My interest in Australian fungi became serious when I started taking Photos of them. Above is probably the shot that started my obsession, still one of my favorite mushroom photos, its been my desktop image for years now.
Taking great mushroom shots for ID purposes.
I have just gone though my photo collection, over ten thousand shots, many of them are of fungi. After a few years my memory fails me on some and the photo is the only evidence I have of the particular mushroom. There is increasing interest in identifying fungi, and photos are the mode used on mushroom forums on the interweb. (Always take a third party ID with a grain of salt, Its vital to double check any ID of a mushroom, be that my own ID or someone elses!!) Almost everyone with a phone has access to a decent camera so there is no excuse for taking bad photos and with a bit of thought in the setup of a shot its easy to get an ID. It is worth while taking photographs that show all the characteristics of the fungi species in one clear, close up shot. Doing this will give potential identifiers a better chance of helping me to ID the fungus. Some of the key features of some mushrooms are: the cap surface and colour, the gills or pores, the stem or stipe, ring or vale fragments, the intact stem base and the cut flesh to show any bruising or discolouration. It is also good to include different stages of growth and a common object to give a sense of scale like a lens cap or lighter. It is possible to stage a photo that can get all these features into one shot, If a single mushroom is found this would need to be a series of shots. This is very helpful to others and myself years down the track when I want to compare a new find with some from the archive. Having all these features in one shot is a simple way to keep my photo collection organised and easy to use. The last thing I will say is I always take multiple shots to ensure I get at least one good one!
A range of my photos are on flickr and can be found on the link below, the quality is not great on some and I have never gotten into focus stacking or some of the other hitek tools photogs use to get depth of field. I guess the interesting thing is the shear variety of fungi seen in one area, almost all the photos are taken in the Kalang valley, near Bellingen in NSW. Enjoy.