DIY €35 Beauty Dish

Since I started model photography, I always wanted to create something better and better. First it was outside with a very open aperture when I got my 50mm 1.8. After my 105mm 2.8 came, I started using that as it was razor sharp, and then .. it started with strobes. Luckily, I got a very old working strobe from my mom, and a more modern one from dad. I got myself a reflector screen, some sessions with a photographer, and my video lighting experience.

Now is that next step. After seeing some DIY Beauty Dishes, I had to have one, or at least, make one, and the quest for a perfect bowl began. I found a great bowl from IKEA in the closet, but I don’t think my dad would approve of my hacking in one of his pasta bowls.

So to the stores I went! I was planning on hitting Blokker first to get some plastic bowls, but in a stroke of luck, I passed by the CASA, and dived in, looking for anything round and/or/ Shiney! Didn’t finding anytihng, I headed to the exit, when I saw this. A huge INOX Champage bowl, including a foot! Right size, right color (shiney silver!), and a possible way to hacksaw the bottom off.

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I used a hammer and a chisel to dis-assemble the already welded foot. With my talent for destruction, this was no problem!

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When trying to drilling the holes, I found that INOX is a damn strong material, so of to my favorite metal workshop it was! (Vleminckx NV in Hasselt!) After a quick bit of magic computer fixing, they made me happy too!

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After all the required holes, a trip to the store it was for some threaded wire and nuts. (M6)

The bowl got attached to the strobe and a tripod (an old one that I once got with a halogen spotlight)

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So quite harsh light. All pictures now in the kitchen are all at the same settings. Now came the part where we finetuned the dish. Because it’s not a usual bowl shape, we get a lot of light loss, but that’s what we want, right?

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It seemed the strobe flashed too wide, so the we moved the smaller dish closer to the source, until there was no more light leaking.

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Great! It’s not 100 uniform, but I really dig the texture.

Time for a self Portrait!

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Not bad for 35 euro eh!

Here are some pics of the finished result.

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