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Beauty Dish Lighting?

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  • Beauty Dish Lighting?

    I have been shooting with umbrellas and softboxes for a long time and am contemplating picking up a beauty dish. Are there any noticeable differences in lighting with a dish, as opposed to a softbox (other than shape of catchlight)? Is the quality of light any different/better with a dish? Positioning different? Does it add a different look to your subject? Any samples taken with a dish that you are willing to post?

    Just curious if others can share in these experiences.

    Thanks in advance,
    Carl

  • #2
    Carl, I would personally start off with a big soft box from larson. 6x8 if you can. The beauty dish would be something to use for fun of a senior session. Maybe only 10 or 15% of the time. I bet it would be great for hi contrast bw.
    "Stay Ignorant, My Friends"

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    • #3
      I've seen beauty dish shots that were pretty cool. Not the same as an umbrella and softer than a small reflector. I'd like to get one too. It would certainly make your stuff look different than all the other "softbox" guys out there. I wish I could remember where I've see examples. I'd link you to 'em.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Tim Babin
        Carl, I would personally start off with a big soft box from larson. 6x8 if you can. The beauty dish would be something to use for fun of a senior session. Maybe only 10 or 15% of the time. I bet it would be great for hi contrast bw.
        Thanks, Tim. When I posted this thread, my intention was for many uses and not just limited to Seniors - just did not know where to post it (still finding my way around here).

        I already own a 3' x 4' softbox - yes, a 6' x 8' would be ideal. I do most of my shooting on location since I work out of my home. This portraiture thing is a part time business for me, but my real passion. I am always looking for ways to do things better and hopefully this provides just another option.

        Carl

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Jeff Kennedy
          I've seen beauty dish shots that were pretty cool. Not the same as an umbrella and softer than a small reflector. I'd like to get one too. It would certainly make your stuff look different than all the other "softbox" guys out there. I wish I could remember where I've see examples. I'd link you to 'em.
          Thanks, Jeff! I have seen images on other forums but the quality of the work on this forum is far and above anywhere else. I look foward to giving it a try and I may have to post some samples soon - may get you to buy one afterall!

          Carl

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          • #6
            Carl, i think you will find that it will be a better modifyer for single subjects. Maybe two or three subjects in the right sort of situation.
            "Stay Ignorant, My Friends"

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            • #7
              Tim, yes you are right. I am looking to use it for head & shoulder type shots. Was just wondering if it were somewhere between an umbrella and softbox in terms of contrast.

              Thanks.

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              • #8
                Carl send me a link to let me see one again.
                "Stay Ignorant, My Friends"

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                • #9
                  Now I'm curious.....I've never heard of a beauty dish....
                  then I wanted to see what one looks like....
                  I found this link from B and H
                  http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=340633&is=REG

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                  • #10
                    Carl, I looked at the light again. It is only 22 inches in diameter. So I bet it will only be marginally softer than an umbrella of the same size. Though silver or white will show some differences in contrast of the same size modifier. I do not think you can make a 22 inch modifier appear to have the same softness of a 42 inch modifier. That is more the relationship of size relative to the subject.

                    If you put it 2 inches away from a baseball it will be soft. If you put it 15 feet away it is not. Bigger the light souce the more wrap around ability it has which is the quality we equate to soft.
                    "Stay Ignorant, My Friends"

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                    • #11
                      That looks interesting... is that something you shoot through like the ring light? I would love to find something for my high contrast b&ws.

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                      • #12
                        Annie,
                        It's kinda like a large reflector shaped like a wok. The real pros use the expensive ones like the Mola. Mine is about 20" in diameter and about 5-6" deep and has a smaller reflecting diffuser in the middle (bounces the light back against the white pan. When I get a chance I'll take a photo of it.

                        It's not a modifier for every photographer nor every face, IMHO. Someday I might get good at it.

                        I play around with mine once in a while with a model buddy, still trying to get it right. You can soften the light a bit with some diffusion material over it. The samples below don't have the diffusion material over it.

                        Here's a headshot with basic retouching:


                        This one I adjusted the contrast and we both decided we like this one better:



                        Of coarse, you can vary the distance to the subject for different looks:



                        There's another one full length of this model in my gallery of the Pro4um. I think it's called "KISS and a Dish" or something like that but it's not one of my favorites.

                        P.S. Member Mike Scott uses one with better results. Where's he been anyways?

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                        • #13
                          Hatch Man, uh what is that background on the last one? I like it.
                          "Stay Ignorant, My Friends"

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                          • #14
                            Interesting...I just read a good book where the author used a beauty dish quite a bit...got me thinking about picking one up. Great samples...LOVE that bkgr., Keith!

                            ~Wen

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                            • #15
                              Diane you Read?
                              "Stay Ignorant, My Friends"

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