Sandra Åberg brings out the beauty with the OCF Beauty Dish

Written by Jens-Linus Lundgren-Widén on . Posted in Off-camera flash, On location, Wedding photography

Bookmark and Share
© Sandra Åberg

© Sandra Åberg

When the Profoto Softlight Reflector was released in 1980, fashion photographers soon nicknamed it “The Beauty Dish” due to its unique ability to bring out the beauty of the model. Since then it has grown to become one of the most iconic tools for creating a creamy yet crisp light, often referred to as a “beauty light”. To name an example: when photographer Sandra Åberg bought her very first Light Shaping Tool, that one was the one she got – the Beauty Dish.

But there is always room for improvement. For instance, Sandra prefers shooting on location, and the classic Beauty Dish can sometimes be too large and bulky to bring with you. Especially when you’re shooting without an assistant.

Enter the new OCF Beauty Dish from Profoto, which is basically a foldable and more portable version of its classic precursor. The main difference is that the OCF Beauty Dish is not made of metal but high-quality fabrics. When collapsed, it’s stored in a carrying bag that fits in a small backpack. The entire tool, including speedring, deflector plate and diffuser, weighs a mere 0.53 kg (1.2 lbs.). In other words, it’s a lot easier to bring with you.

 

© Sandra Åberg

© Sandra Åberg

Profoto_Icons_No_Names

 

To prove this we asked Sandra to bring it with her to an on-location portrait shoot at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark. Also, we asked her to not bring an assistant and avoid using stands if possible.

“I was going for an airy yet crisp look on this shoot,” says Sandra. “I wanted something that felt timeless and elegant.”

 

© Sandra Åberg

© Sandra Åberg

© Perry Johnson

© Perry Johnson

Like in many coastal cities, the autumn weather in Copenhagen can shift quickly. To stay safe from rainy surprises, Sandra shot under an archway in the palace’s vicinity. Even though the light conditions changed dramatically throughout the shoot, Sandra was able to maintain a consistent look throughout the shoot thanks to the flashes and OCF Beauty Dish that she had brought.

“I love the way natural light look, but I need flash and Light Shaping Tools to maintain control, and to be able to always deliver regardless of weather and other circumstances that are out of my hands. I guess you could say that I use lighting the same way I use Photoshop. I use it to enhance without being obvious. I don’t want people to look at my images and notice the use of flash. I want them to notice the beautiful light.”

 

© Sandra Åberg

© Sandra Åberg

Profoto_Icons_No_Names

 

During the shoot, Sandra used a B1 Off-Camera Flash to light up the background and to create a rimlight that separated the model from the surroundings. The main light was a B2 Off-Camera Flash with the OCF Beauty Dish White. As Sandra didn’t have an assistant with her, she simply held the B2 Head with the OCF Beauty Dish over her left shoulder, while her camera was in her right hand. In some cases, she used the optional diffuser, which is pulled over the front of the OCF Beauty Dish to soften the light some more.

“I tend to keep my setup pretty simple,” says Sandra. “Not only because I like to have the freedom to move around as I feel, but also to be able to quickly change my setup as the ambient light changes and new ideas pop into my head.

 

© Sandra Åberg

© Sandra Åberg

“This setup with the B2 and the new OCF Beauty Dish was perfect in that sense. It proved to be very easy to take with you on-location, and it was super easy to mount and dismount. I just love it when my life gets easier.”

 

Get inspired by more articles about the Off-Camera Flash system
Read more about the products
Find dealer

The gear

1 x B2 Off-Camera Flash
1 x B1 Off-Camera Flash
1 x OCF Beauty Dish White
1 x OCF Speedring
1 x Air Remote TTL-C

 

 

© Sandra Åberg

© Sandra Åberg

© Perry Johnson

© Perry Johnson

© Sandra Åberg

© Sandra Åberg

© Sandra Åberg

© Sandra Åberg

© Perry Johnson

© Perry Johnson

© Sandra Åberg

© Sandra Åberg

© Sandra Åberg

© Sandra Åberg

© Sandra Åberg

© Sandra Åberg

© Perry Johnson

© Perry Johnson

© Sandra Åberg

© Sandra Åberg

© Perry Johnson

© Perry Johnson

© Sandra Åberg

© Sandra Åberg

© Sandra Åberg

© Sandra Åberg

© Perry Johnson

© Perry Johnson

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Trackback from your site.

