Anatomy of a photo #51: Oyster Mushroom

It can be best to get down low if you are photographing mushrooms. Don't be afraid to kneel down- or better yet- to lay down to get a good angle

We are now getting into our hot summer days, and I cannot help but day dream about last winter’s wild mushrooms. It was not as stellar of a year for chantrelles as I had hoped, but it was decidedly a banner season for oyster mushrooms. I was able to collect more of these delightful beauties than I ever had before, their soft white grace adorning the decaying oaks, at times on unfallen trunks standing straight, at others surrounded by the fallen leaves of their benefactors earlier incarnation.

I dedicate this post to you, my protein rich fungus. May you continue to bring my stomach joy in my gastronomical searches into the mycological world.

It can also be handy to clearly show the substrate the fungus is growing from. This can help later on if you are trying to identify them

IT is important to remember- Do not eat a mushroom if you are not sure what type it is. Each year we here news stories of people in our local area that think they know what they are doing, but end up poisoning themselves and causing kidney failure or liver damage. Dialysis is not fun, so know before you eat.

I myself am very limited in the mushrooms I will actually harvest and eat. There are only a few species I am confident in, so there are only a few that I will put on my plate or, more importantly the plates of those I care about.

Even if I won’t be eating a mushroom however, doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy photographing it. It’s hard to be poisoned from a photograph.

These images were taken using 300mm of lens. The ISO was high to compensate for the deep shadows of the woods, while still allowing me to use a shutter speed between 1/250th and 1/320th of a second. Any slower and the camera shake would have been too much. The aperture was fairly wide in each of the pictures to give a shallow depth of field, but also to help maximize my shutter speed.

It can be more difficult photographing mushrooms that are still in the tree, if for no other reason than the contrast of lighting between the sky and the shadows of the woods

About Galen Leeds Photography

Nature and wildlife photographer, exploring the world on his feet and from his kayak. Among other genres, he is one of the leading kayak photographers in Northern California. To learn more about him, visit him on his website-
This entry was posted in Anatomy of a photo, How To, nature photography, Photo Essay, photography, SLR and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Anatomy of a photo #51: Oyster Mushroom

  1. Nice mushrooms photography!

  2. really like the first one

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