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Offlineanevsky
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Re: Mushroom Photography Tips [Re: lqdtrance]
    #10258219 - 04/29/09 10:06 PM (9 years, 10 months ago)

Nice work Alan..

I'm sure most of you already know this but you can get a coupler for your camera for ~$250.  Richard, the guy who makes these is also a Linux guru and TeX dude - so that should put a smile on Alan's face. 

http://tinyurl.com/cgj57c
(please obfuscate links to the outside world - we don't need bad attention)

If you are wondering about cameras, I just bought a Canon G10.  It will work with Richard's coupler, but more important it is also a phenomenal camera that can shoot Raw.

Best,
a


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OfflineAlan RockefellerM
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Re: Mushroom Photography Tips [Re: anevsky]
    #10259476 - 04/30/09 12:59 AM (9 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:


I'm sure most of you already know this but you can get a coupler for your camera for ~$250.





There are various couplers available but all they do is hold your camera up to the lens, I can usually do that pretty well without any additional hardware.  It would be nice to have something a bit more stable for long exposures since there isn't much light available at 1000x, but I would be more inclined to make something from an old washing machine instead of spend money on a little holder.

I wonder if could hook up a slave flash to blast the sample with light, that would be hilarious.


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Invisiblecuddlebear
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Re: Mushroom Photography Tips [Re: Alan Rockefeller]
    #10380751 - 05/22/09 10:07 AM (9 years, 9 months ago)

Thanks for posting these tips!

http://mushroomhobby.com/TOP_10_MISTAKES/index.htm is the direct URL for the helpful top 10 mistakes article. The formatting of the post here was a little messed up and difficult for me to read.


--------------------
:mushroomgrow:  Great reading for beginners


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Offlineyakuspa
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Re: Mushroom Photography Tips [Re: Alan Rockefeller]
    #10436460 - 06/01/09 06:49 PM (9 years, 9 months ago)

Hi AR, I didnt look at your tips prior to taking these but next trip I will. In the mean time some shots that maybe of interest. For me they are enjoyable.

Cheers





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Offlinecyanide9
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Registered: 06/23/09
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Re: Mushroom Photography Tips [Re: snoot]
    #10573376 - 06/25/09 10:30 PM (9 years, 8 months ago)

Hey guys, thought I'd share a little tip I use with the macro mode of cameras. Sometimes it's better to back away from the object your shooting and zoom in while using your auto focus (holding the button halfway until your crosshairs turn red). I get some pretty detailed shots this way, sometimes better than close range macro shots, try it.


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InvisibleShockValue
Because, ShockValue.


Registered: 11/18/08
Posts: 5,097
Loc: Tipping at windmills.
Re: Mushroom Photography Tips [Re: cyanide9]
    #10641280 - 07/08/09 01:11 PM (9 years, 8 months ago)

One problem I seem to be running into lately is lighting.  Typically I don't use a flash and rely on long exposure times since I'm using a tripod.  I'm finding that in a lot of cases in order to get the mushroom to be exposed properly (espeically if the mushroom is ligher in color) the surrounding landscape turns out way to dark or underexposed.

I've read some tips on bringing reflectors and such to use natural lighting, but when I go out on walks I typically have nothing but my daugher on my shoulders, a brown paper bag, a swiss army knife in my pocket and my camera on a small tripod. 

Any suggestions on this issue?


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  • When we built temples to view the stars, we knew about all 2000 of them.


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OfflineAlan RockefellerM
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Re: Mushroom Photography Tips [Re: ShockValue]
    #10641446 - 07/08/09 01:48 PM (9 years, 8 months ago)

The best and most time consuming solution is to shoot HDR photos - Take one underexposed, one just right and one overexposed, and digitally combine them. 

http://www.flickr.com/groups/hdr/pool/

A more time effective way is to move the mushroom and camera until the differences are not so objectionable.

Also try the flash.

I often have the opposite problem - With a light mushroom on a dark background, the camera wants to way overexpose the mushroom.  To fix this I either use the exposure compensation button [EV +/-], or press the shutter down half way, then block most of the light getting to the mushroom with my hand and press it the rest of the way.


