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OfflineGumbyM
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High Quality Mushroom Photography: How to
    #2158801 - 12/04/03 06:39 PM (13 years, 4 days ago)

Hola folks. I?m making this post because I?ve seen a lot of pictures that are nice but could look 10 times better. Keep in mind that this thread is a work in progress and example pictures will be added gradually. Here?s a few pointers that you can use when taking digital pictures of mushrooms:

Focus
1.  Macro mode. Most mushrooms are smaller than "normal" photography subjects. In order to take pictures of small objects, you need to put your camera on macro mode(some cameras have super macro mode). If you don?t know how to do this, look it up in your user manual or search it on google if you?ve lost the manual. Reading the manual for your camera is always a good idea, you can discover some pretty cool things.

2. Manual Focus. Once you?ve got the macro features figured out, look in the manual to see if you camera has the option of manual focus. I?ve found that manually focusing macro shots tends to work better than using the camera?s auto-focus. If your camera does not have control over manual focus, be sure that you have good lighting on your subject.

3. Sufficient Lighting.Auto-focus won?t work if the lighting is too low. I can?t stress this enough: sufficient lighting is absolutely *KEY* for nice pictures. If you?re out in the field and you?re having trouble with the lighting of a live mushroom, using a white piece of paper to reflect light can help. If you?re taking pictures at home, try to get pictures out in the sun-- artificial lighting casts some weird hues and can totally mess up the color of the picture. If you have to use a flash for adequate lighting, then by all means do it. Try to avoid using a flash though, at close range they screw with focus, over expose pictures, and mess up color. Besides, if you don?t know how to use a flash correctly, flash pictures just look... amateurish. Remember we?re going for the professional look here :wink:

3. Aperture. Aperture settings (aka f-stop) are important. Most digital cameras below $400 are not going to give you control of the aperture setting (f-stop). If you don?t see anything about f-stop or aperture settings in your manual, you don?t need to read this tip. The aperture on a camera is the part that lets the light in. When you use a low f-stop number (i.e.: 2.5), the aperture is open very wide and it lets in a lot of light. Using a low aperture is great if you?re having issues with lighting, but you should use a high aperture setting/f-stop when possible. When a high aperture setting is used (i.e.: 22), the field of depth is increased. This means the objects in the background will be more in focus. Lighting is an issue when using a high f-stop because the amount of light that gets through the aperture is so low. The lower the lighting, the longer the shutter has to stay open so that the image can "take." Leaving the shutter open too long causes some major motion blurs if you?re not using a tripod. So main lesson here: if you?re using a high aperture/f-stop, you?re going to need a tripod or something to steady the camera on. Just remember that high f-stop usually means better pictures.
Quote:

Examples(better examples to come):
Quote:

Low f-stop picture, note that the only thing in focus is the subject(and even some of that is blury):


Higher f-stop photo, notice how there are more objects in focus:









Image quality
1. Resolution. This is by far the most important thing when it comes to taking pictures. Resolution is the size of pictures your camera takes. Always, always, always take pictures on the highest resolution your camera can do. The reason for this is that when images are very large, they contain a ton of detail? this detail often includes grain and blurs. When you take a huge, super-detailed, image and make it smaller, the details (i.e.: grain and blurs) become smaller and this results in a much more crisp and clean looking picture. If you take the pictures at a low resolution, they get the same grainy look as the giant ones, but you have to make them tiny to make them look nice. The only downside to taking high resolution photos is that the more pixels per picture, the more storage space is need. Try to budget your storage space when taking hi-res pictures because you?ll probably run out pretty quickly.

2. Resize. You?re going to want to resize these huge pictures once you get back to your computer. I normally resize my pictures from 2832x2128 to somewhere around 1280x960, because I like to use them as backgrounds sometimes? this is roughly a 20% decrease in image size. Decreasing the resolution 30-50 percent will usually give you a fairly high quality photo.

