A precursor, perhaps

unidentified mushrooms on bank of Eno River
In the back of my mind for a while now, I’ve had plans to show a bit more of the macro photography process, specifically some of the shooting angles and odd efforts to get the right shot, as well as a little more on the equipment. What this will require is someone else to do most of the shots, since I would be the model/demonstrator, as well as the right conditions to do this within – in other words, good examples of the demands rather than just, like, a spider in a web at eye level. So far, this hasn’t come to pass, but I haven’t given up on it. In the meantime, spurred by this Ancient Lore post, I present a faint inkling.

The reason that post provoked this one was solely because they occurred on the exact same day, and I knew I had the necessary images – where exactly, in my overburdened harddrives, remained to be seen, but eventually I came across them. I don’t find the image at top to be anything exciting, but it happened that the outing was with Jim Kramer – yes, the Jim Kramer – and he fired off a couple of frames while I was taking that one.

the author trying for an interesting view, by James L. Kramer
Once again, I was using Jim’s Sony F828, the follow-up model to the F717 that I used for a while in Florida about six months prior, while Jim was using his new Canon 10D – you can actually see the exact same frame as above captured in the LCD. The F828 had a pivoting back, which allowed it to be viewed from angles other than directly in line with the lens, which I took advantage of here; this is not an option with my current lineup of cameras, so the same image would have taken a different shooting position.

Now note the water appearing above my head, and the water and the slope in the original photo at top. Jim was shooting almost straight down for his image, while I was propped on a significant slope just above the waterline – it’s possible my other (not visible) foot was braced on a rock at the water’s edge, because it’d be too easy to slip into the water if I wasn’t anchored well. You can also see that the mushrooms appear in a narrow band of moss between the rock and the water, probably unnoticeable unless you’re actively looking for little hidden things (more like frogs, lizards, and snakes in my case, but the mushrooms were colorful and merited the attention when I found them.) To illustrate the methods of pursuing macro shots, Jim’s image could have shown more of the surroundings, but that wasn’t what he was after at the time – I just realized it could be used for this purpose well afterward.

Another photo from the same minute is below, one that I like much better – subtle differences can change the resulting image significantly.

better unidentified mushroom photo