Matty brushes up on some science
The humble toothbrush is an everyday item we take for granted. But there’s actually a lot of science that goes into the twice-daily scrub of your gnashers. First, there’s the technology of the brush – those subtle angles are there for a reason. Next, there’s the toothpaste, packed with essential ingredients to whiten and freshen. So for my image I thought a scientific take on the toothbrush would be in order. And you can’t get more scientific than a macro, close-up image.
This was a really easy image to set up. I put a black background in place in the studio, and a glass surface on my table top to give a cool reflection of the brush in my image. I then secured the brush to the table top with a bulldog clip, because the brush really didn’t want to lay flat and I didn’t want it moving once there was paste on it. The toothpaste that I went for was that translucent blue stuff (no brand names here), and this gave me the idea to arrange my strobes and backlight the scene to create a glow through the paste and brush. With the camera set to manual, I only needed to take a few test shots to get the lighting perfect for the sort of exposure I wanted. Back at the computer, there was a little work to be done. I had to use the Spot Healing brush to get rid of some imperfections on my 99p brush, and I also darkened the background so it was pure black. What worked extremely well, though, was boosting the blues in the frame to make the paste zing. Although I shot this image in a studio, it’s actually incredibly easy to replicate at home on the kitchen table. A good tip for a reflective surface is to use the glass from a picture frame. So this technique is definitely a ‘must-do’ to get your teeth stuck into.
A bulldog clip helped keep my toothbrush from toppling over and one strobe was enough to provide the lighting.