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Today I wanted to share with you this Macro Photography Challenge I took part in at the start of November. It was simple, or so I first thought. Take a Macro photograph of a Mushroom. So to find out how I got on and what was some of the issues I faced, keep reading, listening or watching and I will share all.
I have my Nikon D750 with a 105mm Lens. Now because light is everything when photographing any subject, I have also brought along with me a Manfrotto Mini LED light and my Joby tripod.
If you want to join me on future Macro Photography Challenges then it is important that you have a quick read of this blog post I have put together on the – 7 Tips When Starting Macro Photography. It will make sure you are ready to capture that image the way you want to.
So lets get started
The challenge had a simple brief. Take a photograph of a mushroom in the woods. When I saw that, I knew the only photograph that would bring the wow factor, would be to take this photograph using a Macro Lens.
Enter the Nikon 105mm Lens
A fantastic lens which I got purely to take close up photography with but over the last month I have found it to be an awesome portrait lens for me and now that I mainly use a creative lighting set up for my clients it never lets me down. I have also got a fantastic LED light from Manfrotto which has worked well in the past for me.
Manfrotto LED Light
This has been a great mini light to use and has given me light in times of need. Today was going to be that time in need as I knew that the mushrooms I was on the hunt for would be hidden in the foliage of the woods and on the trees where light was not getting through to support my finished image.
The first hour
Whenever I go out on a photo walk, I get them spider senses tuned in to help me know if what I am looking at or the path I am taking, is going to be to that photo I want. I am not one for taking photos of everything and anything, I am consistently assessing the view to see if there is a photograph I want to take, that I believe will add value.
What I was not expecting, was to be walking around for an hour and still no sign of a mushroom, like at all, this was not a case of being fussy. I was having a look high and low. This was looking like a wasted trip and I was shocked and amazed that there was not one mushroom that I had found to take a photograph of.
Then it appeared
I found this fallen trunk which had leafs and twigs inside of it. And that is when I saw it, this yellowy mushroom with a hole in the side of it. I felt it was a good size, I was happy with the colour of it, as it looked like it was dying. The hole in the top was something I was going to have to work with.
Well actually, to be honest, I started to walk away as I thought to myself that this could not be all that these woods had to offer me.
I went back
looking around and lining up my angles to see what was going to be the best way to take the shot. I knew in my mind that I didn’t just want a close up of the mushroom, I wanted to capture the whole area that I had found this mushroom living in. After a few people had walked by, you get use to people thinking you are weird when you go to the woods with no dog. I started to set up my light to highlight the mushroom and give me a chance at capturing the image while I hand held the camera.
Yep, that’s correct, the Joby tripod was never for my camera
I have found it to be great at holding this little light in place. It has three brightness settings and this was turned up to the max due to how far I had placed the light from the subject. What is great, is that although it looks like it is doing nothing in the photos above, when I took the photograph, you can see the impact such a little light had.
Here is the image I took
When I saw where the mushroom was, I knew I wanted to use the path of the truck to set up the image. I like how you can see the detail in parts of the tree truck. What I don’t like to move too much around in these types of photos as its nature and everything is fighting to stay alive. This was shot with the 105mm lens F3.5, 1/60th of a second and ISO 100.
I carried on walking
still I could not believe that after two hours of walking around the woods I had only found one mushroom. As I am walking back to the car a mushroom catches my eye. I’m looking at the time and then the mushroom. Could I see something coming together here?
This is what I had found
It was a little mushroom growing out of the side of a fallen tree. I loved how the moss on the tree gave me the idea to go in close. However I really like this view of looking along the tree truck to the mushroom. Again this was shot on the 105mm F3.5, 1/60th of a second and ISO 100.
Lets take a closer look
Looks lovely even if I do say so myself. I shot this with the exact same settings as above, and there was no extra light or tripod needed as I was lucky to have the sun coming through the trees to light up the area I was photographing. Sometimes we do get lucky!
I do think that out of all the photographs, I like the one above the most. You have that detail of the green moss, there is a half decent background and the not so good part brings the autumn feel through the image. The mushroom looks great and is clean. I do like the first image and for the extra work that went into it, I feel like the thing that let it down was the fact that the mushroom does not look as nice even though the leafs really show the time of year as autumn and brings a more ‘I’m in the middle of the woods’ look.
Let me know what you think and please do ask any questions you may have. I do have another post called – 7 Tips When Starting Macro Photography. There will be more Macro Photography Challenges so do come back and see what else I have been up to over the coming weeks. If there is any topics you would like me to share my knowledge on then please let me know via email NoLimits@SnapCreatvePhotos.com or leave a comment down below.