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InvisibleShockValue
Because, ShockValue.


Registered: 11/18/08
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Re: Mushroom Photography Tips [Re: Alan Rockefeller]
    #10641728 - 07/08/09 02:41 PM (9 years, 8 months ago)

I tried messing around with HDR once or twice but came up with some very unnatural looking shots.  I don't mind if they look a little proccessed or adjusted, but mine were just strange.  Probably with more practice I could get it looking good.  I have a good HDR book on hold from the library, but the jerk ahead of me has had it for like 3 weeks past due >:)


--------------------
  • When we built temples to view the stars, we knew about all 2000 of them.


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OfflineAlan RockefellerM
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Re: Mushroom Photography Tips [Re: ShockValue]
    #10642274 - 07/08/09 04:49 PM (9 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

Typically I don't use a flash and rely on long exposure times since I'm using a tripod.  I'm finding that in a lot of cases in order to get the mushroom to be exposed properly (espeically if the mushroom is ligher in color) the surrounding landscape turns out way to dark or underexposed.




Try to block as much light coming to the mushroom as possible, so the background is lighter by comparison.  Especially white mushrooms need to be in the shadows when you photograph them.


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Invisiblekoraks
Registered: 06/02/03
Posts: 25,658
Re: Mushroom Photography Tips [Re: Alan Rockefeller]
    #10645638 - 07/09/09 04:29 AM (9 years, 8 months ago)

Alan's tip of selectively blocking light seems very usable. Other than that, I would still suggest bringing a reflector in the field. Mind you, this needn't be a large or cumbersome contraption. A sheet of paper or a white cloth (garment?) will work quite nicely. There's also a vast selection of dedicated reflector sets that can generally be folded to about pocket size (see e.g. here).

Also, as Alan pointed out, use fill flash where appropriate. If your camera features flash exposure compensation, turn it down to -1 or so for natural looking results. HDR is a potential solution too, but I find it too time-consuming and cumbersome myself, so I always try to light the scene as I shoot the picture, limiting the time I need to spend on post processing. In some cases, however, it's possible (or necessary) to reduce the contrast of a scene in post processing. If you intend to do so, make sure your camera has a RAW recording function. Open the RAW files in a suitable utility (e.g. Adobe Camera Raw) and fool around with the sliders to get a balanced image. JPEGs allow some fiddling as well, but generally offer a more limited dynamic range, so you'll be sooner confronted with blown-out highlights.

Capturing and translating the contrast of a real scene to a good image is the number 1 challenge for photographers and it has been since the very beginning. If you're really interested in this, definitely read up on the zone system.


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InvisibleShockValue
Because, ShockValue.


Registered: 11/18/08
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Re: Mushroom Photography Tips [Re: koraks]
    #10646282 - 07/09/09 10:42 AM (9 years, 8 months ago)

Thanks for the tips guys. Next time I'm out in the field and have a few minutes to expiriment I'll give it a shot.

HDR is an interesting subject to me, and my camera is capable of both RAW and auto-braketing shots, so I'm going to give this another shot to see if I can't get a reasonably natural looking photo.  Fortunatly I'm a network and systems administrator, so spending a bit of time in front of the computer doesn't deter me :smile:


--------------------
  • When we built temples to view the stars, we knew about all 2000 of them.


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Invisiblekoraks
Registered: 06/02/03
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Re: Mushroom Photography Tips [Re: ShockValue]
    #10774861 - 07/31/09 03:43 PM (9 years, 7 months ago)

Ok, in another thread I just wrote something about zoom and aperture on digital compact camera's. I'll include this information here as well:

Macro mode
The macro mode of a compact camera essentially allows the lens to focus at a very close distance, much closer than the normal focusing range. This is done by increasing the distance between the lens and the sensor. So essentially, the macro mode allows the lens to be moved further out of the camera than normal. This method, similar to using extension tubes on a SLR camera, has an important implication:
- For the same magnification, less extension is needed with a short focal length ('zoomed out') than with a long focal length ('zoomed in'). However, the amount of extension available on a compact camera is fixed; i.e., it is the same when zoomed in or zoomed out. The implication is that you can get a larger magnification (more macro) when completely zoomed out.
Note that even working in macro when zoomed out, you retain the wide-angle perspective of a short focal length. I find this particularly pleasing for macro shots. Another advantage of shorter focal lengths is that motion blur is less likely to occur, so you can use longer shutter times handheld.

