We won!Another photo challenge... another winner. But then my title for the piece -- We won! -- may have helped with its less-than-subliminal marketing value. The challenge was The World of Macro.
To shoot your own peppercorns -- or any other object you want jumping for joy -- set them on a piece of glass with a white sheet of paper underneath. Floodlight from above and shoot from the side, slightly elevated.
In this shot, there were three very small light reflections in the glass, just outside the shadows, which disappeared when I selected a slightly less-than-white area for the white point.
Then I Unsharp Masked using 200, 1, 0, and used the sharpen tool to lightly enhance the detail on the middle red peppercorn.
You can use a sheet of plastic, rather than glass, but plastic shows every scratch and you'll spend the day with your clone tool. Check your glass for scratches, as well.
I used eighth-inch glass here. Because of the size of the subject, sixteenth-inch might have been even better, giving you more believable jumping height in relation to the size of the jumpers -- but these are Java peppercorns and therefore much stronger and able to jump much higher.
Especially when they win.