First Octa or bigger beauty dish

Started Aug 14, 2018 | Discussions thread
jlafferty Senior Member • Posts: 1,459
Re: First Octa or bigger beauty dish

Ellis Vener wrote:

Having witnessed Gregory Heisler create about 40 different looks with a simple beauty dish in an hour long workshop, I have to disagree with your basic premise.

Hmm, OK. Let me clarify what I was trying to say: if I put a sock on a beauty dish, it's reduced to being pretty much the same as a diffused Octa, assuming similar dimensions and distance. What's the point of lugging a BD around just to sock it, if you can get near identical results with a collapsible Octa?

And without the use of a sock, giving you "the signature beauty dish" look, assuming you're using it "as intended" or advised, i.e. the classic "no greater distance than 2x the diameter", etc. to get that idealized, BD "sweet spot", then you've got a pretty restrictive look/feel. If it's what you're after, by all means go for it.  But again, you can approximate that same look with a collapsible Octa. It's a pretty crunchy, punchy look and TBH feels a bit "dated".

And while I'm sure the Heisler demo made for a crowd pleasing stunt, in practice it's rare that a beauty dish would be the optimal choice for anything but the beauty dish look. Hard source. Reflected/bounced source. Big, soft source. It comes up short against, e.g. a hard box or bare reflector, a Magnum, a Photek, respectively.

Just my opinion, naturally.

As you know Jim, what we mean by taking control of your lighting is everything you do to the light between it leaving the flashtube, the bulb, or the LED, reaches and reflects off your subject, and heads towards your lens.


But what I have also noticed is

- 97% of photographers don’t experiment and test to see what happens when you go beyond simply attaching a modifier to a light and figuring out where to put it


- 80% of photographers don’t understand a simple dictum: if you don’t like how a light is interacting with your subject, the first thing to try is moving it.

Uh huh, right on.

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Evocative beats academic.

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