Nature Photo Challenge #8: Fascinating fungi!

Nature Photo Challenge #8 is an encouragement to have fun photographing fascinating fungi!

“Photographing fungi in April?” you say. “Has the man gone mad? Has he been nibbling too many magic mushrooms that he’s lost track of the seasons?”

No I haven’t. Not knowingly, anyway. I am well aware that April is not the best month for finding fungi – in the northern hemisphere. But many participants of this nature photo challenge live in the southern hemisphere and are entering into autumn – the traditional season for mushrooms and toadstools. So I thought I would directly cater to our friends in the south!

For us in the north, we will just have to raid our archives from last September and October. Here are a few of mine:

Amethyst Deceiver fungus
Laccaria amethystina, commonly known as the Amethyst Deceiver, is named because its bright amethyst colour fades with age and weathering, so it becomes difficult to identify (it deceives)
Bleeding Fairy Helmet
Mycena haematopus, commonly known as the Bleeding Fairy Helmet, the Burgundydrop Bonnet, or the Bleeding Mycena.
Mock Oyster fungus
I think this is Phyllotopsis nidulans, commonly known as the Mock Oyster or the Orange Oyster, which grows on decaying wood
Turkey Tail fungus
Trametes versicolor is called because it displays a variety of colors. As its shape and multiple colors are similar to those of a wild turkey, it’s commonly called Turkey Tail.
Coral fungus
Ramaria stricta, commonly known as the Strict-branch Coral, is a coral fungus that grows on dead wood, stumps, trunks, and branches of both deciduous and coniferous trees. 
#naturephotochallenge fascinating fungi
Amanita muscaria, commonly known as the Fly Agaric, is the toadstool that gnomes and elves love to sit on in children’s fairy tale books!
Nature Photo Challenge #8 is fascinating fungi
Kuehneromyces mutabilis, commonly known as the Sheathed Woodtuft, is an edible mushroom that grows in clumps on tree stumps or other dead wood.
Sheathed Woodtuft fungus
Top-down shot of the same fungus as above.
Magpie Inkcap fungus
One of my favourite fungi is Coprinopsis picacea, the Magpie Inkcap. 
Nature Photo Challenge
I like it so much I’m giving you another photo of the Magpie Inkcap!
Pear-shaped Puffball
Apioperdon pyriforme, the Pear-shaped Puffball is common and abundant on decaying logs.
Shaggy Ink Cap toadstool
Coprinus comatus, the Shaggy Ink Cap or Lawyer’s Wig, is a common fungus on lawns. After a while the gills beneath the cap turn black and deliquesce (‘melt’) into a black inky liquid filled with spores (hence the “ink cap” name).

Tips on photographing fungi

Fungi love forest floors – which are notoriously difficult places to get good photographs. So here are a few tips that you might find helpful:

  • Use a tripod: A tripod will help you stabilize your camera and prevent blurry photos. It will also enable you to use slower shutter speeds in low light.
  • Use a low aperture number: Such as f/2.8, to allow more light into your camera, which is crucial when shooting in dark environments.
  • Use a flashlight: Bring a flashlight with you to help you illuminate the fungus and make it stand out from the dark surroundings. This can also help you to focus on the subject.
  • Look for areas with natural light: Try to find areas in the forest where sunlight is filtering through the trees or where there is an opening in the canopy. This can help you to find better lighting conditions for your photos.
  • Pay attention to the background: When photographing fungi, make sure to pay attention to the background. A busy or cluttered background can be distracting and take away from the main subject. Try to find a clean and simple background that will help your subject stand out.
  • Experiment with different angles: Don’t be afraid to experiment with different angles and perspectives when photographing fungi. This can help you to capture unique and interesting shots.

I’m sure we are all aware that we need to respect the natural environment and never damage or disturb the fungi we are photographing. And you all know that while many mushrooms and toadstools in woodlands are edible and delicious, some can be extremely poisonous and even deadly. It is always best to consult an expert or guidebook before consuming any wild mushrooms.

Have fun photographing fascinating fungi! As always, I am looking forward to seeing your pictures.


  1. Nice collection, Denzil. The gnomes and elves are just fine as long as they don’t take a nibble of that Amanita toadstool. I’ve found my share of that species but none as red as that. Most are a different species or variant and more yellow or orange. I like photographing mushrooms for just the opposite reason as I do cascades and waterfalls. Even on a windy day they sit still for their portrait.. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow!
    Seeing these wonderful captures of fungi and mushroom is certainly a unique experience for me because they aren’t common in my town or anywhere else in my whole city.
    Very amazing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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