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Building and Using DIY Lighting Gear

Lesson 16 of 27

Making a Beauty Dish


Building and Using DIY Lighting Gear

Lesson 16 of 27

Making a Beauty Dish


Lesson Info

Making a Beauty Dish

D I y is about getting yourself getting your feet wet with lighting tools and one of the I get a thank you those of you out there who sent me feedback and if you want to send feedback on the class or send me a message or comment or something feel free to do that you go to our facebook page, kevin could vote a photographer and sending a message there more email or whatever you want, but I get lots of great comments and one of the themes that I hear which I really makes me feel great because this is kind of why I'm here is people say thank you for making it easy thank you for making lighting fun and approachable and giving me the opportunity to get started as a lighting professional I think that's really important because that's the whole idea here is to make it not intimidating for you so that you can go and make these tools and try them and see it you know it's not like you're going to use these tools forever it's got obvious, you know going to show but a waiting with a toilet paper tu...

be on your your flash and you don't want have a soft boxes falling apart with clients air coming in like I did you know, years ago I told you that story fell on his head so but it gets your feet wet gets you in the door and if you don't have any money to start it's really important that you not be afraid to get started because you can't afford the pro gear. When I first started, I could not afford anything, so I like I said it built my own soft box. It worked, I got a few jobs, I took beautiful images with this homemade soft bucks, but the first thing I did when I actually made money from my photography was to buy a pro soft box replaced that thing, and then all the other little gadgets that I have made, I would slowly replace them with pro gear, but I never would have got started if I had waited and said, I'm just gonna wait till I can afford pro here. Yeah, so it's something to think about if you're just getting started, I want to make this so that you if you really love photography and you want to get into it, there's no barrier don't let cost be a barrier for you getting started and start making some money or if you're a stay at home, mom, and you just want to take photos of your kids, then maybe you don't you're never gonna by pro gear, and this is a way for you to do better ports. It's without having to spend a lot of money but it's inspiring, I think and it's exciting. So one of the things that I want to give a shout out to is west got like I showed you my my luna grip, the thingamajig we talked yesterday I'll show you this great invention, but one of the reasons I love westcott and if you ask me hey, kevin, do you use somebody else's in the chat? Do you actually use d I y gear? And you're pro shoots? I'll be honest. No, I don't. Because I have pro gear that I love and I want to look professional. So this is not. This is not a replacement for your pro gear. It's. A way for you to get started to experiment, to have fun and to try new things a soon as you want it. You have an idea. Try it and do it. So one of my favorite little stories as we do this every year we do a charity event in my town and bend and I gather up volunteer photographers and we do family portrait in the park for these needy families in our towns. That's what? Me? And then I enlist about ten using their new budding photographers in town who who want to volunteer and we take pictures all day long on a sunday afternoon for families in the part and this very one of the first ones we did this is about over ten years ago um pull the meeting you know a few days before the event next ok here's here's what I want to do with these families I want to light them with our big scrims like I showed you guys yesterday made put the big scream to speed lights it's going to be easy lighting families could move in an album boom boom and you guys onboard everybody looked at me kind like what's a scrim well you guys have these right everybody has one of these big scrims and they're like nobody hadn't had ten photographers nobody had him a couple of never even heard of a scrim knew what it was that never used one but I explain we're going to do it like that's a good idea but so it was a charity event we had no money we couldn't buy scrims for ten photographers so we built these pvc versions of them um I brought mine which I had already owned we went out to shoot that day and over the course of the day the photographers got amazing images and at the end of the day I'd say eight out of those ten photographer says I'm buying a scrim first thing I do when I get home and one of them said, I'm going to go and make one of those I get home, but the others said, I'm going to go buy one, you know, I love using that scream and they'd never experienced what you could get with that and that's kind of what got me excited about teaching lighting, is it? You want people to experiment to try everything and see and know what's available, so just something to keep in mind. I'm one of the reasons I do like west got if you go on their web site, they have innovative gear, they support d I y innovators, if you look at the ice light from jerry, probably started as a d a y idea of his own haven, I lighter, which is, you know, start priced art is a d I y project, but they really bring innovative things like no other manufacturer, so think about that, you know, look at look at all the beautiful stuff they haven't think about how they are really supporting d I y innovation and bringing it to a amazing level, you know, when you're looking for lighting here. So what we've got to do today is we've got to make more stuff, and we're going to be photographed with a pretty cool little scene set up right here. They were asking if they get to model so they're all going to lie on the couch together and do a little family portnoy we'll make you do that so let's go ahead and bring out our table and we'll start making we're gonna start off making a beauty dish and a beauty dish many of you have probably seen beauty dishes before they can go on regular lights they're pretty common to go on speed lights if you want and I was beauty dish of the day I was cruising through the the grocery store and found these these air basically bulls for serving you know like a catering food supply store and I'm looking at that one huh? That's kind of a nice shape so I got a couple sizes of them got a big one and it painted it white so it's a spray painted white clear version of this and cut myself a little opening for the flesh on the back so this is a good size right there really like that size that makes finish explaining how we do this so you're going to take your speed light probably want to paint it first whatever size you choose and basically just placed on the back somewhat centered and dry yourself a little outline that's that's where speed light basically needs to go and then you're gonna want to cut it like that but there's a couple little barn doors that open up and all we're going to these barn doors is put it on around, wrap it around the speed lightheaded you pop that through, but to make sure it doesn't slide off it's gonna use a big rubber band on the head and there's a little rubber feet here. And if you go to the hardware store, you can get these little stickem bumpers grab more things here. So something like this whole sticky bumpers basically, they're kind of robbery surface, and they keep things from sliding around and put a few of those on the inside of the flaps so that when you bandit to this speed like it does just slipped right off and I don't keep it fairly secure this one, we painted it after we put the bumpers so the bumpers got a little paint on them so they lost some of their their sticks. That's a good idea to pride painted first, cover up the flaps from getting paint on the inside and then put your put your bumpers on there. Okay, then you can use the beauty dish as is meaning just like that. I want to touch it just yet, but that's basically what's gonna happen. And now, to give you a nice, crisp, fairly direct light when she said this speed light to be a wide zoom, you're gonna have a little bit of a hot spot but a pretty crisp light a little more to be softer than if you used the speed like it alone but what I like to use this is actually for the diffuser over the front of the beauty dish than it actually is pretty pretty amazing the quality of light that you get from so all you do for that to get your your parachute cloth lay down, trace it out nothing to do with this trace yourself about a circle in about an inch around it a little larger uh then get yourself some elastic is about an inch wide kind of like this and you're going to stitch it around making giant shower cap like that. So what we're doing with this elastic is you've put it around the edge this takes him sewing skills, which, you know my first career is in fashion design you'd never guess that because just like a fashion victim sometimes but I did I feel oh, how I learned how to sew in fashion school so I try not to let my wife remember that because she'll make me so everything that we need sewn in house but you're gonna fold the elastic over like that, pull it taut and stitch it and then when it relaxes its sucks it up you end up with something like this your shower cap over your dish smooth then we can pop your flash in there and you want to put it through the whole the reason when I cut the hole out it could it slightly on the inside of the black line because you wanted to be tight so that when the head pops in there almost will stay by itself without even attaching the sides to it and then we'll just move the rubber band over the flaps it's not something you can quickly attach but it's not too bad just about the inside just about right you should be groovy so there you go, it's super light pretty secure and we could put this on a light stand around a pole and bowman start lighting with it. Okay, so shall we shall we liked something up here? This thing okay, so let's go ahead. You can take this table out and we'll get ready to bring our model in here. What you got back there? Kevin? Cambodia oh, boy don't let her model in just yet. It's never a day of kevin cambodia without some prints so we're gonna get ready to shoot now and remembering my model out. And so what we're gonna do is put the beauty dish on a pole and hold it for models ready she's actually not quite ready yet way down okay, perfect, we have time to set up our beauty dish while our model is coming down here, so have just enough time for the beauty. Did beauty dishes getting set up? Now you do dishes almost set, he dishes just about ready for the march tomorrow. Don't be almost ready. Beauty dishes ready, okay, beauticians ready for the model.

