- You can capture two interesting images of one mushroom by first shooting a photo that is as natural as possible. Maybe, you’ve just lifted some leaves enough to reveal a fungus and you take a picture under the cover of those leaves.
- The second image is the “after” shot. In their natural state, mushrooms are not always a pretty sight—bits and pieces of forest debris stuck to the cap and half-buried in the dark forest earth. Include a small, soft brush and a spray bottle of water among your equipment, so you can carefully clean a mushroom to show its full size and colorful details.
- Finally, return the area to its original, natural look. If you found mushrooms under leaves, then cover the mushrooms again; that’s where they like to live. If you rolled a log aside to reveal a strange fungus, then roll the log back.
Digital photography of mushrooms, toadstools and fungi can be more interesting than you might think because they come in a great variety of shapes, sizes and colors. The challenges are to know when and where to find them and to move you and your camera to their level—at the view of a pixie or fairy.
Depending on where you live in the world, you are more likely to find mushrooms during the fall and winter and in dark, damp places. You may have to sweep aside some of the leaf and twig clutter on the forest floor to locate many fungi, especially those that live very close to the earth or under a log. Consider including a pair of heavy garden gloves and a hand garden trowel as part of your digital photography equipment.
If you’re serious about creating a portfolio of digital photos that shows the diversity of mushrooms, then some Internet research or a field guide of the species in your region might also be very helpful. Many nature centers and similar organizations have mushroom experts who conduct fungi nature walks. Take the tour to learn more about the mushrooms in your area. You may be able to photograph them during the trip. Then, follow the tips in this two-part PhotographyTalk.com article and you’ll bring back pictures from the land of mushrooms where few have visited.
1. Eat with Caution.
You may also decide to gather some wild mushrooms during your digital photography expedition to prepare for dinner. You must be very cautious about eating wild mushrooms. In fact, unless you’re trained by an expert or are in the company of an expert, it’s best not to pick or eat any of them.
2. Shoot Two Mushrooms in One.
3. Be Prepared for Some Dirty Work.
You want the best digital photos of mushrooms, toadstools and fungi? Then, dress for the challenge because you’ll find yourself lying on your stomach much of the time. Wear sturdy clothes and shoes that are made to become dirty from outdoor use. There’s no way to avoid lowering you and your camera to the level of a mushroom. Only then can you capture the most interesting images of the fungi’s structure and textures.
You’ll also want to clear the path between your camera lens and the mushroom. Since your camera may literally be on the ground when you take a series of digital photos of a mushroom. Make sure little twigs and edges of leaves are not directly in front of the lens. Think about including a small ground cloth or heavy towel to place on the ground for your camera. Bring a bigger ground cloth for you.
Read Part 2 of this article for five more tips to help you shoot digital photos of mushrooms, toadstools and fungi.