Sunday, March 28, 2010

DIY Beauty Dish From Outer Space

A few months ago we took our dog to be fixed. He wasn't broken but we had him fixed any way. He came home w/ an e-collar. I kept looking at this thing wondering how I could use it as a light modifier. Well I couldn't but I realized that I could use thick plastic sheeting to make a giant e-collar, and wrap it around a round spider light. The results were a beauty dish with a really interesting look.

So I don't exactly have step by step Instructions, because I didn't have the best plan going into it. but I have plenty of pictures and I think anyone can improve on my design.
For the first phase I made a 20 cm round spider light. For the reflector on this part I used the inside of a snack bag and some contact cement it worked pretty good. Most of the parts for this were salvaged from a demolition at work so it cost very little.
for phase two I laid out the pattern on the plastic sheet. I used a string marker and pushpin as a compass to make three half circles on the sheet. the most critical was the second from the inside. Since my spider light was a 20 cm circle, the half circle on the plastic had to be twice that diameter(40 cm). The inside circle was a couple cm smaller to allow for wrap around to the back of the light. and the third circle was one meter, which will result in a 50 cm outside diameter of the dish. I have been saying half circle but they are more like 55% circles to allow for over lap. finally I made some notches between the inner and second circles to allow it to fold around the back of the light. I didn't do it right so I changed my plan but if you do it right it might allow you to put the screws on the back of the light instead of the sides like I did.
Next phase I put silver contact paper on the plastic and the broomstick, as well as the coroplast center reflector. I also had to put four drinking straws on the outside to help support the flimsy plastic.
The last phase was the assembly.  four short screws, a piece of duct tape and a lot of swearing and the reflector was attached to the light. so here it is.

I'll be out of town for a few days when I get back I'll try try this on my daughter. and let you know how it works. I also plan to make a 50cm coroplast frame that can go where the red circle is above to hold diffusion material so I can switchback and forth from beauty dish to soft box by just removing a screw.

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