You will find many beautiful and fascinating things to photograph if you look carefully. With practice, you will become very good at noticing details in nature, spotting patterns in your surroundings and learning how to capture interesting aspects of a scene. Take this advice on how to photograph mushrooms, toadstools, and fungi.
Table of Contents
To start with, find a good location.
You’re looking for somewhere with a variety of different species growing together. You could head out into the countryside or visit an area where you know there are lots of different types of fungi growing. You might even find some in your own back garden! If you’re feeling adventurous, check out our guide on how to identify edible mushrooms.
Once you’ve found your spot, spend some time wandering around looking at the different types of fungus growing there and getting a feel for how they grow and interact with their environment. Then choose one or two species that really catch your eye as potential subjects for photographs and start looking for ones that have been trampled by other people or damaged by bad weather conditions such as rain or wind (if it rains too much).
Focus on the subject
Choose a setting where there is little distraction. You don’t need to be in full sunlight, but you should be able to see the horizon and if possible the sky. Avoid clutter such as tall trees, shrubs and bushes. Look for objects that are in sharp focus and not so close to the camera as to blur the edges.
Use a tripod
A tripod is essential for good pictures of plants or objects. Hold it steady using the hand on the opposite side from the camera and take the picture. You may have to use two hands. Turn the camera off while you are setting up the tripod and have it ready to shoot at the moment you press the shutter button.
Shoot in RAW
You can set your camera to ‘RAW’ (RAW) to allow you more flexibility when editing your images later. This gives you more control over the image as you can apply different levels of adjustment to different parts of the picture. The best time to change this setting is before you take a picture, but it is important to know that RAW images can take a long time to process.
Take good photos
Photography is all about making the best of the light available. For mushrooms, toadstools and fungi, this means shooting early or late in the day when the sun is shining brightly. You can also make a difference by changing your point of view. From a low viewpoint, mushrooms appear much larger than they do from higher. To shoot toadstools, get as close as you can and be sure to include the whole object. When photographing fungi, try to get as close to the ground as you can.
Use manual focus
I tend to use manual focus when shooting fungi because they’re usually quite small, so autofocus can struggle sometimes. However, if you want to use autofocus then choose a single point mode so that the camera only focuses on one area of your subject (usually the centre). This can help reduce focusing errors caused by shooting with a shallow depth of field (which creates an out-of-focus background).