Wednesday, May 07, 2008

DIY: David X. Tejada's Beauty Dish

Corporate shooter David X. Tejada has been mentioned enough times on this blog to legally qualify us as stalkers.

(Hey, whatever it takes to let him know how much we truly love him. Besides, no one has issued a restraining order yet.)

But if we were not following his every move, then how would we know that he has taken a cue from some of the speedlight beauty dish designs floating around and created what is maybe the best version yet?

A cheap plastic pot, some paint, a CD case, and Dave's The Moment of Zen: A $2.39 convex mirror from an auto supply store. Check it out, here.

-30-


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31 Comments:

Anonymous Kev said...

Great stuff!
and the convex mirror is a brilliant.

PS:the picture in the post has htm link and it should be html!

May 07, 2008 1:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was not Dave's Moment of Zen, as
can be witnessed here:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/strobist/discuss/72157604541039854/72157604550517608/

May 07, 2008 3:28 AM  
Anonymous cameron obscura said...

I made one of these too! Super-easy to do. The bowl is a bit deep and too small in diameter to qualify as a true "beauty dish," but it's a great large light nonetheless.

May 07, 2008 3:37 AM  
Anonymous Jenny Arnez said...

I made one of these also. I am pretty lame in the "DIY" department but found this to be easy and fun.

May 07, 2008 10:04 AM  
Blogger Ken Lopez said...

SWEEEEEEEEEEEET!!!!! I've been looking to make one of these that didn't involve turkey pans! Thanks Dave and, well, Dave!

May 07, 2008 10:16 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

I made one of these and one of David's ringlights a few weeks ago. Used them both in a shoot just last weekend (no edits yet). I love both designs, though I can't quite figure out the best way to keep the strobe head and the ring flash mated without having the "spare parts" supply that Tejada has.

The only other limitation on these designs is they're really not appropriate for outdoor use unless under very subdued skies. My effective range (with a 550EX) on both the beauty dish and ringlight is probably limited to about 5-8 feet, max.

Otherwise, great little things! I even got a "wow, I bet that cost a lot" comment on the beauty dish. tee hee. Hope to have some Strobist photos in Flickr up soon.

May 07, 2008 11:59 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

I made one of these and one of David's ringlights a few weeks ago. Used them both in a shoot just last weekend (no edits yet). I love both designs, though I can't quite figure out the best way to keep the strobe head and the ring flash mated without having the "spare parts" supply that Tejada has.

The only other limitation on these designs is they're really not appropriate for outdoor use unless under very subdued skies. My effective range (with a 550EX) on both the beauty dish and ringlight is probably limited to about 5-8 feet, max.

Otherwise, great little things! I even got a "wow, I bet that cost a lot" comment on the beauty dish. tee hee. Hope to have some Strobist photos in Flickr up soon.

May 07, 2008 12:00 PM  
Blogger Noah said...

Is it just me, or does it seem like a lot of light is lost by the light that hits the center of the mirror / reflective object? All that light would bounce right back towards the center of the flash, and would have to be reflected again before (if) it hits the side of the dish.

It would seem to me that a better solution would be more of a cone-shaped reflector, with a steep angle at the tip and a shallower angle at the base. This would make sure that all light is directed away from the flash and towards the sides of the dish, and hopefully would reduce light loss.

Or, maybe a small "short" cone could be placed on center of the mirror and redirect just the light that would have been bounced back at the flash.

Something like this may be able to be scupled out of stryrofoam and covered in reflective aluminum HVAC tape, (or someone might find something similar at a Dollar Store that could be wrapped in foil tape and repurposed...)

May 07, 2008 1:23 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

When will HONL start making these?
;)

May 07, 2008 1:59 PM  
Anonymous Curtis said...

Heck, I used a convex mirror from the auto-parts store back in February. Not a new flash of inspiration at all.

May 07, 2008 3:00 PM  
Anonymous Nabityphotos said...

Noah, I had the same question about the center of the convex mirror. When I made my beauty dish, instead I made a cardboard cone and covered it with silver tape. The cone was easy to make - just cut out a cardboard circle a little larger than the finished cone, remove a "pie-slice" of cardboard, then pull the edges together to make the shallow cone.

