Introducing The Peanut – the second image in my series The Smaller Side of Snacks. I have always enjoyed macro photography but have never really set out on a mission to capture a series of related images. The Peanut is a composite of three images with a bright white fill layer. It was a lot of fun blending the three images together with layer masks to achieve the overall exposure without blowing out the peaks or losing shadow details in the shell. The Peanut was a bit of a challenge in the post processing world and I found myself continuing to make minor tweaks that did not add to nor detract from the overall image. I finally called it complete when I realized that the little tweaks were leading me down the pixel peaking path and that I should either just be happy with the image, or re-shoot it. I chose to be happy. Who is up next? Our little green friend we all know and love, The Pistachio.
This was a fun shoot and I wound up with some interesting photos. I initially had a tough time selecting one over the others, but I bet you’ll agree this one stood out from the bunch.
I was inspired to start working on a new photo series after reading “Tips For Shooting Fascinating Close-up Photos” in the April 2013 issue of Popular Photography featuring a photographer named Bruce Peterson. I started with pecans because they had loads of salt which made for an interesting texture. I did not have a lot of success replicating the exact technique as described in the article. The solution I discovered was to take three exposures moving the strobe in a half-circle around the pecan. I used a white board behind the pecan to reflect the strobe in an effort to soften the shadows. I then layer masked the three images together to get a uniform exposure across the pecan. Lastly a solid white fill layer for the background to make the image pop. Next in the series…the almighty peanut.
A few pictures from the Morton Grove 4th of July fireworks display at Harrer Park. We were fortunate enough to find a parking spot just two and a half blocks from the show. The viewing area was a large neighborhood park and we settled in at the edge butted up against a grove of pine trees. Morton Grove started the show late, around 9:55PM. I joked to myself that they wanted to be exclusive and waited for the surrounding shows to conclude before lighting the fuse in celebration of Independence Day.