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Gear & Apps

HOW WE USE OUR FAVORITE ULTRA PORTABLE BEAUTY DISH

By SLR Lounge Official on May 3rd 2016

We got our hands on the new Profoto OCF Beauty Dish and took it out to the desert for a ‘James Dean’ inspired wedding photo shoot to see what this new version to a legend can do.

HOW WE USE OUR FAVORITE ULTRA PORTABLE BEAUTY DISH


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Portability & Ease-of-Use

The Profoto OCF Beauty Dish comes in both white and silver and weighs less than a pound. It fits in a small, convenient bag that you can easily take with you on any shoot. Besides the great portability and ease-of-use, the price point is fantastic. Coming in at around $180, it’s an affordable option for those looking for a solution for an on-location beauty dish.

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The Photo Shoot

Using our new Canon 5DS, the Zeiss Otus 55mm and Zeiss Otus 85mm lenses, we wanted to see just how much quality we could get out of the gear.

Typically, when shooting wide-open apertures midday, we use an ND filter to help bring down the amount of light and stay below 1/200th sync speed to get the most power out of our flash systems. But for this shoot, using an ND filter would automatically compromise the quality of images from the Zeiss lenses, regardless of the filter we would use.

This is where the Profoto B1 and B2’s really shine as we can still get significantly more power running in high speed sync than regular flashes. We used the B2’s on this shoot, and even at 250 watt seconds in high speed sync, we got more than 4-5x the amount of power than a standard flash running high speed sync.

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The Lighting Setup

The lighting for this shoot was fairly simple; we used the sun as a backlight/rim light and placed our subjects in front of it. Because of the bright scene, we used the silver Profoto OCF Beauty Dish with the Profoto B2 to give us more light intensity at a dramatic angle with the goal of creating a nice dimension and direction to that main light.

We composed the frame against the darker background of the mountains, which makes the edgelight and backlight really pop. We controlled the light pattern by moving the subject’s face and body position to get the right pattern onto the person. While using the B2 as the main light, we can use the ambient exposure in camera to control the fill that’s coming into the shadows on the other side of the subject’s face.

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Because we wanted to keep the bright and airy wedding-esque feel to the images, we chose an ambient exposure setting that kept the scene bright. We got that using a shutter of 1/4000th, ISO 50, at f/2. Then we simply added in the Profoto B2 at full power with high speed sync enabled and we flashed and adjusted the light to control the direction and catchlights.

The new Profoto OCF Beauty Dishes are our new favorite on-the-go light modifiers. You can pick them up on B&H Photo here.

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Articles by SLR Lounge Official are created by multiple authors. They represent official announcements by SLR Lounge.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Fahad Hassan

    My Dream lighting Kit . Amazing Photos .

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  2. Sarah Murray

    I loved seeing photos from this session since you started posting them. Seeing the settings and learning about how it was shot is super helpful. I think I get very confused or make it more complicated though… I have the B2’s and don’t understand how to use them manually. Yes, I get how to put them in manual but the numbering system is different from a regular speedlight making me very confused. How am I supposed to know what power to set it and then on top of that, the Air Remote has even more options. TTL is what I have been playing with but if you have any suggestions, I am very open to them. Any chance you could make a class or video dedicated to “How To Use The B1 & B2 Systems And Be Amazing At It”? :) Thanks for the great article!

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    • Moise Oiknine

      If you look deep enough on the profoto website you can find how the numbering=power output. Each number lower cuta power in half. Basically if 10=250ws then 9=125 etc down the chain. This gives the B2’s a capability of going to lower power than the b1.

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    • Sarah Murray

      Thank you Moise! I appreciate your comment, it makes a lot of sense! I still have a little frustration when shooting with it. Probably my lack of flash knowledge but after taking the classes, I am doing my best!

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  3. Andy & Amii Kauth

    Love that rear view mirror shot!

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