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Fungi Photography Tips

Updated: Sep 21, 2022

by Mandy Dee

Our club member Mandy Dee is the official fungi recorder for Lundy Island. Consequently, she spends a lot of time photographing fungi. She loves sharing her expert knowledge, and has taken our club members out to various locations in North Devon to find and photograph different species. She knows where and how to spot even the tiniest of specimens and she has shared her top tips with us below...


Fungi season starts now! They do like moisture though, so you are most likely to find them a day or two after rain. Morning is often best to see fresh specimens before the slugs get them or they get kicked over by dogs/sheep/walkers.

Woodland fungi are some of the first to appear, both on dead wood, living trunks, and in grass around trees. Long established woodlands are more likely to be productive than new woods and young trees. Arlington and Wistlandpound are both great areas. Later in the autumn the grassland fungi such as colourful waxcaps will appear on unfertilised grasslands, such as the coastal areas of Morte Point and Bull Point. Churchyards and parkland can also be good.

Photography tips

Get down low to capture the best views. The most interesting shots can be of the underside. Take a plastic bag to kneel on. You are unlikely to need a tripod as most fungi are not large, but a bean bag can be useful for stabilising your camera on the ground, allowing long exposures.

Small reflectors, or lights can help to illuminate under the cap, particularly in dark woodland.

A bit of tidying can often improve a shot. Remove twigs and debris from in front of the fungus. Carefully dust off anything on the cap. If in long grass, you can trim the grass in front with your fingers or even a pair of scissors, to allow a view of the stem.

A true macro lens is really only needed for the tiniest fungi… for anything else close focusing will do. You can use a zoom lens from a distance, but are more likely to get grass or other foliage between the lens and the subject. If using a macro lens, you may struggle with depth of field.

Focus stacking can be very successful, as fungi don't move in the wind like flowers, so it's reasonably easy to get a good set of shots.

Don't be scared to touch them.. Even the most poisonous fungi are ok to touch. You need to actually eat them to be affected.. Its fine to eat your sandwiches after handling poisonous fungi. However… many will make you ill if you eat them, and we do have several common, deadly fungi. So do not pick and eat wild fungi unless you are an expert.

If you wish to have your fungi finds identified by me or by a Facebook fungus group such as the Devon Fungus Group or British Mycological Society, then please take record shots of the cap, stem, gills or pores, with accurate colour. Observe the textures and smell. Note the habitat, in particular any nearby trees.

Checklist Warm and comfy clothes Waterproof bag or mat to kneel on Camera, lenses, spare battery, memory card Diffuser, torch or small light Notebook or phone app to note down habitat and additional info

May be useful... Soft brush to clean caps Scissors or secateurs to remove vegetation Wet wipes if you are concerned about toxicity Flask and cake!

For further information, watch the talk I gave to the club last year on Photographing Fungi in the video below.


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