I am excited to see the work DIY (http://www.diyphotography.net/) is doing on beauty dishes. I think that photographers are inherently do-it-yourself types, so I really enjoy the inspiration from this site in particular.
Notably, getting great light from a single strobe is HUGE. I mean really big. No one wants a photo shoot to require so much gear that a sherpa is needed. So the dish works wonderfully for environmental portraits, indoor portraits and even an occasional product shot. I highly recommend the terra cotta version which runs about $17 to make. Really, the key parts of this set up actually run under $10 if you can borrow some paint from Grandpas garage.
DIY did this great side-by-side comparison of two different builds. Here’s a link to the 2 beauty dishes: http://www.flickr.com/photos/isayx3/2812691251/
I thought the results were pretty clear cut. The right photo is livelier, brighter and carries more detail. So I wrote about it. Well, the folks at DIY humored me and here are my 15 minutes of fame!