The Godox Lux Senior is One of the Most Exciting Flashes of Modern Times

It’s sometimes really hard to get excited about flashes. But the Godox Lux Senior is not only completely different from most of what’s out there, but it looks super cool. Trailing on the success of the Lux Junior announcement, the Godox Lux Senior holistically embraces the retro look and design. But it also brings some modern advancements. And if you were a fan of the old Vivitar 283 or Vivitar 285 flash, then you’ll probably really like the Godox Lux Senior.

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What Photographers Need to Know About Their Beauty Dish

A beauty dish is an excellent tool for photographers who want a soft but punchy look.

We’re pretty sure that the work of most photographers these days is done with a beauty dish of some variant. They are now some of the most popular light modifiers out there. Because of their design, they deliver the best of many worlds. Photographers adore umbrellas for their inefficient light spill. Meanwhile, softboxes are loved for their efficient and soft approach to lighting. But beauty dishes make the best of both worlds. Just like all light modifiers, the bigger they are, the better they can be. So let’s understand a bit more about why they’re so awesome.

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Tutorial: The Differences Between a Parabolic Umbrella and a Beauty Dish

Photographer Anita Sedowska takes us through what a parabolic umbrella and a beauty dish do for portraiture.

When it comes to portrait photography there is no doubt in my mind that softboxes are the most popular diffusers, but parabolic umbrellas and beauty dishes are also a favorite of many photographers. If you’re just getting into lighting, then it can be difficult to look at an image and determine whether a softbox, umbrella, or beauty dish was used to shoot it. Anita Sedowska takes you through this in her latest tutorial video which you’ll find after the jump, but we thought that we’d go into our archives to dig even deeper.

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The Phottix Luna Ii Is Striving to Be the Only Portable Beauty Dish You Need at $80

Beauty Dishes don’t have to be immobile, just look at the Phottix Luna II!

Phottix has been doing their best to make photographers’ lives easier with quality lighting and lighting accessories for years. One popular product that took away some headache was the Luna, their foldable/collapsible beauty dish. We reviewed it a while back; and it was fantastic. The company just unveiled their new Luna II, their next generation portable beauty dish designed to make utilizing it on the go effortless and as easy as can be. Continue reading…

Five Essential Accessories for the Strobist Photographer on the Go

Photographers who tend to shoot and use flashes while on locations typically also try to pack light. In most situations when you’re trying to shoot guerilla style and without getting permits, you need to be versatile yet also need to get your specific creative vision across. This can surely be made simple with just you, your camera, and a radio flash. But you can get even more out of your scene with a few extra compact items that are bound to not take up a lot of space in your bag.

Check these out!

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Review: Pictools Folding Beauty Dish (47.25 inches)

There’s been a trend in beauty dish creation over the past few years that the Pictools Folding beauty dish really adheres to: good quality while being easy to put together and use. To boot, the beauty dish is also fairly compact when fully collapsed. It goes into its own bag and can be assembled fairly quickly if you’re just a bit patient with some of its oddities.

What you’ll be rewarded with is a pretty awesome beauty dish that I personally feel works better as an octabank; and quite a sturdy one too!

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Lighting Basics: How to Light Portraits with a Beauty Dish

So far, we’ve covered how to light portraits with an umbrella, an octabank and a softbox–today we’re focusing on the beauty dish. Beauty dishes were used mostly by fashion and portrait photographers for a while and for the most part they still are. They’re designed to give a very specific soft look that is directional and uses light in an inefficient way. The look has been characterized as being like a softbox and an umbrella at the same time. That’s part of the beauty of a beauty dish–pun totally intended. There are lots that are available about there, and you can easily hack them to do what you want too.

So let’s get into it!

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How to Figure Out What Light Modifier To Use

Many photographers just getting into working with light specifically are often very confused about what light modifiers to use. But they’re also never quite sure what they should use for the type of work that they’re doing. The true answer is that everyone is making good stuff these days and that very few people will be able to look at an image and immediately tell what light modifiers you’re using in the same way that they won’t be able to tell your camera, lens, etc for the most part.

Instead, it’s all about the type of photo that you’re trying to create.