Also, instead of painting the inside of the dish white, I lined it with silver tape to get more light reflection. This is a harder light than the white bowl. I also made a sheer cover to soften the light when needed - two lighting options with one dish.
- Ron

May 07, 2008 7:34 PM  
Blogger Nate said...

That's killer, now if I could just use it or an umbrella outside without having to bag the crap out of the stand. Hows about a better way, David, to keep our flashes out of the koi pond? You mentioned something about a more efficient solution for anchoring our light stands outside?...

May 07, 2008 8:17 PM  
Blogger Daniel G said...

As part of an around the house project tonight, I was repurposing the reflector from an old torchiere style floor lamp to fit another lamp. As I was doing so, today's Strobist post came to mind and I realized the reflector in my hand would be ideally suited to making a beauty dish - no paint required. So my living room project is now sidetracked and I'm busting out the tin snips to work on a new project. Just need to pick a bad movie to put on in the background.

Anyway, as these lamps are generally low quality crap, you can find them being discarded all the time. Should be able to harvest some good reflectors from a dumpster near you....

I'll try to post some photos sometime soon if this project is a success for me...

May 08, 2008 12:46 AM  
Anonymous Cameron Carothers said...

Hi David-

I know this is off topic, but I want to let you and fellow Strobist readers who make, or hope to make, their living as a photographer that there are bills being considered right now in Congress that would radically change how copyright is protected and how infringers can be held accountable. Many of the trade associations are alerting their members to speak out against these bills. I've copied a statement below that has a link to a very simple, 2 minute, process that will send a letter to your Senators and Congress members to let them know of your opposition to this bill.

Thanks much,

Cameron Carothers

Take Action: Don't Let Congress Orphan Your Work

THE ORPHAN WORKS BILL IS BACK.

And this time the wheels have been greased for quick passage.

Yesterday a revived Orphan Works Bill sailed through a House panel. Today the Senate bill will be marked up. These bills will expose any work of art to commercial infringement.This will include everything from professional paintings to personal photos placed on the net.
 
The bills will coerce you to register your work with for-profit registries as a condition of protecting your copyrights. Any unregistered pictures will be subject to Orphan Works infringement. This is a radical departure from international copyright law and normal business practice.

If you wish to oppose this legislation, you must act now. We've set up an online site for anyone to e-mail their Senators and Representatives with one click. This site is open to professional artists, photographers and any member of the image-making public.

We've provided sample letters from individuals representing different sectors of the visual arts. Illustrators, photographers, fine artists, reps, licensing firms, designers: If you're opposed to the Orphan Works act, this site is yours to use.
 
2 minutes is all it takes to write Congress and fight for your copyrights.
Go here: http://capwiz.com/illustratorspartnership/home/

Pick a sample letter or write your own. Type in your zip code. Your letter will  be automatically addressed to your congressman and senators. Click and send.
 
For international artists and our colleagues overseas, we've provided a special link, with a sample letter and instructions as to whom to write.
 
For more information about the
 
Orphan Works Act of 2008:
IPA Statement to House Subcommittee March 20, 2008:

http://www.illustratorspartnership.org/01_topics/article.php?searchterm=00261

IPA Senate Mark-up Comments April 30, 2008:

http://www.illustratorspartnership.org/ow_docs

Geneva/ May 7, 2008 Orphan Works Bill Catches Global Attention/ Intellectual Property
Watch: http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/index.php?p=1028



YouTube: http://youtube.com/watch?v=CqBZd0cP5Yc

May 08, 2008 3:11 PM  
Blogger Noah said...

One word - COLLAPSIBLE...

www.amazon.com/5-Quart-Collapsible-MIXING-kitchen-cooking...

(Now, to find a spring with a very wide opening to suspend the center reflector by...)

May 08, 2008 3:59 PM  
Blogger Jammy Straub said...

Intereting. The results look nice.

I am curious if there's a noticeable difference between this rather small beauty dish and a Photoflex LiteDome XS. It has a very similar look.

May 08, 2008 4:53 PM  
Blogger Steve Hebert said...

This is one of those things that you see and think, "OH, I gotta have that".
Steve Hebert
thephotographerman.blogspot.com
picasaweb.google.com/thephotographerman

May 13, 2008 11:01 PM  
Blogger Steve Z Photography said...

