After my last blog post about fungi in Savernake Forest, I went back a week later and had another fungi-spotting wander with a friend. We were walking back to our cars when my friend spotted this delicate little clump of Mycena fungi amongst the fallen beech leaves. I immediately got my bin liner out again so I could lie on the ground and get the right viewpoint. Flip out screens are OK up to a point but sometimes you just have to get down low to give good camera stability.
I used my 64 LED light panel to light it from the front and an LED torch to light it from the right. There’s quite a bit of added light on the fungi, and setting the exposure for the fungi has made the background quite dark. The caps are clearly defined against the darker background which is nice, but the image is a little bit too much of a simple record/identification image.
The thing that need sorting to make it a bit more “arty” was balancing the relative brightnesses of the fungi and the background. The way to do that was to reduce the light on the fungi by moving the LED panel further away. I’ve also flipped the torch light so it comes from the left instead of the right. Because there’s now less light on the fungi the background brightness goes up and the lovely wide-aperture bokeh is more visible. To my mind it’s a more pleasing image. It’s got more likes on Facebook than any of my other images, so it’s not just pleasing me.
The moral is always to consider the background brightness as well as the subject brightness.