Stacking focus on fungi

I was taking the dog for a walk … honest! Then I got slightly off track and found all these within a 5 metre area. She is old and I think just enjoys getting out of the house with me for a sniff as much as the walking/distance part. Anyway, I started sniffing about for fungi.

I was in the same area where I found the dark green velvety one’s I took a post or two earlier – but couldn’t see a trace of them. As I looked harder, I kept finding some very small hidden gems among the under-story leaf litter. The shot above was so small, it’s a combination of two stacked shots in Photoshop, but basically out of camera.

Every time I take a series of shots, upload, trawl through them on the PC and edit the keepers, I find mistakes or imperfections and try to improve on my technique next time I’m out, trying harder to get it right in camera to save time in Photoshop.

Like most of my shots, these were all taken with the naturally available light, no flash or LED. I’ve recently changed to using the “vibrant” colour mode in camera (Olympus EM1 II) and using the jpeg’s from camera instead of editing from RAW to save editing time, especially when focus stacking 8 images together as all of these are. I’ve compared doing it manually and the results are very similar. The tricky bit is to keep the camera STILL, often in an awkward low position while the 8 shots are taken. I usually use a 2 second delay to avoid camera movement when pressing the shutter button, but that doesn’t work when stacking!

Today I found that tapping the LED screen to take macro image is much better for reducing shake than pressing the button. There’s always something new to learn and I think that’s why I haven’t gotten bored with photography as a hobby.

I couldn’t decide between the two previous shots, I love them both for different reasons. The first is nice and close cropped, the stacked fungi fading out to white at the top. The second is more my older style, trying to cram more into an image, it tells more of a story of the setting but ends up having focus on the subject.

And this one was TINY! Shining like a little beacon in front of it’s dark forest flooor background.

Then an alarm rudely interrupted the magic, reality calling me back … run home, get ready for work! The relaxation ruined but it was lovely at least to temporarily escape into another world. If only it would pay the bills.

8 thoughts on “Stacking focus on fungi

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