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Surrounded by Giants

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These fly agarics are such beautiful fungi, and are so small in comparison with their surroundings. My normal approach is to fill the frame and shoot from a low angle so the background leaves make a soft green background. Yesterday I decided to go for a different approach and try to include the surrounds, but as a subtle reminder of location.

To do this I needed to shoot from further back and still use a wide aperture. I managed to find a shroom on a slight incline so I could get to ground level. I've said it before but laying on the floor with your face touching the ground as you look through the finder bring you close to nature - the feel, the smell, the textures the damp, the cold...I can almost get into a meditative state when looking through the finder (and no I hadn't been eating any!). Anyone else feel this?

I was also trying out a ring light I'd picked up off eBay and found it to be a really good light source. I've included the non ringflash shot as a comparison.

Camera:Pentax K20D Check out PENTAXPORTAL!
Lens:Pentax 100mm f/2.8 Macro
Recording media:RAW (digital)
Title:Surrounded by Giants
Username:Pete Pete
Uploaded:18 Oct 2010 - 11:36 AM
Tags:Flowers & plants, Fungi, Landscape / travel, Woodland
VS Mode Rating 100 (33.33% won)
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Votes:62
Variant - Before/AfterVariant - Before and After

Comments

devlin
devlin  4651 forum posts India39 Constructive Critique Points
18 Oct 2010 - 11:49 AM

A very different approach, but i think i like it...

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Stace
Stace e2 Member 6Stace vcard England2 Constructive Critique Points
18 Oct 2010 - 12:15 PM

Different from the usual comps.....not to sure if it works for me, love the bg though

Stace

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Nettles
Nettles  7 England
18 Oct 2010 - 12:19 PM

Much prefer the ringflash version, it brings the mushroom to life.
I like the different larger view for a change.
Annette

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photophantom
18 Oct 2010 - 12:33 PM

works well, it shows the scale. With or w/o ring light, both look great.
Dennis

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mikesmith
mikesmith e2 Member 1045 forum postsmikesmith vcard United Kingdom35 Constructive Critique Points
18 Oct 2010 - 12:33 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

It has immediate impact...most shrooms that we see are excellent close-ups perfectly isolated from their backgrounds. Both versions give a great sense of scale and perspective which I guess is what you were after given your title. The ring-flash version definitely shows the shroom off in better light (oops). maybe a selective tweak to levels and curves may lift the colour slightly and give it even more oomph. Only my opinion and who am I to offer such advice. Only wish I could get down as low as is needed for a shot like this...sadly my recent op wont allow. Oh well maybe next autumn?!
Mike

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Glynn
Glynn  81169 forum posts England1 Constructive Critique Points
18 Oct 2010 - 12:40 PM


Quote: I can almost get into a meditative state

No, but i do get in a 'vegetative state' and cant get back up Wink

Ringflash really works Pete and does add nice contrast

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kaybee
kaybee  103809 forum posts Scotland24 Constructive Critique Points
18 Oct 2010 - 12:40 PM

I like No2 myself

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HUMIE
HUMIE  7 United Kingdom
18 Oct 2010 - 12:42 PM

Really like the different viewpoint Pete....what a difference that ring flash makes, may well try ebay myself.

*Mike*

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lianna
lianna  4 United Kingdom13 Constructive Critique Points
18 Oct 2010 - 12:48 PM

Another cracking shout! Both versions are great bit for me 1 wins by a fraction Smile x x

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soulofharmony
18 Oct 2010 - 1:28 PM


Quote: It has immediate impact...most shrooms that we see are excellent close-ups perfectly isolated from their backgrounds. Both versions give a great sense of scale and perspective which I guess is what you were after given your title.
Mike

I prefer version 1, it appears warmer, To me when doing macro the BG foliage is as much about the composition as the main point of object..the colours/shapes light that pentrates & highlight ,when pushed out of focus can make the most amazing canvas, so much "Art in Nature", natural working canvas's.. even in isolating the main point of interest , its nothing with out that in place..i always view back ground first, for that very content..!...like how youve included the earthness of the scene..

you can also use kitchen foil on cardboard as reflectors..!

flash ring does make a difference..

