Fungi including mushrooms

A fungus (the plural is fungi) is not a plant, not an animal and not bacteria. It has its own kingdom, which is comprised of some 1.5 million species, including such organisms as mushrooms, molds and yeasts. They are found just about everywhere in the world.


Some are quite colorful and unusual looking, making them a target for the photographer. Some, such as certain mushrooms and truffles, are used for food, and many are also useful in the production of foods, such as the leavening of bread and the fermentation of soy sauce, wine and beer by yeasts.


Fungus are useful in the manufacture of antibiotics and serve many other purposes. Some, however, are toxic to animals, including people.


Photographers who are interested in shooting pictures of fungi may be seeking to catalog them, to provide images that help in identifying them (for a field guide, for example, or a school text), and even to make some of them look succulent and appetizing in the preparation of dishes or on a food product label, such as mushroom soup. You may have a scientific interest in photographing fungi, or you may just like to make interesting and attractive pictures of them.


The challenges you face in photographing fungi are numerous. They are frequently small and many are found in dark, moist places and locations you might normally avoid, making them difficult to find.
Because of their size, the photographer must generally take special steps to fill the frame to make a good picture. Some are so small as to be microscopic while others may need a macro lens to be properly photographed. There is often very low light illuminating them in the wild, and lighting them can be tricky.
Perhaps the most well known fungus is the mushroom. We begin this section with tips on photographing mushrooms.


Some are quite colorful and unusual looking, making them a target for the photographer. Some, such as certain mushrooms and truffles, are used for food, and many are also useful in the production of foods, such as the leavening of bread and the fermentation of soy sauce, wine and beer by yeasts.
Fungus are useful in the manufacture of antibiotics and serve many other purposes. Some, however, are toxic to animals, including people.


Because of their size, the photographer must generally take special steps to fill the frame to make a good picture. Some are so small as to be microscopic while others may need a macro lens to be properly photographed. There is often very low light illuminating them in the wild, and lighting them can be tricky.
Perhaps the most well known fungus is the mushroom. We begin this section with tips on photographing mushrooms.


Perhaps the most well known fungus is the mushroom. We begin this section with tips on photographing mushrooms.

Mushrooms on a dead log, photographed using flash illumination.

Turkey tail bracket fungi on dead hardwood.

Turkey tail bracket fungi on dead hardwood.

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