How to photograph Ghost Fungi

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How to photograph Ghost Fungi


I am a bit lucky that I live rural. Last week I had a bit of a treat so I thought I would share it with you.
A fellow photographer shared with me a site where she had found some Ghost Fungi (Omphalotis Nidiformis).

These were at Wannon Falls Reserve. I had walked right past them the day before and didn't even see them!!
I found them by scouting for them during the day and then headed back at night.
The night was perfectly clear and no-one was there. The ghost fungus was shining brightly!! You dont see the bright green that the camera shows up but you see a dull green. I couldn't believe how bright it was glowing!!
I turned off all the torches as I hardly needed them. Real magic.

So do you want to know how I shot them? 

I decided to take some scene shots as well as some close ups.
I have put the settings under each photo but there are some little hints to help you get the perfect shot.
Make sure you clear away sticks and debris from in front of the fungi. It helps you get a clearer shot with no distractions.

ISO 2500, 50mm, f4.5, 20 seconds.
Notice that I narrowed my aperture a little to get a little bit more depth of field.

To focus on the fungi, light up the subject with your torch. Put your focus to MF (Manual Focus). Turn on live view. Hit the little magnify glass button to magnify your scene. You should be able to go 10X magnification. Now move your focus ring until the focus is just perfect..

ISO 3200, 24mm, f4.5, 20 seconds.
Again I narrowed my aperture a little to get a little bit more depth of field.
Also try lighting the scene just a fraction so you can see the log like I did in the second and third photos. You dont need much light at all!! I actually had my torch pointing behind me to provide sufficient light.

ISO 4000, 24mm, f2.8, 15 seconds.
I opened up my aperture and shot for 15 seconds so that I didnt get star trails.
This is a composite of two files. One where I focused on the fungi and the other I focused on the stars.
The white blobby thing is the large Magellanic Cloud, which is a galaxy. 

I hope this helps. Ghost fungi season is in Winter so if you are lucky, try and track some down. Places where I know they are about is the Otways, Wannon and Mount Gambier - but I am sure there are more!!

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