Archive for the 'fungi' Category


1/5/2011: Snow Hat for a shroom

Emmon’s Preserve is a little slice of riverside (brookside in most seasons) preserved by the Kennebunkport Land Trust. I have posted pics from there in the past, as it is one of the rare little parcels of forest and stream in Southern Maine with public access. And a nice little parcel it is too. This is on the trail in from the road to the stream a week after our December blizzard. Others had been before me with snowshoes and skis, so, despite standing snow on all sides and drifts that had certainly closed the trail, it was a pleasant hike, even in boots.

For this shot I used the flip out lcd on the Canon SX20IS to get low and shoot up under the fungus on side of the birch, since it was the contrast between the texture of the growth and the snow-cap that interested me, both set against the textures and colors of the trunk with its patches of lichen, and then the shapes of all three.

Canon SX20IS at 280mm equivalent, f5 @ 1/200th @ ISO 200. Snow Mode.

Processed in Lightroom for intensity and clarity.


11/7/2010: in the frame now, happy Sunday!

I woke this Sunday morning from a dream of worship…that in itself is odd…though I do have a few of those dreams each year, and I suppose Sunday morning is appropriate for one…but before I was fully awake this post formed, and now, up and at the computer, all I have to do is build what I saw.

At my best as a photographer I am only a frame and an instant.

I am a frame. All I do is point the frame of the camera’s rectangular view at the world. Today I use the zoom on the camera to  change the size of the frame…make it bigger and more inclusive, more grand…or smaller and more particular, more intimate. I can move in close for a true macro of lichen, or add magnification by shooting through a spotting scope for portraits of sparrows. I can zoom out to wide-angle for the sunrise. I can even stitch frames together into the larger frame of a panorama. But whatever I do, it is still a frame…a little rectangle imposed on reality. The frame says “This is what I see. Look!” I am a frame.

I am an instant. I control when I push the shutter button. I choose the instant, and it is only an instant…a fraction of a second, when the camera records, for better or worse, whatever is in the frame. Even if I shoot a burst of images, as I often do when digiscoping birds, I still have to pick the one instant out of all those instants that I want to show the world. The instant says “This is what I see now. Look” I am an instant.

I do not fill the frame, I can only point it. I do not create the instant. I can only choose it. But in those two choices is all the power of photography.

The rest is just technique.

This is what I see now. Look!

I don’t of course, know what you see when you look at one of my photographs. I can hope that if I have done my job, you will see something that captures your attention…maybe even something that stirs your soul, that moves within you and touches places that need touching. At best, looking at what I see might open your eyes to something you would not otherwise have seen. It might change the way you see the world. That is the power of photography at its best.

I took pictures for a long time before I knew what I was looking for…what fills my frames and draws me to the instants I choose. Interestingly enough, the actual photographs did not change much, if at all. One day I knew why as well as what and when.

And that brings us full circle. As I have said, I am sure, on more than one Sunday in the past, my why is worship. What fills my frame in the ever-changing now is always some aspect of the beauty…the awe-full beauty, the intimate splendor, the wonderful power, the amazing compassion…of the Creator God displayed in the creation. Every picture is a celebration of that in God and that in me that brings the world to being through love. I frame those instants, from macro to panorama, when I am most aware of God. That is worship. That is my why.

So, this is what I see, now. Look.


10/1/2010: mushrooms of Quoddy head

I have always been fascinated by mushrooms and fungi (even more so than birch bark). On this foggy morning in the forest of Quoddy Head, with everything dripping with moisture, the colors of the mushrooms and their surroundings, whether moss or litter, were particularly rich, and the light so soft and molding that it brought out the strange shapes to good effect. Each one of these deserves a view at full size (click the image). I always try for more than a record shot…I am not illustrating a field guide. The mushrooms are an element of composition and the image as a whole must be of interest.

We have a variety of framings here: from the full tel-macro (560mm equivalent)  of 1) to the super-macro at full wide (28mm equivalent) for 2), 3), and 5). All were shot on Programmed Auto and the ISO varies from 80 to 400. I used –2/3EV exposure compensation on all of them to preserve highlights in the dim light and dark surroundings.

Processed in Lighroom with a combination of Fill Light to open shadows, Blackpoint to increase color depth, Clarity and Vibrance and Sharpen.




I have not been able to identify these mushrooms, found growing along side the Kennebunk Bridle Path in Southern Maine. The mushrooms they most closely resemble are supposed to grow on wood and have little to no stem??? But then I am far from a mushroom expert. I liked the cracked leathery look of the caps and could not resist a ground level shot. They were deep in a clump of tall grass, of course. Here is the shot from above, which has its own charm…especially the shadows of the grass stems across the left cap.

Canon SX20IS. 1) 28mm equivalent and Super-macro. f4 @1/250th @ ISO 125. 2) 450mm equivalent and macro @ f5 @ 1/250th @ ISO 80. Programmed Auto

In Lightroom, some Recovery for highlights. Fill Light and Blackpoint right. Added Clarity and a bit of Vibrance. Sharpen narrow edges preset.

From Around Home 2010




I found this growing on a stump on the University of Maine at Machias campus and I must admit I have never seen anything remotely like it. Well, maybe remotely. And I certainly don’t know enough about fungus to even begin to identify it precisely. The shot below gives you some scale if you note the pine needles.

Clearly the low angle shot is for effect and I forgive you if your response is “what IS that?” It does kind of defy the eye and mind to make sense out of it. Thing is, even when from above, in more normal presentation it is still pretty fantastical. I suspect the smaller fungi on the right is the way it is supposed to look. But who knows…it is a fungus.

Canon SX20IS at various focal lengths for framing. First shot at Super-macro. All on Programmed auto, –1/3EV exposure compensation.

While it looks like I pumped up the Vibrance or Saturation in Lightroom, honest, I did not not. That orange is real. Smile  I did move the Blackpoint right slightly and add Clarity. Sharpen narrow edges preset.

From Machias 2010.