White vs Silver Beauty dish, witch one is the best for portrait photographer?
What’s the difference between a white and a silver beauty dish?
Portrait and beauty photography is much more than just good lighting! It’s about using different light modifiers that will help you create specific, unique and sought-after looks that will please you and your customers while creating your own style! The beauty dish is the modifier that I will present you today! This modifier create a much harder light than softbox, witch accentuates texture and create a more dramatic/cinematic look. The beauty dish is an essantiel light modifier for portrait, beauty and fashion photographer, this is why I want to help you to chose the best one for you.
When I talk about beauty dish, I always hear the same question: what is it better between a white or silver beauty?
In reality, neither is better than the other since the image created will be different! Rather, it’s a matter of preference in terms of how the photos look and the effect you want to create.
What beauty dish size?
Before going further, it is important to mention that the size of the beauty dish will also affect the rendering on the photo. The smaller the beauty dish is, the more the light will be concentrated and therefore the more the contrasts will be pronounced. Conversely, the larger the beauty dish, the more diffuse the light will be and therefore the softer the contrasts.
For portrait and beauty, I work with beauty dish around 20 inch.
For the past few years, I have worked with the 2 types of beauty dish color (white and silver interior). Below, you will find my remarks and appreciation on the 2 versions.
White coated beauty dish:
The white beauty dish give a much softer look to the image, with subtler transitions between highlight and shadow. Why? Because when the light catch the white interior it is refract in multiple direction toward the model, so it fills in any of the shadow created. The catchlight produced by the white beauty dish tends to be more flattering for close up work. It blends the light and so the textures (skin texture is soften). White beauty dish produce a most flattering light on model bringing them closer to a state of ‘beauty.’
Silver beauty dish:
I own the Broncolor Softlight Reflector P-Soft! Dimensions: 51.8 x 19.6 cm (20.4 x 7.7″)
It give me higher output then a white beauty dish (around 1 stop more). When I use it with my Broncolor LED F160 the 1 stop gain is pretty interesting. Because of the silver interior, the output is brighter and then the light is traveling directly toward the model witch create harder shadows. It’s like an hybrid silver reflector (like the P70, P65, P45, etc.) with all the benefits of a white beauty dish.
In my opinion, it produce some amazing and beautiful sparkle in the eye of the model! Also, the colors are more intense! It’s add more texture to the skin, and the makeup highlights on the face of the model look insane!
From personal experience and for my style of photography, I tend to work more often with the beauty dish with the silver interior. It allows me to create images that are more dramatic and cinematic. The light produced is more intense. It can easily be soften by adding a diffuser (sock diffusion) on the surface of the beauty dish, in order to blend the light and soften the contrasts on my model. The Broncolor P-soft can do more compare to the white beauty dish and offers a wonderful sense of “realism”!!