Jens-Linus Lundgren-Widén

I'm Marketing Assistant at Profoto Global.

Comments (15)

  • Juan-Carlos Torres

    |

    What a great idea. I am a big fan of beauty dishes. I have 4 of them 🙂

    It has always been a challenge to bring them fashion shoots when flying outside the US.

    I am assuming this is a 20.5 inch foldable version. Is Profoto planing to release a bigger size like the Mola 33 inch ? I will be the first to buy one if that happens.

    Regarding the photos for this article the highlights are all blown out and the ambient – flash balance is no so good 🙁

    Photos are way too flashy.

    Reply

    • Jens-Linus Lundgren-Widén

      |

      Hi, Glad to hear you appreciate the Beauty Dish.

      However, I cannot comment on possible product development.

      Sincerely,

      Reply

    • Camera Store Lighting Salesman

      |

      I think you can do most all that you would want with this size soft-liter.
      I believe the inconsistency is intentional between shots to offer various looks to prospective customers. It’s a blog not a finished album.
      Juan, you should broaden your aesthetic, perhaps. On occasion, blown out highlights are perfectly acceptable depending on the effect that you want to achieve. Many shots have highlights with detail, but you look to young for darkroom parlance. Keep an open mind.

      Reply

  • jVh

    |

    I Loooove to buy this collapsible beauty dish however, question is if I can use it with Elinchrom speed-ring for my Elinchrom light-system

    Thank you
    *J

    Reply

    • Jens-Linus Lundgren-Widén

      |

      Hi,

      We do not recommend you to use any OCF Light Shaping to other flash than with the Profoto Off-Camera Flash System. That’s due to the heat resistance. The OCF flashes are equipped with flashtubes that don’t generate that much heat. We cannot guarantee that other brands of flash keep the same low temperature.

      Sincerely,

      Reply

      • jVh

        |

        Elinchrom got powerful fan and so there wouldn’t be any problem but I like to use it also handheld with F60M flash which doesn’t produce any heat what so ever but it sits on Elinchrom Speedring ….

        So the question again is: Can I use it on Elinchrom SpeedRing, YES or NO.

        Thank you.

        Reply

        • Jens-Linus Lundgren-Widén

          |

          Hi again,

          You can only use the OCF Beauty Dish with the OCF Speedring, and you can only use the OCF Speedring with the Profoto Off-Camera Flash system.

          Best regards,

          Reply

  • Wally Kilburg

    |

    I looked at this product last week when I purchased the OCF Gel kit. I was intrigued but lack of any sort of grid limits its appeal to me. I’m a big fan of the “Beauty Dish” but equally a fan of tools to help shape the light. I’m surprised Profoto markets a product that doesn’t offer more control.

    Reply

    • Sven

      |

      I totally agree – missing a grid!

      Reply

      • James Rudd

        |

        Actually just taken delivery and the 2ft Octa 50 degree grid fits (the OCF) one

        Reply

  • Tinker's Realm

    |

    Beautiful images & BTS images- bought a set of B2’s after reading your article- the beauty dish is being given w/ any B1 or B2 right now 🙂

    Reply

  • Guus

    |

    You can only use the OCF Beauty Dish with the OCF Speedring,
    why not the RFI speedring?

    Reply

    • Jens-Linus Lundgren-Widén

      |

      Hi Guus,

      Due to the lightweight material of the rods on the OCF Beauty Dish, the rods can get damaged if used with other Speedrings than the OCF Speedring.

      Reply

  • Guus

    |

    You can only use the OCF Beauty Dish with the OCF Speedring?.
    Why not à rfi speedring?

    Reply

  • nonuniform

    |

    I think Profoto just wants to sell the B1/B2 system, and that’s why the beauty dish only has a mount for this specific system.

    It’s hard to imagine that Chimera, which makes a similar product, would have some secret to making a lightweight, heat-resistant collapsible beauty dish that is compatible with multiple mounts.

    Reply

Leave a comment