3. Image Compression. If you?re planning on posting the pictures on the Shroomery, you?re going to need to keep the file size under 100KB. There?s 3 ways to shrink file size: change the file format, make the image smaller, or compress the image. I *always* go with .jpg file format. Other file types (bmp, psd, tiff) use up way too much space. Gif files aren?t advised either-- they might be small but their color sucks (limited to 256 colors). So remember: save your pictures as .jpg. If your image is saved as a jpg and still isn?t under 100k, resize it. Less pixels= less space. If you?ve resized it and it still doesn?t work, then you?ll have to resort to image compression. If possible, avoid image compression. This significantly decreases the over all quality of the picture. Different programs have different methods of compressing the images, so you?ll have to play around with yours. The more image compression you use, the crappier the image quality gets.
If you?re using Photoshop, an image compression of 8 will give smaller file and a high quality image. Anything below 8 starts to ruin the quality of the picture, anything above 8 just isn?t necessary for practical purposes.

Quote:

Examples...
Quote:

High quality, low compression image:

Low quality, highly compressed image:







Well that?s all I can think of for right now, but it seems like I wanted to say more. When I?ve got time I?ll come back and edit this tread to add what I left out. I?ll also add some example pictures of most of the things that I talked about.

Now go take some pictures! :smile:
   


Edited by GumbyDude (12/05/03 03:05 AM)


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OfflinePeyoteZen
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Re: High Quality Mushroom Photography: How to [Re: Gumby]
    #2158936 - 12/04/03 07:34 PM (13 years, 4 days ago)

you really should make this a sticky thread or a faq.  So it will be around fooorrrrr evvvvv-aahhhh :smile:


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Offlinewookie
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Re: High Quality Mushroom Photography: How to [Re: PeyoteZen]
    #2158942 - 12/04/03 07:36 PM (13 years, 4 days ago)

lots of good ideas :smile:


--------------------
-=* dUMb \/\/00kIe *=-


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OfflineSmeogall
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Re: High Quality Mushroom Photography: How to [Re: wookie]
    #2158961 - 12/04/03 07:45 PM (13 years, 4 days ago)

Very very nice!


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Invisibleangryshroom
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Re: High Quality Mushroom Photography: How to [Re: Gumby]
    #2159248 - 12/04/03 09:26 PM (13 years, 4 days ago)

Oh man, you are brilliant. I cannot believe I didn't think of this :wink:

Most excellent. You should get Anno to add it to the FAQ, and sticky this for a little while at least :smile:



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Invisiblemjshroomer
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Re: High Quality Mushroom Photography: How to [Re: angryshroom]
    #2159439 - 12/04/03 10:11 PM (13 years, 4 days ago)

Well said. You should have s added a few photo examples of good vs bad images. here is one such example of some ban hua Thanon, koh Samiuis



and an example of a clear photo image:



mj


Edited by mjshroomer (12/04/03 10:20 PM)


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Offlinecanid
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Re: High Quality Mushroom Photography: How to [Re: mjshroomer]
    #2160037 - 12/05/03 01:55 AM (13 years, 4 days ago)

nice example MJ.


--------------------



Attn PWN hunters: If you should come across a bluing Psilocybe matching P. pellicolusa please smell it.
If you detect a scent reminiscent of Anethole (anise) please preserve a specimen or two for study and please PM me.


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OfflineGumbyM
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Re: High Quality Mushroom Photography: How to [Re: mjshroomer]
    #2160119 - 12/05/03 02:20 AM (13 years, 4 days ago)

I've got a whole lot of example pictures but I don't have them here at school. I'm going home this weekend so I'll email them to my self and I should have the example pics up by mid-week next week.


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OfflineAnnoA
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Re: High Quality Mushroom Photography: How to [Re: Gumby]
    #2160445 - 12/05/03 04:19 AM (13 years, 4 days ago)

Good post!

Something I?d like to comment though.

>If possible, avoid image compression. This significantly decreases the
>over all quality of the picture. Different programs have different
>methods of compressing the images, so you?ll have to play around
>with yours. The more image compression you use, the crappier the
>image quality gets.
>If you?re using Photoshop, an image compression of 8 will give smaller
>file and a high quality image. Anything below 8 starts to ruin the quality
>of the picture, anything above 8 just isn?t necessary for practical
>purposes.

It really depends on the motive of the picture. Some pictures still look great with a setting if 4, and some already decline considerably in quality below 8.

I found a good compromise between size and quality for posting the images in the internet is a resolution of 800x600 and a quality setting from 6-7.


What could be added to this writeup are tips and tricks to give the camera a safe stand outdoors, so the pictures don?t get that "motion blur".


