Glowing Mushrooms

Now is the best time to get out and take macro photos of Autumn Fungi

Glowing Mushrooms
Glowing Mushrooms

It’s that time of year when I love to get out into the countryside and capture images of fungi. I am always amazed at how many types there are in the woodland near where I live.

The great thing about fungi is that they are fairly rigid and therefore can stand up to all but the strongest winds, hardly moving when everything else is whipping around in the wind. This makes them ideal subjects for focus stacking, a technique I described previously, that enables great detail and a very fine control of what is in focus in the final image.

As in previous years, October sees me heading out to the New Forest and West Sussex to my favourite hunting spots. As I have gathered a few over the past couple of years, I thought I should add some here.

The image above is the most recent image and in editing I decided to try something a little different. There is a recent trend to edit the image to make it look as though it was taken at dusk, and making the mushroom appear to glow.

The images were in fact taken in daylight in the woods near Cadmans Pool in the New Forest, Hampshire, UK. The following is a more traditional edit of the same source images.

Cadmans Pool Fungi
Cadmans Pool Fungi

This image is a stack of 95 separate raw files stacked together in Helicon Focus.

Also from the Cadmans Pool area are the following images. The Fly Agaric toadstool was actuall from Deadman Hill, which is not too far from Cadmans Pool.

The focus stack technique can be a little tricky when using a DSLR, most mirrorless cameras have it built in, but when I capture I control the camera with Helicon Remote running on a Samsung android tablet. This gives an additional advantage of being able to see everything at a larger scale, even when the camera is in a very awkward position.

Camera Setup for Focus Stack Capture
Camera Setup for Focus Stack Capture

I think my favourite places to photograph fungi are Eartham Wood and Ebernoe Wood, both in West Sussex, just a short way from Chichester. Both of these are good spots, but if I had to pick a favourite it would be the ancient woodland at Ebernoe.

These two images are focus stacks of the same fungus. They are both stacks taken on the same morning. The only real difference is the camera position. In the first, the sun was behind the camera, giving front lighting. The second was taken by moving to the other side of the fungus, so the camera faces the sun. A very different feel to the images as a result.

Here are some more images from Ebernoe.

  • Ebernoe Fungus
  • Toadstool and Ivy leaf with fallen leaves
  • Small fungus in leaf litter on the woodland floor.
  • Small fungus in leaf litter on the woodland floor.
  • Six tiny mushrooms growing from a fallen log with the woodland visible behind.

Eartham Wood, which is not far from Ebernoe, looks like it is more actively managed, but there is still a large variety to be found.

4 thoughts on “Now is the best time to get out and take macro photos of Autumn Fungi”

  1. Hi Peter.
    I didn’t realise how much effort goes in the fungi pics.
    They are very good.
    I have looked at the first one and it does work with the two small ones below because the slop leads you too them.
    What is the piece of equipment on top of the screen.

  2. Your fungi photos are just incredibly exceptional. The edited Cadman’s pool fungi is simply divine. The headshot of the bald eagle (on Flickr) is spectacular. There are just not enough superlative adjectives to describe your photography. Thank you for sharing.

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