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MartinL

Woodland photography

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Hi everyone. It's been a long time since I last posted on the forums.

I took this photo in the afternoon (not the best time to do it I know) while I was on a fishing trip so my time to take photos was limited. I saw those two big mushrooms in the forest and I liked them so I took a photo of them. Since they were under trees, it was darker then on the open gravel road near the mushrooms but it was a cloudy day. I made a few adjustments to the photo (which I'll describe below) but I'm not sure if I could do more or if I did to much. I need help.

  1. I decreased the brightness and exposure (a little).
  2. I slightly increased the contrast and removed a green leaf near the first mushroom.
  3. Went into Photo persona. Selected both mushrooms and slightly increased their brightness.
  4. I created a pixelized layer and darkened the ground (15%) and slightly increased the brightness (5%) on a small portion of the moss in the lower right corner since it's originally brighter.
  5. Added signature.

The top photo is the original one plus my signature.

 

Champignon photo originale.jpg

Champignon 2.jpg

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Ok I managed to upload the photos finally. I couldn't before due to the size of the photos. I didn't find any info on the accepted photo size on the forum. :(

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I'm liking your ideas, subject and how you looked to edit the files
However; I hope I can be honest without offending. Good editing starts in the camera and the first thing we need to do it get a sharp as possible photo. Having said that, there is no reason we cannot practise on our reject photos; although I would not post them. 
Foreground Vs background . From my chair; I don't see a need any of the sky area -- our eyes are drawn to the lighter/brighter parts of a photo. I would think the better crop would be just above the log so there is no doubt the fungus is the subject . Your photo would be near impossible if it was a sunny day
Fungus can be a very hard subject; it's usually wet, and dark so long exposures are often needed there a tripod is a must. The best natural light is under cloud or thick foliage
Hope that helps for next time 

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I am not offended at all. I take advices to learn. Since I'm not very artistic, I will often ask for advices to help me learn. I added your crop suggestion and I also added another suggestion from someone else on the Affinity Photo facebook page. Let me know what you think. I see what you mean by sharpness but I think it's the forum doing that because the photo is sharp on my end (I can see the difference here and on my computer). You have to click on the photo to see it properly.

Edit: Someone suggested me I use a gradient tool to progressively darken the photo.

 

Mushroom.jpg

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Oversharpen for any website posting - rule of thumb.

The back fungus is a bit soft but hells teeth you would need to up the ISO and have one or two f/stops to get that right (hard by hand). Other option is to focus on the back of the front subject which may(?) have dragged the back subject into the depth of field available.

Like it anyway ;-)


MacPro (late 2013), 24Gb Ram, D300GPU, Eizo 24",1TB Samsung 850 Archive, 2x2Tb Time Machine,X-t2 plus 50-140mm & 18-55mm. AP, FRV & RawFile Converter (Silkypix).

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I have a different view to @ianrb. Given your fungi, I would have taken one of the nearer fungus as close as possible, then another of the scene more-or-less as you have it. This would show the fungi in the context of their habitat. If you have the right equipment, then you could take two (or three) images from a fixed viewpoint. The first focussed on the nearer fungus, the second on the further fungus and the third focussed on the background. You can then load the images into a Focus Stack to create a composite.

If these fungi were in th UK, then I would say they were the (highly poisonous) Brown Rollrim, Paxillus involutus. Seeing the habitat helps me guess at the identification.

John


Windows 10, Affinity Photo 1.8,5 Designer 1.8.5 and Publisher 1.8.5 (mainly Photo), now ex-Adobe CC

CPU: AMD A6-3670. RAM: 16 GB DDR3 @ 666MHz, Graphics: 2047MB NVIDIA GeForce GT 630

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The scene is good. After watching for a couple of minutes,i felt : going closer, lowering view angle some more vertically, using larger aperture f2.8 or so, using 50 to 100 mm focal length . This is to get more details of fungus, more background blur. Decreasing ratio of subject foreground to background distance increases background blur more than obtained from aperture. In processing, I would have sharpened with unsharp / high pass for small details and then clarity filter also for emphasis of larger details on the fungus, reduce green color. some stone or wooden log ,I would use to support camera. Would have also attempted to use on camera flash by covering it with paper or so for fill below the fungus. Well, this is just one of many view points . I have noted with myself that many ideas do not come to mind when in the field due to lack of time but as I take more and more pictures, the judgement at field is improving. I take lesser shots of a scene now but think more on how the end result will be, what processing flow will be used, etc. Earlier,i used to click just like that with the scene over attracting the mind but after coming home the picture looks ordinary and editing was not able to bring the desired effect. Being a hobbyist with poor artistic sense and more technical interest, my ideas and suggestions will lack correctness and efficiency !

