Designed by portrait photographer Joel Grimes, the new 24″ Rapid Box Beauty Dish from Westcott seems to tick all of the boxes when it comes to location photography. It’s small, lightweight, and can also double up as a regular 24″ round softbox by adding the diffuser panel on the front.
Having lightweight and portable kit is important when you’re working on location, especially if you don’t have assistants or other crew with you to help you lug it around. In this video from Joel & Westcott, we’re going to see how this one works and how it can be used on location.
I don’t often tend to think about using a beauty dish on location. Usually it’s a 2ft square softbox or 4ft octabox if I need modifiers out in the wild, but I could see this being pretty handy, and offer more options over the standard 2ft boxes I use right now.
Folding up like an umbrella lets this 2ft beauty dish folds down to a diameter of just 6″. It also comes with its own bag to carry it around in. It looks similar size to a tripod bag, and with a big long strap, you can just throw it over your shoulder and off you go.
It comes in five different mount options; Balcar, Bowens, Elinchrom, Photogenic and Profoto, which means that you may not be travelling so lightweight anyway if you have to carry strobes and battery packs around with you.
But, with a modifer this small, especially when you’re using it at distances of only 2-4ft away from your subject, a speedlight can often stand up to the job just fine, even in bright sunlight. All my modifiers are Bowens fit for in the studio, but a simple speedlight bracket with a Bowens mount on the front lets me use any of my strobe modifiers on location (albeit with a much lower power).
It’d be interesting to see how well one of these stands up to full time location use in the real world. I used to go through umbrellas like crazy, replacing them about every month or two as they succumbed to the rigours of daily use on location. My 4ft octa (which also folds up along similar lines to an umbrella) is much tougher construction, but also now needs replacing after about a year or so of use.
The 24″ Rapid Box Beauty Dish is available now for $299.
What are your favourite location modifiers, and why? Let us know in the comments.