Thanks to my brilliant fellow photographer father and his eBay eagle eyes I’m now in possession of three Bowens lighting bowls. Two large, one small. All three with barn doors.

This weekend they’ll be transformed into beauty dishes ready for the first of the fashion lighting test shoots that are set to follow over the coming weeks. I’ve a growing list of lighting setups I want to try out with a mix of beauty dishes, softboxes, bare strobes, reflectors, barn doors, shoot through and bounce umbrellas, colour gels and backdrops.

The Bowens bowls will have a round removable ‘plug’ inserted with a hole sized to take either a studio or Canon 580EXII flash head. The steel BBQ lid and bowl I found the other weekend can now be experimented on to make a truly monster studio ring flash!

The frames in the animation were created with the iPhone application Strobox, from the people at and copied from the phone into GIMP layers. Each layer was made 30% transparent and the backdrop aligned with the layer below. Layers were then returned to 100%, the image cropped and saved as an animated GIF.

Update: Thanks to a comment on an image from one of the people taking part I now have a lucky 13th set up. Gridded strobe high above camera pointing down at the face.