Hello! My name is Joseph DePinho, freelance graphic designer, web developer, and photographer. I design logos, websites, brochures, banners, book covers, take photos, and everything in between. "My Journal" is where I share ideas and showcase my work. Enjoy!
A beauty dish is a shallow parabolic disk that attaches to a strobe light. There is a plate covering the flash bulb, causing the light to reflect back into and out to the sides of the reflective dish area.
The beauty dish provides a very focused light source without a hot spot in the middle, excellent for headshots. This concentrated light source is brightest at the center and gently falls off at the edges. This light is known as “butterfly lighting” because of the shape of the shadow cast under the nose and lips.
A beauty dish reflects light, illuminating the subject from all angles because of its unique shape. The beauty dish is usually positioned at 12 o’clock high and pointing downwards, accentuating a model's high cheekbones. A light reflector is placed at 6 o’clock filling in the shadow areas from below. This lighting technique wraps around the subject and creates good contrast and highlights. The shadow areas bring out the subject’s eyes, lips, nose, and chin.
Another great value of the beauty dish is the catch-lights. A catch light is a glint or spark in a model’s eye. If you scrutinize a photo and see that the catch-light in the model's eyes is round with a small darker dot in the center, that's a tip-off that a beauty dish was used.
Butterfly lighting is also commonly referred to as “Paramount lighting.” The reason for this being that Paramount Pictures, the movie company, used this as their signature lighting style when it came to shooting their leading ladies.
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