Zoom and focal length
Zoom is changing the focal length of the lens. A higher number (e.g. 135mm) means you draw the object closer, so to speak (zoom in), while a lower number (zoom out) gives a wider perspective.
Aperture is the opening inside the lens assembly through which the light passes towards the sensor. Now pay attention to this, 'cause it's confusing: a smaller number (e.g. f/2.8) represents a larger lens opening, while a larger number is a smaller opening. A larger opening obviously implies that more light reaches the sensor, hence, you can lower the shutter speed or lower the ISO setting as a result. However, a larger opening (low f/number) also means decreased depth of field, so it makes for blurry backgrounds and only the focal object sharply in focus. Increasing the f/number ('stopping down', as it's also called) increases the depth of field, which means that larger portions of the picture will appear in focus.
For mushroom macro work using a digital compact camera, this whole theory also has one especially relevant implication:
- You generally want to use a large aperture (=small f/number), as mushrooms tend to grow in dark spots and you want to do everything to get as high as possible shutter speeds to prevent motion blur. You noticed that :wink: This also means that you're likely to get nicely blurry backgrounds with only the mushroom in focus. It seems you chose this route, so that's good. On a digicompact, I always use the largest aperture available for mushroom shots.


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OfflineStrophariaceae
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Re: Mushroom Photography Tips [Re: Alan Rockefeller]
    #12491540 - 05/02/10 01:08 AM (8 years, 10 months ago)

At the risk of blowing my own horn, I wrote an equipment guide in Mycena News a few years back. The two articles can be found with my other MN articles here:

http://www.mykoweb.com/articles/index.html#apm1_9

One difference I have since then is that my opinion of "digital minis" is much lower now than it was a few years ago, at least based on what I've been using. From what I've seen, camera manufacturers used to make some really high functioning digital minis with a host of functions that a skilled "pro-sumer" photographer can make use of. However, about two years ago I "upgraded" from the Nikon CoolPix 4500 to the Nikon Coolpix S10, and I couldn't believe just how dumbed down it was. The only improvements I could see were greater megapixels, lighter weight, and longer battery life. But so many functions were removed: *no* manual focus (which you *need* if you're going to shoot macro in low light), no manual control of aperture and exposure time (only +/- third stops on top of auto exposure), no more possibility of saving as TIFFs, much less RAW, (JPEGs are lossy).

Reading reviews of digital minis, it seems like a line of cameras intermediate between "point and shoot" and digital SLR is increasingly non-existent. More generally, I'll always recommend an actual SLR with a macro lens if you can afford one. I have yet to see a digital viewscreen that is even remotely close to what you get from actually being able to look right through the lens, and most of my best photos have been done on SLR.


Edited by Strophariaceae (05/02/10 01:09 AM)


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InvisibleShockValue
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Registered: 11/18/08
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Re: Mushroom Photography Tips [Re: Strophariaceae]
    #12491713 - 05/02/10 02:04 AM (8 years, 10 months ago)

Nice article Stroph -

Just a couple of comments.

it makes sense that given the same photographer, that the pics taken with the SLR would be superior.

Canon (maybe others?) do make some pro-sumer models still.  I have the A640 which is a point and shoot, but does have more bells and whistles (including manual mode, etc.)  WIth a firmware hack you can even shoot RAW.

They also make the "G" series cameras, which have almost the same functionality as a DSLR, but crammed into a point and shoot body.  Obviously if you had to choose a DSLR would be better due to the larger sensor and the ability to purchase nice glass, but the G series is capable of some real photography.


--------------------
  • When we built temples to view the stars, we knew about all 2000 of them.


