DIY Beauty Dish (Light Diffusing Bowl)

Yesterday I finished a Do It Yourself Beauty Dish that I found plans for on David Tejada's blog.

Equipment list:

  • 1 large plastic bowl (14" or so)
  • 1 old 50 pack CD spindle
  • 1 convex Auto mirror
  • 1 CD
  • 1 Gutter connection (I first bought a 2x3" plastic piece that fit my Canon Speedlite 430ex perfectly, but I wanted to use my Canon Speedlite 580exII and the flash is too big to fit in the 2x3", so I found a larger aluminum version that works well. See Picture)
  • 1 pack 4-40x1/2 nuts and scews
  • 2 Krylon Fusion spray paint (For plastics), one white, one black
  • 1 Velcro strap (I used weather stripping instead of velcro)

Possible Tools:
  • Utility Knife
  • Glue (spray or something like Gorilla Glue)
  • measure utensil
  • Power drill and bits
  • Screw driver

Here is my finished product.
The backside of the bowl with the gutter connection coming from the inside.

The inside of the bowl with the CD case and the flash installed. The Plastic CD Case Cover has three sections (roughly 3.5" x 2.5") cut out of it to allow more light through (the plastic is somewhat reflecting and would limit the amount of light emitted).

This is looking down into the convex mirror and CD glued to the inside of the CD case

The Mirror and CD are what make the Dish work

Top View

What thelight looks like when the flash is fired and when it's not

Here are some examples that I shot of myself that show with the bowl and direct flash.
Direct Flash
With Beauty Dish

Direct Flash
With Beauty Dish

Here are some additional examples with the Beauty Dish

D. Scott Clark

I've worked all over her globe with a diverse set of clients that offer a diverse set of challenges; every one of them a learning opportunity. Whether I'm hanging off a frozen waterfall shooting ice climbing or in a studio working with a model I am adapting, learning, and improving. I've created a mobile studio in the middle of a wild adventure race in southern Patagonia and fought with monkeys to keep my grapes in southern India. Whatever the challenge I will get the shot.

With my photography background firmly formed in the commercial advertising arena, I bring that attention to detail and technical process to adventure photography. And I've spent my entire life adventuring, so I can get any angle you can imagine.

I feel very fortunate to live in such a beautiful place as Boulder, CO. When I'm not shooting for clients I'm out climbing rocks or frozen waterfalls, or cruising down in the backcountry on my skis.


  1. I've really enjoyed reading through your blog and looking through your photos! You've got some great stuff on here.
    God bless you in all that you do.

  2. wow, very intresting, and nice results and you are also very handsome :-P



  3. Thank you. Glad that I can be an inspiration. Big things are happening!

  4. Interesting project and awesome results! The light which you made has great quality and allows to create very nice, moody shots. It is smaller than a typical Beauty Dish but when used at a closer distance gives a soft light and a lot of contrast (because of the inverse square law) which can be a desired effect. Great shots!