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Do indirect modifiers and beauty dishes have a different light path/dire...

  
 
boldcolors
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Do indirect modifiers and beauty dishes have a different light path/direction?


I know that beauty dishes have their own unique way of throwing the light on the subject and that it is super important to have the models face right in the sweetspot. And I assume it has to do with the fact that the entire bulb is covered by a disc and the light is pushed out to the sides of the disc. Does this mean that the light intensity is somewhat reduced in the middle all the way to the model?

I was thinking about indirect lightsources. I sometimes modify my Elinchrom boxes with an indirect mount to bounce the light into the octabox to get a softer look. There is also a possibility with Elinchroms to add a deflector covering the bulb which also softens the light and reduces the risk of hotspots.

But...does this affect the geometry of the spread and how it travels once it has left the front diffuser? Or to put it in another way....is there a risk of exposing the sides of the models face slightly more intense than the middle if something is blocking the light in the middle of the modifier? It doesn't seem likely but never hurts to ask since I've heard so much about the BD and how important it is with the right distance so I was thinking maybe the same goes for indirect sources.

And this is only when aiming the modifier directly at the subject. Any feathering would make this question useless I reckon.



Apr 15, 2024 at 04:11 AM
aCuria
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Do indirect modifiers and beauty dishes have a different light path/direction?


boldcolors wrote:
I know that beauty dishes have their own unique way of throwing the light on the subject and that it is super important to have the models face right in the sweetspot. And I assume it has to do with the fact that the entire bulb is covered by a disc and the light is pushed out to the sides of the disc. Does this mean that the light intensity is somewhat reduced in the middle all the way to the model?

I was thinking about indirect lightsources. I sometimes modify my Elinchrom boxes with an indirect mount to bounce the
...Show more

I do not really use them, but my understanding is that the beauty dishes are the brightest in the centre and drops off towards the edges of the light beam... which is the opposite of "light intensity is somewhat reduced in the middle"

I dont understand the lighting setup from your description of the elinchrom box bouncing into an octabox...

However if you want softer lighting, why not just use a bigger modifier or move the existing modifier closer to the subject?



Apr 15, 2024 at 04:32 AM
rico
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Do indirect modifiers and beauty dishes have a different light path/direction?


boldcolors wrote:
... Does this mean that the light intensity is somewhat reduced in the middle all the way to the model?

A BD is like any dish reflector in that you must assess various factors in its design to understands the lighting behavior. Alternatively, just experiment!

First issue is the lighting pattern thrown by the dish: sometimes you want a uniform field of illumination, other times you may want a spotlight effect. Second issue is the appearance of the light source itself which is important for headshots because the catchlight is large.

For BD, the factors in play are size, contour, finish, grid, and deflector. My very first strobe modifier decades ago was the Profoto white 21" which has a flat-backed contour that does not focus the light. Being white, the light spray is very broad and suitable for tabletop as well as portrait. I never use the grid but it drastically narrows the light angle. Finally, I always use the opal glass diffuser disk which avoids the dark patch in the light pattern that is apparent at close range (even more so with the silver finish). The opal glass also normalizes the catchlight.

Profoto white BD with and without grid:





Portrait with BD at medium distance to harden the light:



BD portrait that accentuates the opal-glass catchlight:



Tabletop:





An opaque diffuser at close distance invites you to play games with feathering but I consider it an unnecessary complication, and the donut catchlight plain sucks.



Apr 15, 2024 at 02:16 PM
JBPhotog
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Do indirect modifiers and beauty dishes have a different light path/direction?


FWIW, Mola were and some might say are the standard in BD's and their design is different than most BD's sold today. They incorporate a diffused disk(opal glass) originally to cover the flash tube to diminish the hot spot but not eliminate the centre illumination, now it is a perforated aluminum disk.

A few others also do this, Speedotron's BD is essentially a Mola Demi clone with a similar diffuser in the centre with a white interior.

Most other brands tend to block the flash tube with a metal deflector which will produce a dark central illumination up close.

A deflector can be useful to redirect the light to eliminate hot centres in soft boxes with thinner outer diffusion. I made up some stainless deflectors for two of my Godox strip boxes which reduced the hot centre to +1/3 stop from the edges.



Apr 15, 2024 at 08:22 PM
rscheffler
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Do indirect modifiers and beauty dishes have a different light path/direction?


boldcolors wrote:
I know that beauty dishes have their own unique way of throwing the light on the subject and that it is super important to have the models face right in the sweetspot. And I assume it has to do with the fact that the entire bulb is covered by a disc and the light is pushed out to the sides of the disc. Does this mean that the light intensity is somewhat reduced in the middle all the way to the model?

I was thinking about indirect lightsources. I sometimes modify my Elinchrom boxes with an indirect mount to bounce the
...Show more

In respect to the Elinchrom Rotalux modifiers, IMO the benefit of the various deflectors is greater when you use these boxes without diffusion. The opaque silver (or gold) deflectors will eliminate the hot spot. Alternatively you could use the translucent or white deflectors to keep some hot spot for a somewhat different look. And additionally can play with adding just the internal or external diffuser to modify the look further. I probably wouldn't use the deflector with full diffusion as there's already no hotspot from the flash tube without use of the deflector.

The most versatile indirect type of modifier is likely a true parabolic where you can move the head back and forth within the reflector (on a long pole) to change the light spread pattern, for example those from Parabolix.

I have a 16" Photogenic portrait reflector from ages ago that I really liked back in the days because it had a sweet spot at a certain distance with just a nice circle of light on the face with pleasing falloff, and this was with the bare tube visible at the center... The shape of the reflector apparently is such that there is a mix of focused light and scattered light at that sweet spot distance that combines soft and hard light effects. Something I haven't really seen with beauty dishes.

As rico mentioned, it's really a matter of experimenting with all the variables to see what you like best.



Apr 18, 2024 at 08:54 PM







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