Sunday, April 1, 2012

DIY Project : Beauty Dish Part 1: The Design

I wished I had a beauty dish. I wished I would able to DIY my own beauty dish. Why beauty dish instead softbox ? Because it is a BEAUTY dish. Period. LOL.

I think it would make someone look prettier when she/he been light by a beauty dish modifier. Of course it's not true. It's just another light modifier.

I made my very first beauty dish from a plastic laundry bowl some years ago, which turned out to be a total failure. I planned to DIY one proper one with more suitable material than plastic bowl, but it was put on-hold after my son was born in 2008.

Not until recently that I saw one very suitable material to build my own beauty dish. My hand got bitten by DIY bugs and I started to plan my next beauty dish project.

What did I found ?


This is the downlight reflector. It has an opening diameter of about 22 cm, and it has a curvature reflector which could throw the light evenly and it's made of light metal kind of thingy (not aluminium, but it's zinc like material). Perfect for a beauty dish.I had found my major component, and I started to construct my beauty dish.

 I work with my father as a carpenter that manufacture custom made furniture cabinet. We have variety of furniture accessories that, in my opinion, could made a great beauty dish. Hence, before I head out to hunt for better material, I used what ever I could find in my factory to built my beauty dish prototype.

My initial idea was to construct a reflector within the bowl that could reflect the flash light back to the bowl and it could give a "grow" type of flash light. Hence, without thinking much, I made my first beauty dish prototype as shown:


The reflector is made of thin plywood with white surface, and it's supported by some aluminium bar. The flash holder was made of wood, and my flash was held temporary by rubber bands. It looks ugly I know, and it didn't work as I thought it should be.

Notice the middle one of the above photo? I didn't get the white grow of the whole beauty dish as it suppose to have. The middle reflector had block much of the light, and the aluminium bars cast ugly shadow inside the reflector bowl.


The design of the middle reflector do play a very important role in beauty dish design. Careless design of the reflector could give me a disaster as shown in the above pic. The middle reflector cast this ugly shadow and it blocks the light so much!

Upon careful investigation, I found out that the further the middle reflector from the flash, the more significant the shadow is. My first prototype has a reflector distance about 5 inches, which is about the depth of the light reflector bowl I am using.

Hence, I made my second prototype which I concentrated on the reflector design. Instead using aluminium bars to support the reflector, I used screws.

I went to a local hardware shops to look for the longest screws commercially available, and I found the longest is 3 inches long. I bought three, and re-DIY my first prototype. And I got this:


There is an additional step I did, i.e. spray the inner reflector with which paint. Since the distance between the reflector and the flash had reduced, it give a better and broad reflection onto the bowl. And no more ugly shadow of the supporting bars.


Yup, it gives a better flash throw without that ugly shadow in the middle.

Alas, I have my very own beauty dish. I would share the DIY steps once I finished compiled the steps. Stay tune ! :D

:: DIY Beauty Dish Part 2 ::
:: DIY Beauty Dish Part 3 ::

1 comment:

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