Introduction: Beauty Dish / Ring Flash How To

This is my first instructable, and in it, we will learn how to make a mini beauty dish for your flash.  The materials are cheap and the method is easy .  I've started going into studio photography and I've come across many different lighting setups that involve pricey light systems that seem unnecessary.  I built this system for under a dollar (but I live in china, so pricing depends on you)  However, this will cost very little and will bring you awesome functionality for the price you invest :)

Oh yeah, check out my gallery here:

Step 1: Materials

- a cheap metal bowl (small)
- another larger metal bowl (large)
- a flash
- flash diffuser (not the internal ones, but the external ones where you put it on the flash)
- hot glue gun
- sharpie (or any permanent marker)
- construction grade pen knife (I recommend a better tool if you have one but this is the one I used)
- steel edge (metal ruler)

You should already have a flash at this point.

Step 2: Step 1:

Put the larger end of the diffuser on the surface and trace it out with a permanent marker.

I used a ruler just for precision. 

Note: this should be a tight fit around your diffuser or else you might need to hot glue the diffuser to the bowl in the future!

Step 3: Step 2:

Cut out the metal with your pen knife (I know this is bad for the blade)  The cheap bowl is idealy very thin metal.  If you have a thicker bowl, use a proper tool to cut out the shape.  That would be the best option. 

Step 4: Step 3:

Get some tape and tape the side of the cut so that it won't cut you.  I taped it with two layers of tape, carefully placing half the tape on one side, and then bending it over.  A transparent tape would be recommended to prevent any loss of reflection. 

Step 5: Step 4:

Insert the diffuser into the cutout.  This will be a tight fit, and you might have to push it in.  It should be firmly in place with no room to move/fall out. 

The last image shows the front of the bowl.  This is what it should be like.

You might notice the dent in my bowl now. The bowl is thin so be careful with it. You can bend it back, but it will look ugly.

Small dents don't make any noticeable difference in the light quality... and that is what is important :)

Step 6: Step 5:

This is what the back should look like.  My diffusers have little "handles" that protrude from it.  This is handy because it keeps the diffuser in place. 

(The dark metal in the center is just a shadow and not the actual hole.  Remember, This should be a tight fit, so the metal should bend a little bit. 

Insert the flash into the diffuser.  This should also be a tight fit. 

Step 7: Step 6:

Use the hot glue gun and apply a generous amount of hot glue to the front of the diffuser. 

Quickly stick the smaller bowl onto the glue, facing upwards.  (As shown)

It is important to make sure it's centered so that the ring of light produced will be even. 

Step 8: Pictures of Beauty Dish

You have your mini beauty dish ready to use.  Here are some final pictures of the project. 

Step 9: Light Quality Produced

I would have to say that the light quality is pretty good coming from a 1 dollar project :) The spread of light is pretty even and it is bright.  The best part about this, is that it is so light that I can attach it to the flash and just leave it there.  No extra support needed!

You don't even have to use it with a flash.  I use it in front of a lamp sometimes and it produces nice quality light.  You can put a compact camera in the space in front of the front bowl and use it like a ring flash combo.  It really works. 

There are many, many more uses for this instructable that have yet to be discovered. 

I hope you like this instructable. 

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