 

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A friend of mine is really into nature photography. In order to get his mushroom picture, he dug a manhole  of one meter deep next to a mushroom. He then could take the shot from the viewpoint below the mushroom. At the end of the day, he filled the hole, of course. But before he did that, he waited for hours until the light was just right. It took him a whole day to shoot this series, but in the end it made him win a photography contest.

When he told me about this, I got inspired and some weeks later, when I was on holiday in Spa, Belgium, I made these. I was very lucky with the light and with the natural geology of the area, which allowed me to go very low, without digging a hole in the ground. I used a very basic Nikon V1 with the 18.5mm f1.8 lens (equivalent to a standard lens). These are images straight from the camera. No work was done in post.

DSC_2623DSC_3011

More shots of this trip can be seen here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsjZJSu8w

 


Dell XPS 8930 i8700 3.2GHz 16GB RAM GTX 1070
Main digital camera: Fuji X100s
Analog cameras: Canon 1v (35mm) + Mamiya C220 (medium format)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/ivanlietaert/

 

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Nice pictures. I would like to get down to ground level for my fungus pictures. However my ancient knees make it difficult to get back up again. One trick I have that often work is to stand facing away from the fungus, with my legs astride, and take the photo from between my ankles. Inelegant, but it works.

I use portable leds to illuminate the subject. How were your fungi lit? They both look as if it was natural lighting.

John


Windows 10, Affinity Photo 1.8,5 Designer 1.8.5 and Publisher 1.8.5 (mainly Photo), now ex-Adobe CC

CPU: AMD A6-3670. RAM: 16 GB DDR3 @ 666MHz, Graphics: 2047MB NVIDIA GeForce GT 630

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36 minutes ago, John Rostron said:

Nice pictures. I would like to get down to ground level for my fungus pictures. However my ancient knees make it difficult to get back up again. One trick I have that often work is to stand facing away from the fungus, with my legs astride, and take the photo from between my ankles. Inelegant, but it works.

I use portable leds to illuminate the subject. How were your fungi lit? They both look as if it was natural lighting.

John

This was natural light only indeed. I was very lucky with the light that day. In fact, the Nikon V1 doesn't even have a built in fill flash. As for the old knees... for me the lower back is a problem. I wouldn't think of digging a 1m deep hole for a picture! A camera with a tilt screen is a bonus for this type of photography and doesn't require acrobatics of yoga poses ;-)


Dell XPS 8930 i8700 3.2GHz 16GB RAM GTX 1070
Main digital camera: Fuji X100s
Analog cameras: Canon 1v (35mm) + Mamiya C220 (medium format)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/ivanlietaert/

 

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On 9/27/2018 at 10:53 AM, Ivan Lietaert said:

A friend of mine is really into nature photography. In order to get his mushroom picture, he dug a manhole  of one meter deep next to a mushroom. He then could take the shot from the viewpoint below the mushroom. At the end of the day, he filled the hole, of course. But before he did that, he waited for hours until the light was just right. It took him a whole day to shoot this series, but in the end it made him win a photography contest.

When he told me about this, I got inspired and some weeks later, when I was on holiday in Spa, Belgium, I made these. I was very lucky with the light and with the natural geology of the area, which allowed me to go very low, without digging a hole in the ground. I used a very basic Nikon V1 with the 18.5mm f1.8 lens (equivalent to a standard lens). These are images straight from the camera. No work was done in post.

DSC_2623DSC_3011

More shots of this trip can be seen here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsjZJSu8w

 

 

The first photo of Boletus would win any prize in our local camera club.

Where did you find this beautiful King Boletus?  Would you care to share long/lat with me for its location?  We have many mushrooms in our area, but nothing as tasty!

I will never forget our family expeditions to the local forest (train at 04:10, 30 minutes by foot to the station, 1 hr slow ride to Zwierzyniec station, 30 minutes to the pickup location).  By then, local women would pickup most of the mushrooms.  But we still managed to find a few of those "true" ones.

Sixty years later, and I'm ready to collect them again, but this time with my camera.  So, please those coordinates as I'm planning to be in Europe next fall.....

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7 hours ago, klondiker said:

 

The first photo of Boletus would win any prize in our local camera club.

Where did you find this beautiful King Boletus?  Would you care to share long/lat with me for its location?  We have many mushrooms in our area, but nothing as tasty!

I will never forget our family expeditions to the local forest (train at 04:10, 30 minutes by foot to the station, 1 hr slow ride to Zwierzyniec station, 30 minutes to the pickup location).  By then, local women would pickup most of the mushrooms.  But we still managed to find a few of those "true" ones.

Sixty years later, and I'm ready to collect them again, but this time with my camera.  So, please those coordinates as I'm planning to be in Europe next fall.....

I still remember the exact spot: 50.484788, 5.897879 (on Google Maps.)

It is a forest area very close to the center of Spa, Belgium. Spa itself offers a lot for tourists; best known are its Thermae with a very nice hotel.

