|Camera & Equipment|
|At one time I would have said any camera which will allow you focus down to 1:1 with or without a macro lens, extension tubs or supplementary lens would do but now that point and shoot digital cameras are so popular I am not so sure.|
|Point and Shoots|
|These types of cameras tend to be short on fetchers that allow good control of exposure and focus. Trying to see if a macro image on an LCD screen is in focus seams to be near impossible and trying to control depth of field is no better. It maybe that these are entry level cameras and generally used by people new to photography thus don't have the experience to use them well.|
|Digital and Film SLR|
Even when these cameras do not have interchangeable lens they generally give you the control needed to select good focus and control of the depth of field. The ability to change lenses and therefore use a true macro lens is a real bonus in keeping your nose out of the mud!
I personally use a Cannon 20D chosen at the time because it was one of the few cameras with mirror lock and can be controlled remotely. The technical side of digital cameras is moving at such a fast rate I would not be surprised if there are even a more suitable camera available now.
|I started out using a standard 50 mm lens with extension tubes or close up lenses this worked fine although it was a bit of a hassle having to change extension tubes all the time. When I up dated my camera to cannon EOS3 I switched to a 100 mm macro lens although 50 to 60 mm lens would also do. The extra working distance is grate for keeping your nose away from the ground.|
So often I see people trying to hand hold a camera when photographing fungi this is never going to work due to insufficient light. Regardless if you are using a SLR or a Point and Shoot camera to hand hold you need a fast shutter speed. The only way you are going to get this is use a large aperture and therefore no depth of field or a high ISO giving you nose/grain.
A medium to heavy tripod is needed one that will let the camera site right down on the ground is even better. I use a Unlock 1700 tripod with a quick release bull head. Although many find this type of tripod to heavy and go for something lighter. I very really have problems with camera shake with my heavy tripod but lugging this around the bush is not fun. I have tried to use a light weight plastic tripod but found it would sit on top of leaf litter and bounce around to much.
|Yep, It's me taken some time back when I had some hair :)|
|A remote shutter release ether wired or wireless also helps to removing any possibility of the camera shake when you operate the shutter. Alternatively the self timer that most cameras have can be used. If your camera has a mirror lock then use it too!|
|As mentioned else ware try to choose a point of view were the light is coming in from the side. If its from behind you then end up working in your own or the cameras shadow. Making use of several reflector to balance the light or to get light under the fungus and on its stalk. These can be as simple as white card or a commercial product.|
|A while back I invested in a flash unit (MT-24EX) for my camera this flash has two heads and you can control the power level to each thus giving you a shadow efect. The results are interesting but not what I would have prefered and dont find flash works that well with fungi.|
|I have over time lost a few lenses from water damage and mould growing inside of the lenses. Due to me and the camera been caught out in the rain or using the camera in damp locations. These days I store my camera in humidity controlled cupboard this helps to dry out camera and camera pack and to reduce the chance of mould growing in the lens.|
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