When I was out for a walk with the dogs round the woods today I spotted a tiny toadstool growing on an old pine tree and immediately thought I needed to return with the camera kit to get some macro shots of it, before it passed its best. On returning I discoved that there were a few others in more accessible positions so I had a choice of subjects to choose between. This first shot was illuminated from the left by a bit of soft, diffused fill flash as the area was in deep shade from the surrounding trees. I opted for the largest aperture of the lens to really focus in on the toadstool and blur out as much of the surrounding area as possible. The next shot is the same toadstool taken using a longer exposure with no flash and a smaller aperture. I have not cropped this one so you can see its context a bit better.
The first one I saw was just above head height on the stem of the old pine tree and really difficult to get anywhere near with the macro lens on a tripod. I resorted to using the tripod at its full extension as a monopod and using Live View swayed the camera in and out of focus on the toadstool trying to get a sharp image. This was actually the first shot I took and it was the sharpest, that is not normally the way it works. I did use the fill flash on this one, slightly off to the right this time.
The final subject was the largest, about twice the size of the first one, and much more accessible so I used the tripod, fill flash again and a variety of shutter speeds and apertures to try and get the sharpest result with a nice soft background. Given this one's size I opted for a smaller aperture and a bit more direct flash but the lower section of the stem was still way out of focus and added nothing to the shot so I like it better cropped square witht he focus on the head.
I am an amateur photographer who is also a Chartered Geographer with his own part-time consultancy business and I work as an estate manager for a national conservation charity in Scotland. I am based in Lochalsh, Wester Ross, Scotland, just next to the Isle of Skye.
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