I took my picture in mid summer, but I'm sure the mushrooms will be there in autumn as well!

 


Dell XPS 8930 i8700 3.2GHz 16GB RAM GTX 1070
Main digital camera: Fuji X100s
Analog cameras: Canon 1v (35mm) + Mamiya C220 (medium format)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/ivanlietaert/

 

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Ivan, thanks for the kind offer of the location.  I was kidding, of course.  But the specimen, and photographs are outstanding!

I may go to visit my home country again next year, but I'll be busy there, visiting all those corners from my childhood and later days.  However, perhaps someone from the forum will try to utilize those coordinates...

 

This photo is from my backyard on the west coast of the Pacific Ocean.  Lots of mushrooms here, but no Boletus.

DSC03868.jpg

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35 minutes ago, MartinL said:

What do you guys think about this one? I found this under a small tree in a forest near where I live.

A nice picture. However, the cluster of toadstools looks on a slant. Looking at the background, I would guess that the substrate (possibly a log) has shifted in the recent past. Several of the toadstools have curved stipes as if they are compensating for this. It is difficult to make out enough detail in the background to be able to tell for certain what has happened, but it does look as if the slant is natural. As I said in my post of September 21st, I like to be able to see the habitat clearly.

I'm now waiting for some decent rain to bring out my local fungi so I can try out my nice new lens and lights.

John


Windows 10, Affinity Photo 1.8,5 Designer 1.8.5 and Publisher 1.8.5 (mainly Photo), now ex-Adobe CC

CPU: AMD A6-3670. RAM: 16 GB DDR3 @ 666MHz, Graphics: 2047MB NVIDIA GeForce GT 630

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17 minutes ago, John Rostron said:

A nice picture. However, the cluster of toadstools looks on a slant. Looking at the background, I would guess that the substrate (possibly a log) has shifted in the recent past. Several of the toadstools have curved stipes as if they are compensating for this. It is difficult to make out enough detail in the background to be able to tell for certain what has happened, but it does look as if the slant is natural. As I said in my post of September 21st, I like to be able to see the habitat clearly.

I'm now waiting for some decent rain to bring out my local fungi so I can try out my nice new lens and lights.

John

The slant is natural. The bigger mushroom (the one in black and brown) grew that way and the smaller ones grew on after.

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5 hours ago, MartinL said:

What do you guys think about this one? I found this under a small tree in a forest near where I live.

 

Champignon blanc 2.jpg

In my opinion this is an amazing picture. Especially the fact that it shows mushrooms growing in a much bigger mushroom/toadstool. I love it because it shows the complexity of the natural world.

Here is some constructive criticism:

1. Framing: a little bit wider, so that the top of the large mushroom isn't cut off.

2. If possible, re-visit the site when the sun shines, and wait for the perfect natural light.

 

 


Dell XPS 8930 i8700 3.2GHz 16GB RAM GTX 1070
Main digital camera: Fuji X100s
Analog cameras: Canon 1v (35mm) + Mamiya C220 (medium format)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/ivanlietaert/

 

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24 minutes ago, Ivan Lietaert said:

In my opinion this is an amazing picture. Especially the fact that it shows mushrooms growing in a much bigger mushroom/toadstool. I love it because it shows the complexity of the natural world.

I must agree. When Iooked at it earlier today, I could not properly see the substrate the toadstools were growing from. Must have been the ambient light on my tablet. Now it is evening it is much clearer.

John


Windows 10, Affinity Photo 1.8,5 Designer 1.8.5 and Publisher 1.8.5 (mainly Photo), now ex-Adobe CC

CPU: AMD A6-3670. RAM: 16 GB DDR3 @ 666MHz, Graphics: 2047MB NVIDIA GeForce GT 630

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17 hours ago, MartinL said:

What do you guys think about this one? I found this under a small tree in a forest near where I live.

 

Champignon blanc 2.jpg

Beautiful image. If the aim is not to convey environmental details alongwith main subject, I would process this way:

1.isolate big brown material along with all the whites and blur the background a little.

2. Sharpen whites with unsharp/hpf.

3. Use clarity filter for whites and brown main subject to bring out larger radius local contrast. Also can try detail extractor from Nik colour effex pro instead of clarity. I may use some mask to selectively apply the larger structure details. This third step is to finely bring out larger radius details without affecting fine details in step 1. Step 3 can be done one more time with a further larger radius to get still larger details.

4. So in the end I am presuming to have an image with softer blurred background, fine and coarse details in the main subject. This sharpening is generally termed as multi scale sharpening. Topaz plugin has this. Rawtherapee also can be utilized. Easiest is using clarity but I think clarity is more of local contrast enhancement.

5. Basically each effect is done on separate layers to targeted areas and blended together. Just thoughts from learning point of view!

 

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