Breaking up to break it down (w/1 repost)

Different stack added that addresses Dennis’s comments, I think. It’s the one I meant to process, but made a mistake and used the wrong sources for the stack. This new one is 5 images instead of 2.

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


Earlier this year I found these mushrooms on some logs in the backyard. The first one is how they look when they first fruit, the second is what they become after a few days. They are part of the Coprinellus family and are most likely in the C. micaceus group and are probably Mica caps. These, and others, are collectively known as Inky caps and are decomposers, meaning that they grow on wood and break it down.

Until fungi evolved tree lignin was impossible to break down (nothing could break the molecular bonds, just like nothing can do that with plastic) and through the millennia, dead trees accumulated, intact, and eventually became the fossil fuels we have today. Because of fungi however, there will never be another Carboniferous era. But maybe we will have a Plasticiferous.

Specific Feedback

Just whether the photos work or need help/improvements. Do they tell the story of these mushrooms well?

Technical Details

Tripod & focus bracketing

1 -

2 -

Lr to get the images in shape for stacking which is basically to reduce noise, improve contrast, add texture & sharpening and any color tweaks. Zerene for the stacks - the first is 6 and the second only 2. Lightroom again to improve the resulting TIFs and crop to suit.

1 Like

Excellent work, Kris. I like the fine detail and compositions. A couple of minor nits on #2: I’d like to see the entire wilted head of the fallen one and the bright leaf just above the log on the left tends to attract my eye.

Thanks @Dennis_Plank - I goofed and processed the wrong source images. There’s a new version in the OP that, I think, makes it work along the lines you suggest. Unfortunately, I was far enough away from these guys that I didn’t notice that there was a wilted one and so didn’t get it very sharp.

That’s just about perfect, Kris. Do you have The Seen and Unseen World of the Fallen Tree
by Chris Maser and James M. Trappe on your shelf? It’s an oldie but goodie Forest Service publication.

Now that I’ve looked at it, I wish I did have that book. I bet it’s pretty great. I’ve done a lot of work with nurse logs and stumps over the years so I know of the universe that exists there. So much to see and to be oblivious of. I walked back down the yard today and noticed more of these coming up on a different log. It’s been so dry that we don’t have a lot of fungi activity this year.

Whatever these are, they’re wonderful and well processed. I love how they stand out from the BG.

And thanks for the reminder about how (and why) oil isn’t being renewed. But all our discarded plastic junk should make a good reservoir of carbon some day.

Thanks @Diane_Miller - the trio of old ones is 5 image stacked (the second one with the better background) and the first is 11 image stacked. Forgot to mention that.

I hope that something comes along that can eat plastic…it seems that’s the only reason humans evolved - as an extinction trigger and the reason some new life form will evolve to eat the plastic we love so much. Actually, scientists are experimenting with fungi as a way to break molecular bonds of oil and similar petroleum compounds, and extending that research to plastics as well. As far as I remember, some progress is being made.