|I have a preference for using natural light as over the years I have found this gives me the best results and shows fungi as you would see them in their natural surroundings. Unfortunately there is never enough!!|
|Finding the light|
|I look for bush that has an open canopy that lets plenty of light down on to the forest floor. This has an advantage that lots of mosses tend to grow in this sort of habitat which make better and more colourful backgrounds to photos. Open forest are also easier to penetrate and allows you to go off the tracks to explore better, been careful not to get lost!!|
|Colour of light|
|I find it best to be out during mid day when the sun is at its highest point and can penetrate the forest canopy. As the colour of sun light also changes through the day I avoid been out to early in the morning or late in the afternoon as this is when the sun is very yellow|
There is also the problem with the tree leaves filtering out the green giving your images a unnatural red cast. If your camera has a custom white balance setting then it may be possible to compensate for this other wise you may need to tweak the image at home in a graphics editor.
|Try to get the available light coming from the front or off to the side of the fungi. Use a reflector to bounce light into shadow areas (opposite side or under the cap). Avoid very dark locations the results are never very good even using a reflector does not help if there is not the lght.|
|If available light is coming from behind the fungi you end up with the top of the fungi burnt out and remainder in shadow. Even a reflector will not help to stop this. On the other hand if the fungi is transparent then this can be used to your advantage and be used to give the fungus a nice glow..|
|The disadvantage of using available light is the long exsposure times that can cauese reciprocity failure of the film or noise if using a digital camera. Noise refers to random pixels turning on or off during the exposure giving a spectacled effect particularly in the shadow areas. The higher the ISO the more pronounced this is.|
|I have a cannon MT-24EX flash unit for my camera that I have used from time to time but find the results are not always that good. Yet on the odd occasions flash does work with good results generally this only happens in dry conditions.|
|The advantage in using flash as the main lighting source rather then as fill flash. You are no longer burdened with caring a heavy tripod or the time it takes to set up. Thus is advantage when you are out with others who don't like to stop like trampers and Biologist :)|
|There are a nuber of disavantages to using flash particularly in our wet subtropical forest. Some of these are : |
1: Light reflecting off glutinous cap and stalks.
2: Colour been brighter, washed out or with a distinked colour shift possibly due to the transparent nature of fungi.
3: Burnt out highlights.
4: Light reflecting off the wet moss in the foreground and background
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