11 photos

Russian Jack Spring Park produces thousands of mushroom each August. The most picturesque are the large red and orange (Fly Agaric) mushrooms. These mushrooms are non-eatable. The abstract images are photos of patterns in nature. The mushrooms might look too saturated, but that is how they look in real life. Bold and bright. The creek flows through several different types of ecosystems.

My Nikon D600 and Nikon 55mm f/2.8 micro lens were used to photograph the mushrooms. I used different f-stops to photograph fungi from above. I tried to keep the plane of focus parallel with the flat top of the mushrooms. An aperture of f/4.0 is too shallow to produce sharp images of a mushroom’s uneven surfaces. A f/11 aperture produces a depth of field that was too wide since it encompasses the ground under the mushroom within the focal plane. The slightly out-of-focus background at f/11 competed for attend with the focused tops of mushrooms. It depends on how close you are to the subject but micro lens can produce a very narrow depth of field. As small as 1/10 of an inch. I had to change the focus plane for the white dandelion several times to get the focus just right. The fly on the yellow dandelion required many shots to get the wings in sharp focus. The fly kept moving. Micro photography can require many exposures at different focal distances to produce a sharp image with the right focus plane. Additional exposures are needed if wind is moving subjects. I use a tripod, wireless remote and a mirror-up camera setting to prevent camera movement.

I use Lightroom to process and enhance images. Wonderful software. I use Lightroom’s Landscape or Adobe Standard camera calibration settings for most outdoor scenes. The saturation levels look natural. I had to reduce saturation; however, for many of the mushroom to make the colors look realistic. Close up images always seem to have insects in the scene, except if it is windy or chilly. For example, one image of a mushroom has five insects on its. It appears insects get caught in plant slime. With ISO 100 I needed 1/8 to one second exposures to get the depth of field to gain the benefits of an f/8 aperture.
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