Beauty dish is a dish shaped flash light modifier that can be used to enhance portraits. There isn’t a definitive answer anywhere I could find about where the name came from but some people think the name comes from its popular use in beauty photography involving extreme close-ups like in make up ads. Beauty dish provides a much more diffused light compared to a bare flash but the light isn’t as diffused or soft as the light from softbox. Perhaps this is why it provides certain unique “look” that many people like. It is getting very popular as a do-it-yourself (DIY) photography project.

Out of a large list of beauty dish DIY projects, I found this one to be the best I have seen so far. It uses only a few parts that cost about $20: an empty CD spindle case you may already have, a plastic bowl and  a plastic downspout adapter for a gutter from home improvement store, and a convex mirror from auto parts store.   It is a very easy project as well. Several people reported that the project takes only about an hour to complete once you have all the parts.

If you are temped to get started to make your own beauty dish, you may find that the parts availability can be a problem depends on where you live and what flash unit you have. You may not be able to find the exact dish, the gutter part, the convex mirror etc. Don’t get frustrated though. Just try to be creative and you should be able to find alternatives. Check out the following links for some inspiration:

Posted in: DIY Photography on February 1st, 2009. Trackback URI
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