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beauty dish

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Photographer Todd Owyoung specializes in photographing bands and musicians and has for many years now. One of his favorite light modifiers if the beauty dish and years ago, he set out to create his very own that could give him the right amount of light in just the right spot whenever he wanted it. Todd called it the “Chinatown Special”, and I only wish that he actually manufactured and sold them.

However, Todd posted a tutorial a while back on how to create them. Fair warning though: it’s a lot of work.

Beauty dishes are used to give a very fashiony look to a subject while giving soft, diffused light with a bit of an edgy. They’re fun to work with, and we played with a Roundflash’s take on the modifier recently.

His construction inspired by very own hack to make a speedlight work with a beauty dish. This is far easier, but involves using an actual beauty dish.

Todd’s video on how to create a DIY Beauty Dish is after the jump.

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While some photographers will tell you to take the flash out of your camera’s hot shoe, others love using it in that position. No matter what you’re doing, the only thing that matters is making sure that the light looks beautiful. This can be done with the flash on the camera or off ot it and the way to do it is usually with a flash modifier of some sort. But there are also a couple of tips and tricks that you can use to make it look even better.

Here are some of the best flash modifiers for your speedlights (speedlites) along with some tips on how to use them.


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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Roundflash dish review product images (7 of 7)ISO 4001-50 sec at f - 2.0

Roundflash has been creating collapsible and portable light modifiers for years. They started with the original Roundflash Ring flash, then they upgraded the Ring flash to version two. But now, they’re out with their take on the beauty dish. The dish is meant to mimic the look of an actual beauty dish–except that the version from Roundflash provides a permanently attached diffusion sock. That’s totally fine if you prefer your beauty dishes to have extra diffusion besides the bounce and reflection that they already have implemented.

Beauty dishes are best known for their work on fashion shoots and portraiture. But in recent years, they’ve become more popular amongst the wedding crowd for photographers that want their clients to have a swanky, high end look to their images.

And the results? Well, surprising is a really big understatement.

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BHInsights Chris Gampat Beauty Dish Speedlite Mating (6 of 8)

A beauty dish and an umbrella can accomplish different looks due to the way that they diffuse light. While an umbrella will more or less spread the light out in pretty much every forward facing direction, a beauty dish will bounce it off of a plate then reflect it back around a dish area. YouTube User Ticknor Photography decided to do a demonstration of one modifier against the other when it comes to headshots. The only criticism that we have of the otherwise very informal video is that the light modifiers aren’t the same size. Otherwise, you’ll want to turn your speakers up because the sound is a tad low.

His findings are that the beauty dish delivers more texture on the skin–which you’ll either not want if you’re retouching the image or want if you’re trying to get all the skin details. In general, beauty dishes are used more for fashion photography and portraits that are meant to have a very fashiony look. If you want a similar look from an umbrella, you need one with a silver interior.

The video is after the jump.

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A very long time ago, I hacked a beauty dish to work with a speedlight by stuffing a Gary Fong Lightsphere into the back of it. It worked well enough–and now it seems like the idea has caught on. RoundFlash recently announced their new RoundFlash Dish–a flash modifier that connects to your speedlight and gives off light almost like a beauty dish. It seems loosely based off of their very excellent RoundFlash Ring Flash Version 2.

Inside of this unit is a mirror that bounces the light backward and into a reflective area that then spreads the light out and evenly. Plus, it has a built in diffusion dome for even softer light.

It attaches to the head of your flash via a belt system and only costs around 69 Euro. If it’s anything like what the RoundFlash Ring Flash is, we’re super excited for it.

 

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Phottix is continuing to build up their light modifiers with their brand new line of Luna modifiers. These modifiers are collapsible–similar to the Westcott Rapid Boxes which we previously reviewed. The beauty dish comes in a 28 inch configuration while the Octa comes in a 43 inch size. The modifiers use fiberglass rods that connect to a speedring for mounting to your favorite lights. Granted, it comes with a Bowens speedring, but those are becoming an industry standard at this point. However the rings can be swapped out for another.

The Octa will set you back $75 while the folding beauty dish will cost $65.