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Image of the Month




Fly Agaric carpet


October 2013


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October is fungi season and I was fortunate enough to spend a couple of days in the company of Brett Lewis doing some autumn fungi photography in Kent.  

On the first day, I set myself a target of not only taking nice 'portraits' of fungi but also, of getting them small in the frame in order to convey their context and habitat.  It's not easy.  It's not something that comes naturally to me and I found it quite a challenge to create pleasing wide angle images.

The second day Brett took me to fairyland... I mean it!  I have never, ever seen so many Fly Agaric in one place in my life.  I had always found the odd, single, often chewed, gone over Fly Agaric and to come to a woodland where there was a carpet of them was one of the most extraordinary sights that I have ever seen.  They were standing solo or in pairs, in 'family' clusters or in long strings and curves across the ground.  They were under trees, in clearings, in lichen, in leaf litter and in grass.  They were just bursting through the ground, quite white still, beginning to show their red surface, fully open, red and opened with gills turning up and all the way through various shades of orange until they were broken and finished on the woodland floor.

Don't let anybody fool you that you don't get any exercise photographing fungi.  This type of photography means that you are up and down, up and down and I found muscles that I didn't think I had.  

It was an amazing couple of days and I can't wait to spend more time working with Brett.  Thank you for your company and for sharing your knowledge Brett.


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  • fly_agaric_with_fly.jpg
  • fly_agaric___silver_birch.jpg
  • honey_fungus.jpg
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  • mycena_fungus.jpg
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A couple of weekends later, Cathy and I went to Sussex for the weekend to photograph more fungi.  It can become addictive.  The weather forecast was dreadful but we managed to escape the showers and by the time we had called it a day on the Sunday and started eating a late Sunday lunch, the heavens opened and the rain came down like a tropical monsoon.  

My regret, but my lesson learnt from the weekend was to not walk away from an interesting species however much you want lunch!  On the Saturday, we found a Bleeding Tooth fungi but didn't photograph it.  By the time we returned on the Sunday, the 'blood' had washed away and our photogenic subject looked like a grey blob.  

Thank you for a great weekend Cathy!

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