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Proper use of beauty dish
  
 
g-money
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Proper use of beauty dish


Help guide me here. I have been getting a good amount of business lately with corporate head shots. While I am really trying to steer them toward to the more modern environmental style head shots many still request the standard portrait against a solid backdrop style.

The past few months I have experimented with several different lighting set ups. I like shooting with the beautydish but find I struggle with getting the look correct. I think it is mainly in my setup. I have it mounted on a C stand about a foot maybe two above the persons head angled downward and about one foot in front of them. My main problem is minimizing the shadow under the chin that fall along the neck line. I have tried a reflector on the subjects lap to bounce light back up but seems to only be of minimal help. I have found it helps some if I pull the dish back away from the subject to allow more light to reach the neck area.. I have even on the last shoot used a small strip light very low and low power in a clamshell style to lift the shadows. One shoot this set up look really nice. The next time not so much lol

Where might I be going wrong. Open for suggestions



May 09, 2017 at 02:02 PM
lifthard2001
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Proper use of beauty dish


It might help if you post some samples so we could analyze the lighting to help out.


May 09, 2017 at 02:31 PM
Steve Wylie
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Proper use of beauty dish


I think you're on the right track, moving your light back a bit and providing more fill. I place my BD about an arm's length from th subject's face at about a 45 degree angle (high enough to produce a noticeable catchlight in the eyes) and I place a reflector high enough to provide enough fill. The lap is too low for that, especially if your light is so close to the face (the falloff is too rapid). I use a small light stand with a reflector arm to hold the reflector, which is often a piece of white foamcore. (I also use a white Eyelighter for this purpose if I want great wraparound fill.). You can also do a clamshell setup as you mention. You just have to experiment with your setup until you get the look you want, and then be able to quickly replicate it every time.


May 09, 2017 at 03:22 PM
JBPhotog
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Proper use of beauty dish


Your BD may be too high, what do the catchlights look like? I use a soft box and another head as fill if I want the lighting ratio flatter.


May 09, 2017 at 05:43 PM
 

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g-money
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Proper use of beauty dish


Thanks guys, I think your suggestions are spot on. I also finally found a really good video with Joel Grimes using his beauty dish and reflector and the two things I picked up was like you guys mentioned. I think I was trying to set the light to close to subject. He says he usually moves his the same diameter of the dish away from subject and he had his reflector up around chest high.

He also positions himself very close to his subject with what looks like a 24/70, I tend to like the 70/200 at around 100 to 120mm

I had to google what a eyelighter was Steve. Westcott is proud of that piece of hardware!!



May 09, 2017 at 06:59 PM
leethecam
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Proper use of beauty dish


I think 1ft is probably too close. Whilst being somewhat uncomfortable for the subject and potentially in the way of your shot, (hence your 45 degree angle), you will also get quite a bit of fall off given the relative ratios of distance between forehead and neck.

I use my, (albeit modified), Profoto dish about 2x the diameter at about 30 degrees and I find I get just the right amount of fall off and a good clean neck shadow. With this setup it is an easy matter to lift the contrast a little with a narrow silver reflector below.

I do find that depending on the design of the reflector and the way the flash tube reacts with the central disc on the BD, that people either point their BD directly at the subject or slightly over the top of the head.

Until I modified my Profoto BD, I found I had a slightly hot area on the outer edges that I needed to be careful with. Check your BD light pattern against a flat wall to see what the light is actually doing at different distances.



May 09, 2017 at 08:00 PM
c.d.embrey
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Proper use of beauty dish


Why so high? Too much downward tilt will give you a nasty nose shadow.

The block plate is meant to cut down on forehead shine, etc, so you need to point it at the center of the face.

The conventional wisdom is having the BD two diametrs from the subject. Although some used it a lot farther away. Beauty dishes are available from about 18 inches to 30 inches.

















May 09, 2017 at 08:01 PM
rico
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Proper use of beauty dish


Reflector at high-chest level is a common solution to opening the shadows under the chin, but you can also use vanilla fill methods like an active source at camera position. This can be hard for an edgy, glittery look but is normally something big and soft (umbrella, V-flat, SB). The BD is then free to move around the face—overhead or from the side, closer or farther—without being responsible for fill tasks. I always use the opal glass diffuser, not the opaque deflecter with its fugly catchlight.


May 10, 2017 at 03:11 AM







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