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The Photographer’s Guide To Beauty Dishes

A beauty dish is a relatively small, often metal, reflector, that is very wide and short. A staple of every beauty dish is the deflector plate in the middle. Without it, you can’t call your modifier a beauty dish. The shape of the dish is also very important. There are other modifiers that have the option of adding a deflector plate in the middle, however, they would not be categorized as a beauty dish. It is important to note that most beauty dishes are anywhere from 20-30” in diameter. The shape of your dish is crucial, as the main task of this modifier is to reflect or bounce, light.

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Beauty dishes come in two interiors: silver and white. As you can guess, a silver one will reflect light, while a white one will bounce it.

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The less popular of the two, a silver beauty dish is very underrated in photography. Because the light is reflected by the specular silver interior it will produce a direct reflection. As a result, the light beam will have direction, produce more contrast, and have a 30-20 degree light spread. This is of course useful when your main goal is to bring out detail.

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