Under the Microscope: Peppercorn (Black Pepper)

This episode of “Cool Stuff Under the Microscope” focusses on a common kitchen ingredient; the (whole) peppercorn. The peppercorn comes from the Black Pepper (Piper nigrum) which is a flowering vine from the family Piperaceae where the fruit is cultivated, dried and used for seasoning or a spice.

I had always wondered what the peppercorn looked like at higher magnification, as when you look at the item by eye, you can see it is not smooth and spherical, rather contains ridges and crevices.

The following image was captured by imaging a whole peppercorn at low magnification on the Radical Microscope (affiliate-link), with the images being focus stacked into one image (below). Images were captured with a Nikon D5300 Digital camera, with the focus stacking being carried out in Helicon Focus PRO (affiliate-link), and final editing being carried out in Lightroom. This is one of my earlier attempts at using Helicon software and I have been fairly happy with it, any issues have been because of how I captured the images (there are about 8 images in this stack).

Under the Microscope: Peppercorn

The focus was slightly off at the bottom ridge, and top crevices, but the structure is nonetheless fascinating. One really cool feature of the Helicon Focus (affiliate-link) software is the ability to generate a 3D animation from the images you captured. You can see my 3D model at the following link (opens in a new window).

As always, if you have any idea's on things to image under the microscope don't hesitate to let me know either through this site or on social media.

TravisH @travishale

Passionate scientist, and hobby photographer making my way through the world with the help of Family and Friends.

Recent Posts

Topaz Studio 2 & Essential Filters (AKA Adjustments)

Topaz Studio 2 has a range of essential filters however, it can be difficuilt knowing which one does what. This…

7 days ago

SiteLock VPN

A virtual private network, or VPN, gives you the ability to anonymously connect to the internet through an encrypted connection…

1 month ago

Black Friday – Capture One Sale

Capture One are running a black Friday sale which starts early and runs to Cyber Monday. To see the discount(s)…

2 months ago

Skylum Luminar – Black Friday Sale

Skylum are offering a range of Luminar 4 special bundles are a heavy discount when factoring in all of the…

2 months ago

Topaz Labs – Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sale

Topaz Labs are running a Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sale. From Wednesday 27th of November through to 1st of…

2 months ago

Topaz AI Bundles

Topaz Labs LLC produce a range of AI powered photography utilities. These vary from removing noise (through the DeNoise AI…

2 months ago