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Fungi this incredible autumn.

2013 has been a stunning year for fungi. The warm and wet autumn has left us bereft of good colours but has compensated with an incredible abundance of toadstools. Every year I always try to get to grips with some fungi photography but often only end up spending a day or two at it. This year I have made a serious attempt at getting out on as many occasions as I can. I have also run a few small group and 1:1 workshops which has further increased my determination to really do the local mushrooms real justice.

I am a firm believer in trying to capture as accurate an image as possible in terms of natural history but only when I think it will produce an image that pleases me. This has meant that in many occasions I have had to leave potential fungi because it would only end up as a record shot.

I have no issues with gardening a scene and if I feel the image is improved I will add leaves from the vicinity to create a more pleasing picture. In some of the following I have changed the setting quite dramatically but in all cases it is true to that fungi. As an example the yellow toadstool was growing in wet grassland with mosses near to some beach trees. By adding or subtracting leaves has changed the image dramatically yet all are true in natural history terms.

I love backlighting and by choosing sunny days I have been able to create some images that I really like. Woodlands are brilliant on days like this because the sun creates pools of light and dark which constantly move as the sun plays with the trees limbs. Often I only have to wait for an hour or so before a nice group in shade are illuminated by the warm autumn sun. In the vast majority of cases I prefer images from a low vantage point which means I have to lie prostrate on the woodland floor. This can cause the odd remark or even a solicitous comment from a passing member of the public who often think I have fallen down or have been struck by a heart attack, though often their dogs are not so sympathetic!

Thanks to everyone who joined me this year on one of my workshops, Jean, Carol, Val, Leslie, Mary, Sue and Ann, everyone at Going Digital and all on the Sheffield Wildlife Trust day at Greno woods, I hoped you enjoyed tham as much as I did.