Tuesday, May 3, 2011
The beauty dish
I was working one time in our studio at work when our photographer showed me this light modifier called a beauty dish. It was this piece of aluminum (I think) shaped like a pan, with another piece of aluminum in the center of it. It snapped directly to the lights that we were using and our photographer used it to photograph products. One time we had a model, he used it to highlight the edges of the model from the side. I kinda liked how it highlighted parts of the subject so I decided to get one myself.
I ordered one online. I ordered the dish that snapped on the speedlites instead of the studio lights. It was around $40.00 plus shipping. It arrived within a week.
Looking at it after grabbing it from the box, the beauty dish seemed to be well constructed. Not flimsy and fragile at all. Assembly was required but it wasn't that hard. So I ran up my studio and snapped it on one of my speedlites. It held my speedlite pretty good. I then attached it to my light stand to try it out.
The beauty dish gives you this lighting that is kind of unique. It gives you highlights where you want it. It actually makes your highlights more pronounced than a softbox, but softer than a snoot or a barebulb. So the highlight level is in between very soft and very harsh. It gives the portrait more pop without burning out the highlights. Similar to the effect of compressing your highlights and shadows in the levels adjustment in photoshop. I guess the aluminum piece in the center prevents the highlights from being blown out while giving you that pop that you wanted in portraits.
I am very pleased with the results actually. For portraits, the beauty dish is one light modifier you should have in your arsenal.