Forums > Photography Talk > Beauty Dish & Strip Lighting Help


John Mueller

Posts: 109

Camarillo, California, US

I have an AB1600 and AB800 and a Vagabond mini.

I have the following light modifiers for them:

Giant octabox
Large octabox
14"x48" strip box with grid
22" white beauty dish
two AB reflectors with grids
very large silver/gold reflector

My goal is to be able to do beach swimwear shoots, studio beauty shoots, and perhaps some more dramatic lighting ala Joel Grimes. 

Anyone with a similar setup have some examples, behind the scenes shots, video behind the scenes, or even links they use to similar sort of shooting with similar gear?   

I've done extensive looks here and saw the one large thread with the studio setups, but it's always easier to learn from people directly.


Oct 07 12 02:31 pm Link


Fotografica Gregor

Posts: 4126

Alexandria, Virginia, US

I have a many images - a majority of my port actually - shot with beauty dish only - glam, editorial fashion, beauty - no swimwear.  Mostly shot with Mola Setti and Euro dishes which are a fair bit larger but most of the principle is the same.

A variety of such shots are on my tumblr blog where I describe how the shots were made if you are interested.  I also discuss images and answer questions to the best of my ability on the blog.  Link is in my profile. 

I will be glad to discuss any of my images there.

My avatar is a shot made with just a beauty dish.

So are these two

Oct 07 12 02:47 pm Link


Thomas Van Dyke

Posts: 2437

Washington, District of Columbia, US

John Mueller wrote: beauty...

John, shoot a healthy amount of studio beauty in as I'm a make-up artist... here is an example of a client who arrived with excessive sun exposure from the previous day thus had to use airbrush product TEMPTU S/B to rendering his face for the sitting...

equipment... my fav two light setup...  22" BD and a 40"x 60" softbox backdrop... both powder with AB800's     

Keep it simple... get it right in camera... works for me...

food for thought...  my tenure assisting other commercial shooters in my marketplace has been priceless in accelerating my learning curve... albeit the working conditions are rather fierce... extremely heavy equipment... rather long hours... 12+  is a rule not an exception... the crew doesn't wrap till the client's narrative has been captured... re-shoots simply aren't an option...

best advice?  join the ASMP if you are on a commercial trajectory...  if you're happy as a hobbyist then just enjoy the ride...  commercial work is incredibly demanding...

"And may the odds be ever in your favor"

Oct 08 12 05:51 am Link


John Mueller

Posts: 109

Camarillo, California, US

Thanks so much Gregor and Thomas.  Gregor, I'm going to look for your Tumblr and check out the examples.  And that Union206 studios looks amazing.  Wish we had more warehouse/lofts like that out here, but I live in the LA suburbs and all we have is stucco.

I think what it comes down to is just experimenting.  I'd like to experiment with beauty lighting... beauty dish above and reflector in their lap.  Perhaps a hair light in back. 

Then something perhaps with the strip light from the side and a reflector flanking it, and the beauty dish above to the side, ala Rembrandt lighting.

I think one thing I need to do is get the beauty dish closer to the model.  One blog said about 3ft from the model.

Thanks for the examples and explanations.  I'm sure this has been covered before, but I've read and re-read some of those old threads.  Might do some more searching on the Strobist.

Oct 08 12 10:38 pm Link



Posts: 10291

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Oct 08 12 11:09 pm Link


Michael Bots

Posts: 7039

Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Oct 08 12 11:19 pm Link