Matty brushes up on some sci­ence

Digital Photo (UK) - - OUT OF THE ORDINARY -


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.

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