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OfflineGumbyM
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Re: High Quality Mushroom Photography: How to [Re: Anno]
    #2160725 - 12/05/03 09:27 AM (13 years, 4 days ago)

Yeah, image compression does depend on the image and the intent of use. I always use 8 because I hate the pixlated or shapened edges on the compressed images.

I'll add something about how to avoid motion blur sometime this weekend :smile: 


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Offlinepluteus
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Re: High Quality Mushroom Photography: How to [Re: Gumby]
    #2161034 - 12/05/03 12:31 PM (13 years, 4 days ago)

I'm no expert in photography, but I do subscribe to many photo-dense mushroom journals. Some of the best images in these journals are produced by scanning mushrooms - with a normal flatbed computer image scanner. Just make sure your mushroom is completely clean before scanning because tiny scratches on the imaging glass can wreak havoc. The result is mega-detailed, highly crisp images. To get the best results there are all kinds of scanning tricks you can use - there's an article out there somewhere specifically on mushroom scanning, I will try and find it and post a reference sometime.

Obviously this is no good for in situ photography!


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InvisibleStymee
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Re: High Quality Mushroom Photography: How to [Re: Gumby]
    #2162778 - 12/05/03 10:04 PM (13 years, 3 days ago)

Good topic, I've been wanting something like this added to the FAQ for a LONG time.

My 3 cents:

1. Take LOTS of photos of your subjects from many different angles. Digital camera memory is pretty cheap these days, get yourself about 128 megs worth of chips and you can shoot to your hearts delight without having to worry about lack of memory. I try to make a rule to shoot at least 2 photos of each shroom out in the field. Autofocus doesn't always "LOCK" onto to the subject properly, so if you take many different photos, odds are, one will come out perfect. Try some with flash, some without flash, some zoomed in, etc.

Blurry:



Crystal clear: Taken 10 seconds later from a slightly different angle. This time the autofocus locked on nicely.



2. Hold your hands as still as possible. If possible, use a tripod or get down on the ground and use your elbows as one. Sure it's a little messy, but once you get home and see PERFECT photos, you'll swear by it. Even without a MACRO mode, holding the camera perfectly still will produce a great close-up shot.


3. Use good judegement on what you upload to the shroomery. I've seen some photos on here that look more like my toilet after a good night of drinking. I understand if Billy Joe Bob is coming at you with a shotgun you may not have time to line up the perfect field shot. But more and more, I see cultivated mushrooms sitting on someones coffee table all blurred up. Just because you shot a photo, that doesn't mean it's shroomery material.


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Offlinelackobreath
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Re: High Quality Mushroom Photography: How to [Re: Stymee]
    #3689194 - 01/27/05 05:41 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

I'm definately no expert with cameras or mushrooms, but I've found that when using a digital camera with an LCD screen that it's usually easier to hold your camera steady if you use the real viewfinder (camera pressed to your face) instead of looking at the LCD screen (holding camera with extended arms). I don't think my girlfriend even knows there's a real viewfinder on her camera.


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InvisibleCalifornia
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Re: High Quality Mushroom Photography: How to [Re: lackobreath]
    #3689206 - 01/27/05 05:46 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

excellent topic, I hope it results in many high-quality pictures for all to enjoy. Focus is THE focus.


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Offlinerunnerup
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Re: High Quality Mushroom Photography: How to [Re: California]
    #3695002 - 01/28/05 08:52 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)

Lol this should be added to the archives, if its not already added.

Alot of people can use this post


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Invisibletahoe
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Re: High Quality Mushroom Photography: How to [Re: runnerup]
    #3695094 - 01/28/05 09:07 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)



--------------------
Stop experimenting half way through your first grow. Grow it to maturity, watch it, learn from it. Do this a few times then experiment with different ideas and figure out what works best for you.


Teh=The

I need to proofread


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InvisibleTYL3R
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Re: High Quality Mushroom Photography: How to [Re: tahoe]
    #3695403 - 01/28/05 10:21 PM (11 years, 10 months ago)







Any pointers ? I think I finally got the hang of my digi-cam. I got a Sony DSC-P52 and it says it doesn't have macro but when i set it right        and try to get a up-close image, it glows green around the scene. I learned that if it glows green that the pic will be focused, and anything closer than that it wont glow, and wont focus. Good Topic, btw.

:darkside:~TYLER~:darkside:


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