DIY: Beauty Dish

I got the idea for this beauty dish from Todd Owyong over at ishootshows.com.  It seemed like a fun project so I decided to give it a go.  I won’t cover the how to since he does a great job with it, but I will say this; it definitely isn’t a simple build that anyone can do.  You’ll need a few power tools.  Since I have a drill press I was able to easily drill the holes for the reflector, but if you don’t have one, it’ll be a bit more difficult I think (you need slow RPMs for drilling through metal).  You will need a Dremel to cut the hole out.  I tried using my drill press, pliers, and a hack saw and couldn’t do it…  I’ve been wanting a Dremel for a while now, so I bought one for $40.

I wanted to do this on a whim so I tried to find all the materials locally, which was pretty difficult.  I ended up with a 16″ steel mixing bowl and could not find a 6″ reflector, so I made my own out of some sheet metal.

As for the connection to the light stand, I just bought a cheap L bracket and bent it.

After having built one, I’ve already got some ideas for version 2.0!  I’m going to buy a larger mixing bowl and a 8″ pizza tray for the reflector and try to be a little more careful when I cut out the holes and spray paint it so it’ll look nicer.

I’ve also got a few design changes.  I think I’m going to put a handle on it, similar to what you might see on a wok, so it’s easier to carry around.  I think I’ll also cut the flash head hole slightly larger and use some duct tape to soften up the metal edge (I noticed that my flash was getting some scrapes).  As for the connection, I think I’ll stay with the L bracket, as that seems to work fine.  I’ll have to be a little more careful when I bend it so the flash lines up better…

If you decide to try it out, let me know how it goes!  Good luck.

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