|Canon EOS-1Ds 1/100sec at f/11, 17mm|
Before I set out to make this blog, I added this image to my portfolio. On the second day of my quest to learn something and expand my image examples I saw this mushroom in our front lawn. Now to give you a little perspective, I was simply walking to the mailbox and this little guy was just sitting there with his cap stuck out of the grass waiting on any passers by to take notice of him. Well I did and I said to myself "Man I really have got to get my son to mow this lawn!" Yeah, not the inspiration you thought, huh? Well, as I returned toward the house I then thought "I should take a picture of that mushroom sometime." (DUH!) That's when it hit me! Hey, Dodo! THIS IS SOMETIME!!!
Wow! Inspirational, eh?
In a matter of speaking, it was a bit inspiring. At the moment Mr. Subconscious spoke up, I decided it was high-time that I listened. So I immediately went inside and got my camera. My lens choice was obvious to me. I went for the 17mm-40mm wide lens. You know, the one I am used to for architecture. Seriously, though, I knew that the grass needed to be cut and trying to get a shot from any distance would prove fruitless. OK, mushroom-less (quietly laugh if you want).
So I went outside and laid down beside my little friend, and many drivers-by thought I was either seriously injured or as strange as you may think after the onset of this sentence. I pointed my camera at the the mushroom, and needed to get in very close. Amazingly, I was about 2 inches from the subject in order to keep it in focus! And with that wide lens, I was shooting vertically and still cropped to horizontal. The view was beautiful! I thought of the movie "A Bugs Life" by Pixar. This was a new world right there under my feet! Yeah, "Honey, I Shrunk The Kids" came to mind, as well, and it's not a new idea, but to be in control and to experience it for yourself makes all the difference.
In retouching the image I used a bracket of exposures and an High-Dynamic-Range (HDR) layer. With masks and adjustment layers including Hue/Saturation, Levels and selective sharpening I was able to finalize the image as it is shown here.
Now, since this particular specimen was about 5 in high and 4 in across I was thrilled that I was able to get so low to the ground in relation to the mushrooms cap. The details that were available to me at that angle were truly impressive! I am thrilled that I listened to my inner voice and took the time to investigate the possibilities of photographing this mushroom in all it's minute glory. It was with this image my wife proclaimed that I should produce a photo a day and present it to the web.
This project becomes addictive once begun, so I hope to inspire you to create a project for yourself. Find an area of your life you would like to improve and step outside your box, get a little uncomfortable with your routine and challenge yourself to take a different perspective!
Not just in a visual sense, but carry it over to the way you live and view the world around you.