DIY: Beauty Dish

I got the idea for this beauty dish from Todd Owyong over at  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.

Review: Phottix Strato II Mulit

After having and using the Yongnuo RF-603N’s extensively for about 7 months, I’ve decided that I need a better Radio Trigger, or maybe I should say, a more featured radio trigger.  Enter Phottix’s Strato II Multi radio triggers.


Quick: Dogfish Head Pearl Jam Twenty Faithfull Ale

Name: Pearl Jam Twenty Faithfull Ale

Alcohol:  7%

Description:  I might be biased on this review.  DFH is one of my favorite breweries.  I like almost every beer they make.  This is no exception.  It is light and refreshing with a slight spiciness and citrus smell…  At 7% it’s deceptively strong.

Would I recommend it?  Yes, definitely.  In fact, if you see two, buy both and give one to me!

Would I get it again?  Definitely.

Quick: Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout

Name: Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout

Location: Based out of North Carolina.

Description:  We went to the Outer Banks for vacation this year and I’m always up for trying new beers.  If you come across this one definitely pick up a six pack, or better yet if you can mix and match drop at least one in.  Its strong for a Milk stout.  Has a bitter kinda spicy taste to it.  Compared to the Lancaster Milk Stout, this one is the complete opposite.

Would I get it again? Yes.

Would I recommend it?  Yes.  I would suggest pairing this with some strongly flavored food.

Anchor Brewing: Anchor Steam

Company: Anchor Brewing Co.

Location:  San Fransisco, CA

Name: Anchor Steam

Alcohol:  4.9%

Color: Amber.

Description:  Had this one when we went out to CA last year on vacation.  When I saw that they had it here in DE, I definitely had to get some.  Its got a different taste then your average ale that is definitely worth a spot on the regular rotation.

Would I get it again?: Yes.

Would I recommend it?: Yes.

As always, if you’ve had this beer, please feel free to comment with your opinion of it.

Quick: Bud Light Platinum

Name: Bud Light Platinum

Alcohol:  6%

Description:  Here is the first in a new sub series of beer reviews.  When ever I’m out and/or don’t have access to my main gear I’m gonna do a little quick review…  All these shots will be with my iPhone (4S) and with the best lighting I can find…  Take this shot for example, I borrowed a few friends smart phones and used their LCD screens to provide make shift strip lights on the label…

For this beer, I was down in Rehoboth for a get together before my friend’s wedding.  We went to DFH and then when they closed we went next door to [The Summer house?] to continue the night.  So, why did I defile my taste buds with a Bud Light you ask?  Because I was given it for one, two I was already pretty toasted at this point anyway… And three, to provide you all with this cautionary tale!  Don’t get this beer.  I can fully and whole heartedly say that you should never buy this beer.  Have you ever gone to a restaurant and ordered a fountain soda and the mix between the syrup and the seltzer water was off?  Like there was too sprite syrup in there?  Well this is what the Bud Light Platinum tastes like.  They injected more Bud Light syrup into the mix and called it “Platinum”.  There are two situations when I will voluntarily purchase Bud Light (or similar).  One, when there will be a lot of drinking involved (lets say at a Bachelor party) because I want keep hydrated.  And two, at a baseball game.  Something about a $9 light beer and a cool hotdog that’s awesome…  This fills neither.  If they could have kept the lightness of the regular Bud Light and still gotten the 6% I’d have considered giving this a good review.  So, if you want something with 6%, drink 2 Bud lights…

Would I get this again?  No.  If someone gives me another, I’ll try to restrain myself from smacking them.

Would I recommend this?  No.

Lancaster: Milk Stout

Company: Lancaster Brewing Co.

Location:  Wilkes-Barre, PA

Name: Milk Stout

Alcohol:  5% ?

Color: Dark brown to black.