So yeah, I'm not terrible at that strobist thing. Things were honestly getting kinda boring for me already, so I decided to explore the realm of light modification a little more and build a beauty dish.
-14" Terra Bowl (got mine at Home Depot.)
-metal gutter flange (also got it at Home Depot.)
-heavy duty construction adhesive (was laying around the garage already... this stuff is no joke, so wear some latex gloves to avoid it sticking all over your hands if you touch it, and a little dab'l do ya!)
-an old booty rap bass test CD (my old roommate used to have competition sound in his car... this was a remnant left behind.)
-50 pack CD spindle
-drill, utility knife, silver spray paint (you can use white or gold also), and black spray paint.
(If you're interested in how to put this together, there's a fab tutorial with pictures here. I pretty much did everything but install the convex mirror, and I haven't painted the outside yet, but I plan to kustomize it all to my liking!)
The beauty dish basically, well, makes ya purty. It minimizes harsh shadows on faces and backgrounds, rounding out the light beautifully, but without the really flat lighting of a ringflash.
Ready for some sample shots?
Actually, I think this is one of my best shots in years.
Haaaaa... I kid, folks, I kid. (Stuff that boring doesn't come out of me on the regular, but seriously, check out the lighting on Lindsey. It's pretty awesome.)
Anyway, here's how we rocked the beauty dish in true trigger happy style.
That's a little better. ;)
I went contrasty on purpose with this one by the angle at which the beauty dish was being held toward her face, but the shadows are still really soft. (Mom, I promise to give your 50mm back soon, but I've been putting it to good use for you in the meantime!) :D
And here's Lindsey's best friend, Lindsey. Yep, I'm serious. She kinda reminds me of how I looked at 16. It was cool to hang out with another freckleface for awhile. ;)
This one is a combination of the sun setting behind her, and the beauty dish high and right of the camera.
Then we went to a really pretty place southwest of downtown Green Cove, where we had to park by the road and walk down a dirt road about 200 yards to a fallen barn.
We were a little weirded out when all the cows stopped dead in the middle of chewing and started eyeballing us from across the field. We should have known we shouldn't have been there when this started happening:
But turns out they just didn't like us so they all ran off into the sunset. We made it to the barn for a few last shots before sundown.
I'm not sure that I'd use it for every shoot, but it definitely makes a huge difference in shooting women I'd say, and giving the photo a softer, less edgy, more classic, look. It definitely takes another set of hands to use it to it's full advantage, so keep that in mind. You'll want to move it around and play around with angles quite a bit.
As we were leaving, of course we get stopped by a man that works on the farmland (why does this keep happening to me lately?!), who of course thought we were up to no good. I wound up on the phone with the man that owns the 4,400 acres of land we were acting like we owned, so I had to nicely explain to him that we were caught off guard by his employee just as much as he was caught off guard by finding us there. The owner was very nice to me, and when all was said and done and after the misunderstanding was cleared up, I was invited back to shoot any time, anywhere on the property. :)