The Pistachio – A Look at the Smaller Side of Snacks

The Pistachio - Macro Photography

The Pistachio, quite possibly my favorite nut…I mean seed. This was the first image I shot for The Smaller Side of Snacks, however I just now finished the final composite. Pistachios have a thin brittle membrane called the seed coat. In the original image, a few pieces of the seed coat were lying beneath the shell adding a little complexity to the overall experience. The problem I ran into is that the seed coat is quite reflective. It caught the light in a unique way producing a very unnatural effect. I spent weeks coming back to this image and fighting with that unnatural reflection.

It turns out that compositing, blending, adding fill layers, or any of the post production processes I have been using in this series were not the problem. The unnatural effect was present in the RAW data of the image. It was not until this discovery that I asked myself an important question; what would this image look like without the seed coat accents beneath the shell?

I headed back to Photoshop and five minutes later, the seed coat was gone and The Pistachio was complete. I actually prefer the composition sans pesky, reflective, and brittle seed coat lying beneath the nut…I mean seed.

The problem with the seed coat looking “off” is likely due to it being out of focus.  I was hoping to avoid these problems by using a large f-stop but upon close inspection of the below images it seems focus stacking would have worked pretty well.

pistachio seed coat 1pistachio seed coat 2pistachio seed coat 3