Without question, my favourite macro photographic subjects are fungi. They come in every imaginable shape, size, texture and colour. There are, however, pitfalls to avoid and tips to adhere to, if you want to achieve that ‘special’ shot.
#1 Pick The Best Specimen
If there are a number of individual fungi to choose from to photograph, I suggest singling out one that looks fresh and not wilted or broken. Then you can concentrate on that particular fungi to get the best shot possible.
#2 Focusing On The Leading Edge
For individual fungi, focus on the ‘leading edge’, so that the viewer’s eyes go straight to that spot. This might be the rim of the fungi head or the gills under underneath. Using manual focus will give you much more control when focusing on the leading edge.
#3 Watch Out For Distractions
Look out for distractions in the background, especially shiny leaves. If there are distractions, you may want to move them away. Alternatively, physically move around until you find the best place to photograph the fungi, without any distractions to ruin your image.
#4 Using A Small Aperture For Better Depth-Of-Field
When you find a clump of fungi, make sure you use a small aperture size (such as f22) so that you can get more of the fungi in focus. Focus on one or two of the most prominent ones and let your aperture control the depth-of-field.
#5 Extension Tubes For Closer Focus
Using extension tubes allows you to focus much closer on tiny fungi. I tend to use a tripod when using extension tubes, as the fungi is often found in a dark environment (such as a rainforest). By choosing a small aperture, hand-holding at a low shutter speeds will result in blurry images, due to a very slow shutter speed.
#6 Reflector For Added Light
Sometimes, the gills on the underside of a fungi can be quite dark. By using a portable silver reflector, you can throw natural night onto the shaded gills, to reduce the shadows. I’ve been doing this for many years and it works a treat!
If you have a passion for wildlife, nature or travel photography and would love to go on a small-number, professional photography adventure, please get in touch with Michael Snedic at WildNature Photo Expeditions. You can call him on 0408 941 965 or fill in this Contact Form and he will get back to you ASAP.