The beauty dish is very unique in the way that it diffuses light. Unlike a softbox or a reflector which has an “illuminating” surface, the beauty dish has a circle of light with a hazy center. The beauty dish is also unique in the shape of light it makes. The light is doughnut shaped – a round circle with a hole in the middle. This shadows less light on the subject while making the back shadows less harsh. If it is close to the subject you will get a doughnut-like shadow on your background.