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Profoto Releases New Collapsible Beauty Dish

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Beauty dishes are awesome; but they’ve always been super annoying to carry around because they’re big and not at all collapsible. RingFlash created their own for speedlights a while back, but today Profoto is announcing their own for monolights. Originally called the Profoto Softlight Reflector, it’s now called the OCF Beauty Dish.

This dish isn’t made of metal but instead is made with fabric. It also has a speedring, rods, etc that snap into place. When not in use, it can be collapsed down and put into a bag.

They’re available in White and Silver for only $179; but can only be used with the Profoto B1 or B2 flashes. These are perfectly timed with WPPI 2016.

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The Confusion Behind Modern Light Modifiers for Strobists

ISO 400, 1/100th f2.8

ISO 400, 1/100th f2.8

What do you get when you cross an umbrella, a parabolic umbrella, a softbox, a beauty dish, and an octabank together? You get pretty much every well marketed light modifier that have been coming out in the past couple of years. Yes, there are some traditional softboxes or beauty dish, but they’re not looked at as the best of the best. Those modifiers instead are a cross between so many things.

This makes it so much tougher for the introductory strobists trying to understand how light works and how it falls, but it makes the understanding of it confusing for the experienced shooter too. Many of the more experienced strobists probably have an arsenal of light modifiers–umbrellas, softboxes, etc. They work well and have for years, but there is a very new generation of light modifiers out there that almost promise to be an all-in-one solution.

And for serious lack of better terminology, we’re going to call it the Light Source.

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The Convertible Umbrella: The Most Versatile Light Modifier

ISO 400, 1/100th f2.8

ISO 400, 1/100th f2.8

While many photographers love to work with softboxes, there are many other light modifiers out there. But the single most versatile light modifier out there is the umbrella–and more specifically the convertible umbrella. An umbrella can function as many different light modifiers and the right one can be all you need in your lighting kit. Indeed, it’s a simple to use and very effective light modifier that gives you the most bang for your buck.

To understand why, you’ll need to understand more about how the umbrella works.

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Make a DIY Softbox/Beauty Dish for $2

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There are lots of really cool hacks that you can do to turn something or another into a softbox or beauty dish. Photographer Trent Dang came up with a very affordable solution using a very underrated reflective material: styrofoam.

By taking a small styrofoam food container (that looks like it’s had a more than adequate amount of cleaning and perhaps bleaching), Trent was able to cut a hole in it, stuff a flash head, add a diffusion sock, and also incorporate a bounce card to add extra diffusion.

Granted, this is something that we’d use only if an actual softbox broke down. Real softboxes are all about specific shaping of the light, add different reflective and diffusion properties and overall just look much more professional. We surely wouldn’t roll up to a wedding with a softbox made of styrofoam and it also wouldn’t be the best constructed thing to use.

Just think: if the DIY Softbox takes a tumble it’s going to shatter into a million pieces. But again, if you need to MacGyver something in a hurry, this isn’t a bad idea.

The video showing you how to make a DIY Softbox/Beauty Dish for $2 is after the jump.

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Making Your Own DIY 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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The Best Flash Modifiers For Your Speedlite

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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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Review: Roundflash Beauty Dish

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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Studio Headshots: Beauty Dish vs Umbrella

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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RoundFlash Creates a Beauty Dish for Speedlights

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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.

 

Phottix’s New Luna Softboxes and Beauty Dishes Fold Down for Compact Storage

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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.

First Impressions: Dynalite’s Various Lighting Products

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Recently, I attended a photography event, This Is Studio Light, organized by my friend Scott Wyden and hosted by Dynalite. I am a big supporter of helping others learn the craft of photography, as well as learning as much as I possibly can and that’s what we did that day. We started the day with a presentation by Scott called “Photography Studio Lighting On A Budget”(free on Udemy). We then discussed light modifiers with Dynalite’s Jim Morton. Since a lot of Dynalite’s equipment has built-in 32 channel Pocket Wizard transceivers to enable wireless shooting, we had Pocket Wizard Plus III’s and X’s to use.  While shooting I got a quick hands on with a few Dynalite products for the first time.

Here is what I thought.

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