DIY Beauty Dish

Everywhere I see signs of a deflating economy, except, it would seem, when it comes to the prices of photography equipment. What gives? Why does B&H still expect people to pay 2006 prices during the 2009 recession? BLARRGH. I hate putting so much stock into the discounts that I "hopefully" find at WPPI.A buckling economy doesn't shorten my "To Buy" list, but it does make me reconsider how to acquire some of the items on it. After finding David Tejada's tutorial on how to make your own Beauty Dish for under $30, I decided to give it a try, despite not being all that handy with hardware, myself.It was actually surprisingly easy to make.Here are three examples to demonstrate the awesome cosmic power of the Dish. Just FYI, I obviously didn't do my hair or put on makeup for any of these.

Flash only -- Flash with Diffuser cap -- Flash with Beauty Dish

These were all taken with the flash angled straight at me. You can see the "flash only" is just ugly, undesirable, washed-out light that makes my natural moon-skin terribly pale. The "flash with diffuser cap" is much better but really dramatizes shadows, especially around my eyes, and kind of makes me look sickly. The "flash with beauty dish" is the best of all three, with light that not only smoothes out my skin, but also reduces shine and brightens and softens lines. I actually look like I put on makeup for that picture, that's how improved the lighting is.The only thing that took very long when making this was just waiting for the paint to dry.The downsides are:The paint chips very easily and in some ways it doesn't seem very sturdy---Tejada didn't specify how he affixed the velcro strap to the dish, or how he prevented the plastic from cracking while cutting it (a problem I ran into). I was also surprised to discover that the epoxy I bought didn't hold, which was odd because the directions are full of cautionary warnings, which led me to believe it was some kind of superglue. Yeah, NOT. I sense that if I were to try this again I'd probably wind up with a better model, but I'm not sure if I have the patience.All in all, this goes to show: if you're going to put up a "how-to make" tut online, BE THOROUGH. For the sake of us poor un-Macguyver-esque people out there, who are unfamiliar with hardware stores and need clear directions from start to finish.