Fall and Winter are my preferred seasons for photographing fungi because of improved visibility and ease of getting around, but just about any time (or clime) will do so long as there is sufficient moisture. And while many subjects can be found on the ground, don’t forget to check out downed or dead trees that still have some bark.
Appearing as if from another world, they are considered separate from plants, animals, and bacteria. Not containing chlorophyll (like plants) they depend on other organism for nutrition. An alien world to be explored above or below (or both) depending on what excites your eye. Often the gills are more interesting than the outer more visible portion so checking the underside is always part of my routine. Plain-looking caps can be turned over to expose intricate designs geometric or curvaceous. Look closely, sometimes small areas reveal exquisite details if you’re into patterns. It seems the most saturated color is encountered just after they’ve been saturated (i.e. after precipitation) and often better color results from cloudy conditions.
Nothing fancy about the technique: Macro (obviously), f/ smallest, and I must say, an articulated real-time viewing screen is most useful (but hardly essential). While a tripod is highly recommended for this kind of photography, it’s certainly not a requirement because of the excellent internal stabilization of contemporary cameras. Approximately half of these images were done hand-held.
Warren Krupsaw, a one-time student (and house guest) of Ansel Adams is a nature photographer concentrating on landscape & detail. After participating in the first year of a new graduate program in Photography at M.I.T. with Minor White, he earned his M.F.A. in Photography under Harry Callahan at the R.I.S.D. in 1968.
Book: Portraits of Passion and Other Dalliances