Class Description

You don’t need expensive gear to make professional quality images. In Building and Using DIY Lighting Gear, Kevin Kubota will teach you how to create lighting and photography tools with affordable and readily available materials.

Kevin will walk you through every step of building your own light modifiers and photo gear and show you exactly how to use them, with live models, for beautiful effects. You’ll learn how to:

  • Work with speedlights and mix natural light with flash
  • Shoot portraits in the studio or on location with DIY gear
  • Set up a simple commercial lighting shoot

Kevin will share essential lighting concepts that will improve all of your lighting choices. You’ll learn techniques you can apply to all the gear you use – whether it is from a manufacturer or your tool shed.

The right gear makes getting your best shot easier. Whether you use natural light, speedlights, or studio strobes this class will show you how to augment your gear with affordable, handmade tools to get even better results.


Geo Montecillo

Super good course highly recommended it will help you get started on a low budget, yet creating wonderful images. Is there a link to west got?

F8 and be there

This was an awesome fun class! So many great ideas on how to achieve various lighting effects on a smaller budget. You will save the price of the course most likely by making one softbox (or whatever) yourself. Highly recommended!

Adrian Martinez

Going into my 4th year of photography, I finally built a photo studio in my home and after purchasing some lighting gear and other accessories, I decided to buy this course for additional ideas - GREAT class! I learned a LOT and was very inspired to be more creative. I especially liked that Kevin didn't joke too much or stray away from the course very much at all. Yet, he was still very entertaining and very informative. I'm putting so much of what I got form this class into action right away! This course DEFINITELY pays for itself - right away!