Lone Shroom!

by Jason Niehoff
(Cullowhee, NC)

Well, I was hiking and found this mushroom growing all alone at the base of a tree.

I was trying to capture the loneliness of the mushroom, as well as some of the forest in the background.

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I think I know what Jason had in mind when he took this photo.
 Digital Photography Secrets
Keep the main subject pin sharp, but throw the background right out of focus.

Let me start by saying that if you spot something when out and about, do what Jason did here – spend a moment thinking about your photo.

A little thought at the start will make it much more likely you'll get a good photo; rather than the machine gun approach of filling your memory card from every angle possible in the hope there is a little gem in there somewhere!

But back to Jason's photo. Throwing the background out of focus is a good technique for these type of photos. It really concentrates the viewer on the main subject.

The best way to do this is to use the aperture to control the depth of field (the amount of the photo, from front to back, in focus). A wide aperture will give the sort of effect Jason has achieved here.

You can read more about depth of field. Also there's an article here to help you understand aperture.

Another technique Jason has used to good effect here is a carefully considered shooting angle.

Jason has clearly gotten down low on the ground to take this photo – giving us a pixie's eye view of things – perfect! Click to read a digital photography tutorial on shooting angles.

So many good things . . . is there anything I would change?

To enhance this photo I would boost the saturation in software. As it stands, the colours here are a bit muted, and a saturation boost would really help.

There is something else that could work well here too – convert it to black and white.

If you do, first convert it to black and white, and then increase the contrast to make the black and white image really stand out. Here you'll find plenty of black and white photography tips.

Thanks for the submission Jason – lots to feel proud of!


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