An Unusual Way to Use a Beauty Dish

Certain modifiers do tend to have some more traditional methods of use, especially when using a beauty dish. Sometimes we can get hung up on what is the "right" way to use them and lose out on creativity. Here's a different way you can use a beauty dish when shooting indoors. 

Using a beauty dish in a clamshell setup is pretty common, especially for beauty headshots. Sure, there are some other lighting setups you can use a beauty dish for, but here's one many probably don't think of. In this video coming from photographer Miguel Quiles, he shared an unusual way he ended up using the beauty dish for his shots. 

Bounce flash isn't anything new, and many speedlight users might be more familiar with this technique but typically not with a beauty dish. He did use the beauty dish in the traditional clamshell set up in the beginning, so you can compare the differences towards the end of the video so make sure to see and compare the difference for yourself. If you don't have a beauty dish, any cone-type reflector can be used with similar results. 

Which method did you prefer? Personally, I prefer the softer look from the indirect flash method more but I would say it all depends on the vision and the goal. What other modifiers have you used with the bounce method? 

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9 Comments

Walt Polley's picture

you invented a giant softbox!

Alexander Petrenko's picture

What a waste of a beauty dish :)

Jared Wolfe's picture

He could have used a reflector or even the barebulb for the same result. No light qualities of the beauty dish or even the v-flat are particularly important to this look.

Lee Christiansen's picture

I am constantly amazed by how so many people are clueless of the benefits of beauty dishes and what makes them special. It is almost as if they hear the word "beauty" and assume that it will be special when they stick diffusers over it, bounce it off a wall or point it from 10 feet away...

And then when they're finished not knowing about the characteristics of a modifier, they feel the need to make a video about it - presumably to teach us a new trick that no is using... mainly 'cos it's daft.

And then FS, (being the bastion of all quality teaching - ahem...), feels the need to pop it online to get the hits from people like us who say WTF...

Vincent Hofer's picture

Feeling the same!

Larry Clark's picture

Years (decades?) ago at an NPPA workshop a news videographer from a TV station talked about regular shoots of the state's governor at his desk. The station made some points when he went to the newly-elected governor's desk and replaced the green blotter paper with a white one.

"Beauty Blotter"?

Jan Holler's picture

You've got to be kidding us! Are you serious? If so, this is a new low on FS.

Lee Christiansen's picture

The thing to remember is that FS doesn't bother to oversee or impose editorial control - so this is why we get dumb videos like this... endlessly...

And I was told by FS that writers (can we call the contributors "writers" ?), get paid more when there are more clicks. So perversely, they can get paid more, the dumber and more contentious an "article" is.

(And yes I know, just writing this has added a few cents to the OP.)

It has got to the stage now where I'll open up FS, scroll down everything (usually videos grabbed from other sites by one particular contributor), and close the site without reading a thing. And I'm doing that much less these days anyway.

Sites like SLR Lounge are better - indeed FS is climbing so fast to the bottom, there are lots of sites better. When I wrote to FS with such thoughts, they think their hit rate is high and so earns them $$$, and they have no intention of improving such poor editorial content.

And now to visit a different site without having viewed any of the articles here. :(

Jan Holler's picture

I came to the same conclusion: "get paid more when there are more clicks". And I ended up about the same: I scan for the author's name, avoid some, do read some. If FS does not change back to a certain level, I'm afraid I'll lose interest.