I can't believe that on both this blog and David X's blog no one has mentioned that neither a canon 580EX or a Nikon SB-26 will fit in the inlet! I"m making mine right now, and at first was a bit aggrivated when my flash wouldn't fit in the inlet!

The solution, is to take a torch and stretch the plastic so the flash heads fit. As it turns out both flashes I mention are exactly the same size. I have a super snug pro fit now.

May 21, 2008 1:53 PM  
Blogger Shadows said...

@Noah:
I took a look at that amazon page with the collapsible bowl. If you look at the "also viewed" section you'll notice that 99% of it is photography related instead of cooking.

Ahhhhh. The power of Strobist.

May 21, 2008 6:43 PM  
Blogger Stefanie said...

I'm in the process of making my own beauty dish when I had the idea of using metallic paint on the inside of the dish instead of a mirror on the inside of the c.d case. I've painted it gold hopefully to add a nice warm tone to my models. There's silver and other colors too. Any thoughts? I'm crossing my fingers that it's not too much.

May 23, 2008 12:40 AM  
Blogger Dave & Sandy said...

I made mine last week & so far I love it.
It's not as pretty as David's, but it does the job nicely.
I have samples posted here:
http://sandavi.smugmug.com/gallery/5021440_CQi88/1/301401926_7p9vC

May 27, 2008 6:40 PM  
Anonymous Robert L said...

If you are lucky enough to have a 622 with the bare bulb head, this works wonders - less cutting, as you just take the spindle off, and the bulb fits right through. Gorgeous light!

May 30, 2008 11:10 AM  
Blogger Mike C. said...

The 'gutter box' is an Amerimax Home brand Downspout Outlet (C Style, Plastic) #85051

June 03, 2008 1:10 PM  
Blogger Mike C. said...

Dave & Sandy...Love the Phil Lesh shirt! It looks like you'll get some like leakage w/ the CDR case not being painted white, maybe not. I'm still trying to source out the downspout outlet locally so I don't have to pay 3 times by having it shipped online.

June 03, 2008 1:14 PM  
Blogger pkshooter said...

After making the 17" beauty dish, I set out to make a bigger one for my AlienBees. I used a 24" 'terra cotta' planter base from Home Depot. It is not as deep but thought it would work anyway. I used the 7" AB reflector for a template and a CD case just like the beauty dish with a CD for reflection. I painted the base white and attached the CD case with hot glue.
My initial test shots far exceeded my expectations. I urge you to try it, I am VERY happy !!

July 28, 2008 7:42 PM  
Blogger www.PARADISEDP.com said...

Nice design. I was inspired to build one of my own with a few changes. I used a paint can lid and utilized my Umbrella shoe mount.

I posted how I made it on my blog @

http://www.xanga.com/jmbarut

January 06, 2009 3:46 PM  
Blogger Stephen L said...

Well, inspired by all the posts related to the DIY beauty dish.. I decided to make one for myself as well.. Just thought to share with all of you my way of doing that and hope everyone can benefit from it...

www.themoment2cherish.com/DIY-Beauty-Dish/

Cheers
Steve..

April 01, 2009 5:55 PM  
Anonymous curtis said...

Awesome DIY item there.

I haven't read all the comments in here, but something struck me about this modifier... well, something in the article anyway...

The part about losing about a stop and a half (forgive me if anyone has talked about this already)... I'm wondering what the zoom on the flash is. For example, on my Sigma 530 DG Supers, the max zoom is 105mm. If it's not zoomed all the way to the maximum, wouldn't that potentially gain back a significant amount of light loss, as more of it would be concentrated onto the convex mirror?

Just curious.

Curtis

May 22, 2009 12:04 AM  
Blogger David.Capino said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

July 15, 2010 9:30 PM  
Blogger David.Capino said...

My cut at a DIY Beauty Dish.... using 4 paper plates

Paper Plate Beauty Dish Mod

July 17, 2010 11:40 AM  
Blogger Tony Sanchez said...

Hi,

I have made this beauty dish based on the "Chinatown Special".

Works great with a dessert bowl as a reflector.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5fmhXeLuA8

July 03, 2012 5:59 PM  

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