mushroom photography

Edwin Hutton e.hutton at ic.ac.uk
Sat Dec 19 00:51:58 EST 1998


WAXYCAP at aol.com wrote:
> 
> What are some of the ways used in photographing mushrooms.  How many flashes
> are used and how are they placed.  Shoud diffusers be used?

As far as photographic technique is concerned mushrooms are no different
as subjects from plants and other still life subjects. Thus the use of
flash is entirely dependent on the function of the photograph.

Some people prefer to photograph mushrooms in the place they grow -
where
this is not feasible it is often possible to construct a 'set' similar
to
the original habitat.

If you are trying to show the features that are used for identification
it is important to show the underside (gills, pores etc.) and stipe
as well as the cap. This often requires more than one specimen, although
you can cut the carpophore in half and show the two halves from
different
angles (assuming that only one picture is to be used). Alternatively
I have used as suitably placed mirror. (Incidentally this is a useful
technique for people with attractive long hair.) Another point to
consider
is that some object of known size should be included to indicate the
size
of the mushroom - in the field I often resort to including my field
guide!

Most mushrooms are fortunately matt in texture, so there is rarely any
problem with unwanted reflections.

Some mushroom books use photographs rather than drawings, e.g. those by
Roger Phillips. Look at those and see what you think of the various
styles.

Have fun.

Edwin Hutton.




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