comprise a second base element 57, comprising a hole through which a shaft 59 is glidingly arranged. The shaft 59 comprises said docking means 53 for the light source 55, so as to be able to provide said light source 55 along the centre line 39 of the umbrella 9. The second base element 57 may further comprise a first arm member 61, extending from the base element 3 and being pivotally coupled to a second arm member 63, which second arm member 63 comprises the attachment means 49 arranged to receive the stand 51. Thereby an umbrella assembly 45 is provided, which assembly 45 may be provided with the several technical effects and advantages disclosed herein with reference to the inventive concept of the umbrella device 1. Such an umbrella assembly 45 may thus be provided with an umbrella 9 having a precisely shaped reflective inner surface 13 with an excellent finish, wherein light reflected by said inner surface 13 will be reflected in a precise and reliable manner. The foregoing description of the embodiments has been furnished for illustrative and descriptive purposes. It is not intended to be exhaustive, or to limit the embodiments to the variants described. Many modifications and variations will obviously be apparent to one skilled in the art. The embodiments have been chosen and described in order to best explicate principles and practical applications, and to thereby enable one skilled in the art to understand the embodiments in terms of its various embodiments and with the various modifications that are applicable to its intended use. The components and features specified above may, within the framework of the embodiments, be combined between different embodiments specified.