FAVORITE PHOTOS OF 2023 – Number 16

Mushroom.

Click on the image for full size.

It’s not often I find an awesome mushroom I feel excited to take macro photo of. And it wasn’t even the subject of choice.
I came to a location I struggle to make good photos at – Sopota waterfall. I went there multiple times during heavier rainfall, always expecting to find a good photo for once.

Finally, I found it. But not of the waterfall.

While I was walking around the location a white spot caught my eye. A small mushroom was peaking out of the shrubbery at the base of a tree. I decided to take a test photo just to see, if it looked good. And it did.

But it wasn’t a straightforward shot. I was crouching under the tree in a very uncomfortable position. I struggled with the tripod position because there was very little space. Alas, I made it. As I usually do, I also added an additional light source for extra light. I know it really helps with mushrooms from past experience.

I started taking photos. Photo after photo. Focusing manually and very carefully. It was going quite well. Sometime towards the middle of the shoot, after I already took over 20 photos, some wind started to blow.

The way I’m taking this sort of photos is like this. I have a 2 second timer set. Meaning that two seconds pass between the press of the shutter button and photo actually being taken. Each time I take the photo. It’s a slow process.

But the wind forced me to wait a few minutes between each photo, prolonging the process. It made further progress extremely slow. Even slower than usual. My patience was being tested.

I took all the photos I thought I’d need after what felt like an absolute age. I though my legs would simply refuse to do anything being crouched for so long. But they didn’t.

With all 150 photos I went home. I transferred all of them to my computer and started the process of assembling them into one. I’m using a focus stacking software to the job. It created an image and I felt… Underwhelmed.

The composition kind of worked, but the colors… They were horrific. And worst of all, I made a mistake. I should have compensated for the light source I added, but didn’t. The mushroom was so over exposed I looked awful.

I was thinking how to fix it for a long time. I was trying different settings, but none of them worked.

Until I tried black and white conversion. It simply worked better than anything else. And I really like it.

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