This lesson will help you understand the many uses of the Beauty Dish.
I had the opportunity to shoot Liz Hernandez for her 2011 calendar. She was great to work with. We shot at Jamie Foxx’s home which was a spectacular place. He was very gracious to allow us to have the run of his home. I used the Beauty Dish in almost very shot. I will break down the images form Liz’s shoot to help gain a better understanding of how to use a Beauty Dish. We also set up a target on the wall at the studio to illustrate the pattern a dish creates. A wall will not tell you the whole story. If you want to see how it looks you need to see a face so we took images of Katie Lohmann against a white seamless to see how a dish looks on the face and background. This yielded some every interesting results that are worth looking at. The images are in the video and also posted on our Facebook page so you can take your time and scrutinize them. We will be putting technical data up on occasion for your review. This will include the photos and the meter reading showing how the dish falls off. I hope you find this interesting.
The video was shot on the Canon 5D, 7D and using Red Rock micro rigs. The Beauty Dish tests were done using a Hensel Beauty Dish.
Liz: I’m Liz AKA Luscious Liz and we are shooting at the beautiful home of Mr. Jamie Foxx.
Jay P: We’re going to look at the different uses of a beauty dish. A beauty dish is not as soft as a softbox, it’s not going to be as hard as an umbrella. It’s a wonderful tool to use, so we’re going to look at the different ways to use it in this video. In the studio, we’ve put a target up on the wall. At five feet away from the wall, we aimed our beauty dish and did a series of photographs to see what the spread was like, what the fall off was like.
The first thing we’re going to use is a beauty dish with no tube covering. This is basically a dish with a hard tube in the middle, so it gives you a pretty hard light. I’ll use this as a rim light. It covers a large area, even with the tube cover, it will cover a pretty large area and not fall off more than a half a stop. Looking at this you can see that this beauty dish with no cover over the tube casts a really hard shadow, really makes for a great light if you want a nice hard room light. So you want to get in how much does it fall off from right to left and all that technical data, that would be on, the Slanted Lens fan page on our Facebook page, so go to that Slanted Lens fan page and you can see exactly how it falls off from right to left and get the meter readings.
In this image we have the tube cover on. You can see the pattern is just about the same as when we had the cover off. It falls off a little bit more, but you also see that there’s some concentric ring that’s trying to form on the wall. What’s obvious immediately is the shadow on the back wall is much more diffused than the last image. The light wraps around her face, it creates a softer shadow on the wall. It just makes a much different look. This is a very common use for a beauty dish, probably the one that’s used the most.
Now for the fun stuff, this is the coolest stuff for me. I love a beauty dish with the cover on the tube with a grid on the front of the dish, because I have very specific light, that I can have a nice, hard light, but a pretty light that diffuses a little bit, and I can get in close and just light a particular area. Look at that pattern, you get wrapping in a really controlled area, I do this to create small pools of light in a very specific area, we just cut down our area coverage tremendously. You can see with our towel, we’re doing that same wrapping on the background, but in a very specific area.
Liz: I think Jamie warms his fountain water. Maybe I’ll get my wish come true, cause I didn’t throw a penny in, I threw myself in, so we’ll see.
Jay P: I thought this was really interesting, something we’ll have to look at. We took the beauty dish, we took the grid off from it. We took the cover off the tube, but we put a 20-degree grid over our tube. You can see the hotspot in the middle where you’re going to light your face or some area that you really want to emphasize in the image, and then a broad, even source all around it. We can take a look at the background, a hard shadow is back on the wall, but we have a bright spot on the face.
On this shot, we use a beauty dish as our key light, we’re going to light her face using the large grid, and getting a specific light just to brighten her face. We’ll also add a 40-degree grid on camera left side to create a rim light on her body.
In this shot, we use a beauty dish as our rim light from the camera left side, we took the cover off from the tube, we wanted a long, broad light that would cover a large area evenly. We use that to cover all the water and to highlight it from behind.
In this shot, we use a beauty dish as a rim light on our camera left side. We added a medium soft box on the camera right side to light Liz and her face, then we used ambient light as a fill.
It takes more than just one person to make this happen, it was great make-up, it was great clothing, it was just a wonderful combination of location, talent, and talented people behind the camera.
Liz: Again, this amazing location, this amazing opportunity would not be possible without Mr. Jamie Foxx. So to you, I say thank you so much. Woman: Subscribe to the Slanted Lens Youtube channel.