The Loofah Portraits

The dried ridge gourd loofas/sponges are used as body scrubs are very popular in India. If you've lived in the metro cities most of your life, then chances are quite bleak that you've used (or maybe even seen) one of these. Their texture has always fancied me, so I recently bought some from a roadside seller and here are some "Loofah portraits"!

My new SB600!

I bought an SB600 recently. The sole reason I picked it over other speedlights in the market is its ability to trigger as a slave while my D70s plays master. I have never been a fan of flash photography & have always wanted to use _natural_ light. But after reading strobist for a while I realised that flash photography can produce some amazing results. Check the flickr strobist group's pool. I use the SB600 both on as well as off the camera. All my pictures using the SB600 can be viewed here. On the day I bought the speedlight, I shot this image. Airavat

After that, I shot a few images at a Kathakali performance. And a couple of nights back I experimented more with the strobe.

Tabletop Product Photography Tabletop Product Photography

Here's a brief on the lighting: The background is a cheap colored (green) paper sheet I bought for Rs 3 per sheet at a local stationery store. There were two lights used. One a simple tungsten bulb (60W) & the other the SB600.

First I laid out the colored paper such the it formed both the base as well as background. After pinning up the top portion to the wall, I kept the SB600 (in slave mode) behind the sheet towards the top right corner facing the camera. The tungsten light was then placed towards the left of the frame on the same plane. A bit of trial & error showed me that 1/5th of a second was a decent speed for an aperture of f/4 at ISO200.

A bit of post processing was involved in photoshop. I duplicated the image in a new layer, changed the blending mode to "soft light" & reduced opacity to "50%". My javascript then ran that resized, created the borders & saved the image ready for web upload.

Here's the result

Tabletop Product Photography