I wanted to get in a quick, little update before the end of the day and the start of another week. Not that I've had much time with my camera, I have at least been keeping busy with photography related things - namely research and practicing.
The research part has been in the form of some new books (Joe McNally and Erik Valind) and a new video (Lindsey Adler); while the practice part has been in fine tuning the use of my new beauty dish.
The big thing I wanted to test out was the best zoom setting for my SB-900 flash to properly illuminate the dish. I had been leaving my zoom setting at the 24mm I was using for my softbox (to fill the box). Although I found an interesting bit of info on how Joe McNally uses SB-900's and SB-910's with the same softbox; he uses the diffuser dome which sets the zoom to 14mm. May have to try that out the next time I break out the softbox.
Okay, back to the beauty dish. I had noticed when I tried some self-portraits that the reflection in the catchlights seemed a little "off" and also that I wasn't seeing the crispness I was expecting in the light quality. I think having the head zoomed out to 24mm was not directing the light into the reflector plate enough and that instead it was spreading beyond the plate, softening the light. So today I decided to test my theory and took some test shots with the flash head zoomed to 200mm. Now, there's the crispness I was looking for! The light quality is so much improved now and much more how I was expecting it to be.
All I need to do now is find a willing/suitable model and take some real-world portraits or head shots.