Dramatis personae

Yes, more mushroom photos. It’s that time of year and this tiny hygrocybe called out to me. It’s probably H. conica or punicea, but they are very similar. IRL it’s a little less than 1 inch high. They fruit on the ground and can sometimes be found in little clumps, but this one was alone in the trail so I thought I’d get it before it got trampled.

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The light is purposely dramatic. Does it work or is it too much?

Technical Details

Tripod for camera and probably a CPL, Gorilla Pod for LED panel to light just the mushroom and where it stood.
11-image stack - 0/+ method, 4-step


Lr for some wb and color adjustment since the auto wb was way off. Added exposure & texture, sharpening & nr. Some masking to even out tonalities.

Zerene for stacking - DMap with PMax details mixed in.

Photoshop to further manage the background and darken some of the lighter leaf litter and contour the little shroom itself.


Not too dramatic at all. The color is so vivid, dramatic light feels appropriate. Cute!

Kris this is a very striking image of a striking 'shroom. Nice work with the stacking to keep the background out of focus too. Terrific little portrait. One thing that kind distracts is the lighter out of focus area directly below the mushroom stock, at the bottom of the frame. Might be able to darken that area to make it less distracting.

Absolutely wonderful image, Kris.

Thanks @Bonnie_Lampley & @David_Bostock - glad the lighting works. Sometimes I like au naturel, but not always.

Hm…looks like I need to take the foreground down some more.

I am so enjoying your mushroom series, Kris. Keep 'em coming! Love the soft lighting and your POV. Also keep relating them to Dr. Seuss books I used to read to our sons! . . again and again and yet again! :rofl:

They are all vaguely Dr. Seuss-y, @linda_mellor - so glad you’re enjoying them. Just was in the yard doing some more. Got some abstract-ish views of Entoloma abortivum and some Hericium coralloides which is a gorgeous toothed fungi that is basically white and resembles branched coral. We’ll see how those turn out when I get them in the computer.

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Looking forward to seeing them!

Not too dramatic at all!! Dramatic, yes, but the mushroom deserves the attention! Excellent drop-off of the BG.

With an artificial light source outdoors, the mixed lighting can be difficult to deal with. Sometimes it can help to put a gray card in the scene for a test shot and set the WB to whatever neutralized it. Sometimes. Best and easiest to go with what looks good!!

Beautifully crafted image, and certainly not too dramatic!

Hi Kristen. Looks like you are the mushroom queen here. I can see why. Lovely. To me this is all about the texture and when that is combined with such colour…lovely. Again your lighting is spot-on for the vivd colour. I’ll have to give lichens a miss for a while and check out some mushrooms, although it will be a bit of a wait with us just going into spring!

@linda_mellor - I’m going to check them out this morning and see. Then I’m going kayaking so it might be later on that I get to process them, but I’ll put up a favorite from the Enchanted Forest.

Thanks @Mike_Friel, @Diane_Miller & @Phil_G - glad the light works, but yeah, the sensor has a heck of a time. A gray card isn’t a bad idea. One more thing to tote around. LOL.

Mushrooms have been a favorite subject for over a decade. I’m impossible to hike with in late summer or early fall. When I lived in NH a photographer friend was the same way and we could get sidetracked forever with a “time-sucking mushroom log”. Good times.