Beautiful

Nicola. x

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sandyd
sandyd  7 Scotland
18 Oct 2010 - 1:41 PM

Good shot V1 for me

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SteveH1978
18 Oct 2010 - 1:45 PM

Great image and well composed too. I think I prefer V1 which looks as if you have added a bit of warmth to the colours. Great work.

Steve

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Wooly
Wooly  8112 forum posts England4 Constructive Critique Points
18 Oct 2010 - 2:17 PM

Nicely done Pete.

Alan

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AlleyCatz
AlleyCatz  8274 forum posts England6 Constructive Critique Points
18 Oct 2010 - 2:17 PM

Good to see a different approach Pete.
Those woods did smell so wonderful and autumnal yesterday....it always brings back childhood memories.Simple pleasures of getting conkers,hunting for edible shrooms with my Dad and the anticipation that Bonfire night and Christmas were not too far away.

I was impressed with the ring light....it works very well.


~Alley~

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martin.w
martin.w e2 Member 12352 forum postsmartin.w vcard United Kingdom22 Constructive Critique Points
18 Oct 2010 - 2:25 PM

In a recent outing having a go at these I just thought....it's going to be muddy....and despite using a plastic bag....it was!

I like the title and the composition, though the subject isn't all that sharp looking at the large version. It does look better with the use of the light compared to V2 Wink

Last Modified By martin.w at 18 Oct 2010 - 2:26 PM

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Imagephotographics

Beautiful image - V2 is my Fav !

Chris

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Daisymaye
Daisymaye e2 Member 5Daisymaye vcard Canada9 Constructive Critique Points
18 Oct 2010 - 4:22 PM

Beautifully captured little shroom. When I find them they have bites out of them and look nasty. ..........Sandy

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User_Removed
18 Oct 2010 - 4:37 PM

Needs a tweek I'd say in levels, or maybe a slight sharpen after reduction of image. good narative Smile like the crop

Last Modified By User_Removed at 18 Oct 2010 - 4:38 PM

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chase
chase Critique Team 91118 forum postschase vcard England240 Constructive Critique Points
18 Oct 2010 - 4:41 PM

That little lighting contraption did work nicely Pete & I like the warmth it has added to this image.
Good use of dof,although he does look a bit lonely all by himself amongst the leaf-litter Sad
Would have just liked to have seen a wee bit more fine detail on the 'shroom & perhaps just a tad more contrast on the moss/leaves to make this one pop a little more.
Great low-down & dirty angle,good job you brought along your waterproof sheeting.
Smells ???...I can still smell those stinkhorns...pooooooo Wink

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NeilWigan
NeilWigan e2 Member 4NeilWigan vcard England15 Constructive Critique Points
18 Oct 2010 - 4:52 PM

Beautiful image V2 for us.

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barbarahirst
barbarahirst e2 Member 6barbarahirst vcard United Kingdom10 Constructive Critique Points
18 Oct 2010 - 6:11 PM

V2 for me today ... a lovely comp.

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paulb20
paulb20 e2 Member 7paulb20 vcard United Kingdom
18 Oct 2010 - 7:05 PM

V1 for me Pete I like the softness of the shot comes across as really early morning light.
Paul

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Bogwoppett
Bogwoppett e2 Member 9Bogwoppett vcard United Kingdom
19 Oct 2010 - 8:50 AM

Both pics are excellently done, I do like the depth of field isolating the mushroom and the low angle works a treat!
I'm not normally a fan of flash fill in nature shots, but I find myself liking V1 for it's instant impact, so I'm well impressed by the ring flash.

Having said that, over time I am drifting towards the non-flash image (V2) which somehow subtley seems to include the mushroom in it's natural context in that the background colours are lighter yet still holds the shroom as the main subject.

You also mentioned the Fly Algaric as a small mushroom. This is the new growing bud. If you went back in a few days time it should be one of the largest toadstools in the wood!
-steve

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LukeParkinson
25 Oct 2010 - 3:42 PM

I really want to get a Fly Agaric, Lovely shot!

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Karen_Summers
Karen_Summers e2 Member 5Karen_Summers vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
25 Oct 2010 - 10:47 PM

Very nice now we need the fairies

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