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InvisibleStopwhispering
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Re: Mushroom Photography Tips [Re: ShockValue]
    #12583873 - 05/18/10 07:48 AM (8 years, 9 months ago)

Howdy all, thanks for the fantastic thread, as I am very new to both mushrooms and photography there is a large amount of information for me to work through here. Hopefully leading to much better shots.  :thumbup:

If you guys get a chance to, it would be greatly appreciated if you could have a quick squizz at the photos I posted here http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/12565627 and offer any advise or tips for bringing the scenes to life a little more.

These were shot with a Panasonic lumix DMC-FS3 I have recently upgraded to a Canon Powershot SX 20 IS and hopefully will get out this weekend to give it a good trial run.

Thanks again for the great thread and info.  :laugh:


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Invisiblekoraks
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Re: Mushroom Photography Tips [Re: ShockValue]
    #12583918 - 05/18/10 08:20 AM (8 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

ShockValue said:
it makes sense that given the same photographer, that the pics taken with the SLR would be superior.



Only if said photographer is well-versed in the use of SLR equipment. Your regular run-off-the-mill aspiring enthusiast will fuck up SLR shots due to motion blur, lack of focus (i.e. no understanding of the concept of depth of field), wrong exposure, etc.

Regarding the pro-sumer minis: it seems to me that segment is expanding rather than diminishing. There's dozens and dozens of minis that are very usable for mushroom photography. Also, the quality of EVF's has been on the increase and is now coming in a useful range.


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Offlinelitesinthesky
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Re: Mushroom Photography Tips [Re: koraks]
    #12705483 - 06/07/10 10:25 PM (8 years, 9 months ago)

I can't say i've ever used the Macro Mode on my DSLR, as the settings are no different than what can be found/used in Manual Mode. A macro mode will simply fix the settings, which I consider to be slightly restrictive. That being said, I pretty much always shoot in Av Mode and never use a flash.

Dim lighting & no flash is really where a DSLR can shine. Not that i've ever needed to, but where lighting is an issue, there is always the option of bumping the ISO to, say, 800 for a faster shutter speed and hopefully walk away with minimal noise/grain. It is the lens on your DSLR which determines how close you can focus to an object. The minimum focus distance I can get with my Tamron 17-50mm is 27cm, which is useful enough for close stuff for me. cyanide9 sugested something useful, and that is to back away from the subject slightly and zoom in on it. The only thing you will have to keep in mind is that you will probably have a lower shutter speed depending on what camera/lens you are using.

P&S cameras do have a tendency to blow out skies and that is why eliminating a blown out sky all together is always the best option. Frame the subject accordingly and get down low! Another option is too shoot in RAW where you will have more play in the post processing, by this I mean the image won't deteriorate as much with aggressive image editing.

The main problem i've faced with taking photos close up, without a flash & tripod, is the incredibly shallow DOF. My lens can shoot at F2.8, but when getting this close to the subject the part of the image in focus could only be as deep as 3-5mm. I find stopping down to F3.5-F5.6 is a must.

Anyway, I hope this hasn't bored too many. Happy snapping :wink:

This is my favourite mushroom shot of this year so far. Shot at 50mm (75mm in full frame/35mm equiv) F3.5. Sharpened up & sepia cast applied in Lightroom 2.



--------------------
“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro” - Dr. HST


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Invisiblebpayne61984
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Re: Mushroom Photography Tips [Re: Alan Rockefeller]
    #12716784 - 06/09/10 09:27 PM (8 years, 9 months ago)

This is the best tip! I wish I would have read this before my hike but I'm now so obsessed with this "Macro-mode" Can't wait to get out tomorrow and test it on some mushrooms! Thanks.


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Invisiblekoraks
Registered: 06/02/03
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Re: Mushroom Photography Tips [Re: bpayne61984]
    #12718784 - 06/10/10 04:42 AM (8 years, 9 months ago)

Do note that this whole business about the macro mode not being relevant is only true for (D)SLR cameras. For regular compact cameras, a macro mode is still a necessity for mushroom photography.


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OfflineMrs.trigger
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Re: Mushroom Photography Tips [Re: koraks]
    #12787232 - 06/22/10 10:35 PM (8 years, 8 months ago)

Shooting macro gets you better bokeh, however I have noticed that some mushroom shots fair better if you skip the macro and just use a bigger f stop and manually focus.


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