The Versatile Beauty Dish – My Favourite Lighting Patterns


Most folks will be fairly familiar with the Beauty Dish and its usefulness in both fashion and general portraiture. In this tutorial I would like to share with you just how versatile I think the humble Beauty Dish can be and show you just how many lighting patterns you can create with my personal favourite light modifier.

First of all, I should describe exactly what a Beauty Dish is for those perhaps unfamiliar with the modifier. Beauty dishes are essentially large metal bowls, which typically are available in a variety of sizes such as 16″, 22″ or 27″ in diameter. They can be used with both studio strobe and speedlights with the correct speedring fittings.

Inside the dish is an internal reflector. This is a disc of metal, spaced a few inches in from the strobe. This deflects the light from the strobe and pushes the light towards the outside of the dish, ensuring that the only light hitting the subject has been reflected. This creates a very smooth, even and flattering light though this can also depend on the interior of the reflector. Beauty Dishes typically have silver or white interiors. Silver interiors are very specular and produce harder more contrasty light, whereas white interiors are softer and more even as the light inside gets more scattered before leaving the dish, reducing the specular reflections.

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You Can Close The Studio, Amazon Patents Photographing On Seamless White

I am not really sure how to tag this other than a big #fail for the USPTO, or a huge Kudos for Amazon’s IP attorneys. In a patent simply called Studio arrangement Amazon took IP ownership on what we all call shooting against a seamless white backdrop.


The patent describes the arrangement of elements in the studio to make a product shot. it even details the F-stop, ISO value and focal length you need to use [bold text by me]: [Read more…]

Create Seamless White Portraits In Your… Anywhere

Create Seamless White Portraits In Your... AnywhereI’ve had it happen when I heard a veteran photog telling another, “This one? You cannot do this one, you don’t have the gear”.

Now, as the name of the site suggests, this is not what I consider a good answer. A better answer would be a breakdown of the shoot, trying to get some understanding of what is a must for it, what gear is needed and how can we make up for the gear we don’t have. Maybe with another piece of gear; maybe in post; and maybe by changing one of the underlying assumptions that we initially had when thinking about the shoot.

Photographer Scott Bourke (flickr) shows this exact king of thinking in his Sportraits session. There is a nice how to video and then some thoughts. I’d love to hear your take on dealing with gear shortage in the comments. [Read more…]

Studio Lighting – Really cheap homemade diy studio – no lighting needed

cheap studio lightingSo, you want to start your own homemade photography studio but you are totally broke and you want it to be cheap. Actually, being cheap is your prime demand from this studio. You don’t need no external fancy lighting or strobes, you don’t want them expensive softboxes. You just want to try out some still life photography, or you need take some shots for eBay. This article is just for you.

Here is what I have to offer for about 1–3 USD. This still life photography studio utilizes a huge softbox and a seamless backdrop. But before we start lets see some of the prime requirements from a still life photo studio. We want to get even light, with good shadow management and a smooth background that will not distract from our main subject. [Read more…]