Just out of

Not subtle, but kind of fun anyway. I had a go with my new Godox flash yesterday and created the kind of forest floor image you can only do with a flash - hiding that background entirely. I’m sure I’ll get better at it over time, but I thought I’d share anyway. And hey, it’s my first flash since about 1990, lol.

These are marasmius mushrooms of some kind and are one of the first to appear up this way. The caps are only 1/4 of an inch across and stand on thread-like stipes that are about 2 inches high. Tiny and delicate they usually fruit in widely scattered groups.

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Yeah, a noob flash photo, but it’s kind of fun, right?

Technical Details

Platypod & Godox 685II with Magmod silicone flash diffuser off to the side triggered by Godox wireless remote on camera. Like this -

The flash itself is inside a water bottle holder so it won’t get wrecked on the ground. The silicone diffuser is perfect for this since it is so bendy and it just rinses clean.


Lightroom for initial processing which wasn’t much - basically to take down the background even more. Topaz Sharpen for some details.


Hi Kris, I think you did quite well with this image. The light is subtle but effective to show details and create the desired mood without having an overly flashed look. I like the composition and hint of a what’s lying behind the mushrooms but dark enough not to distract. Well done.

Thanks @Allen_Sparks - that’s encouraging. As mushroom season continues, I’ll experiment more. Did some stacking, too, yesterday, but that needs a continuous light so sometimes I used an LED panel.

I like how this looks, Kris. The light feels off to the side, even though it was on camera. Nicely done. I like the dark background too. Very nice.

Looks good Kris! You practice quite well! Your side lighting shows good detail without overwhelming the 'shrooms while still making everything else near black. I can’t wait to see more of your practice shots.

Kris, first of all, congratulations on your flash! I think you made a great choice, just from the looks of your setup. I have seen them on B&H and places like that.

You certainly managed the light very well, considering you haven’t owned one since the 1990’s for sure! I like this very well. Looking forward to more of your flash shots.

Looks to me like you got better at it right out of the gate! What an interesting specimen. I love the dark BG, dramatic camera angle and off-camera light with subtle diffusion.

Have you tried bouncing the light or shooting through a larger diffuser? Lots to play with!

Thanks @David_Bostock, @Shirley_Freeman, @Steve_Kennedy & @Diane_Miller - training wheels? I don’t need no training wheels. Lucky shot in some sense. The basics of flash photography are coming back to me, but TTL is new. Back in the day I used the power calculator on the back of all flashes and went from there. Then you set the flash head for the mm lens, the flash power for the aperture and then figure again if you’re using a bounce card or the ceiling. LOL. Crazy.

Oh and it was off camera as you can see in the sort of messy shot of my rig on the ground. The trigger is on camera. So far I only have the one diffuser, so no, I haven’t experimented with anything else. That was literally the maiden field voyage!

I really like this, Kris. The mushrooms kind of look like flowers. Very graceful and elegant. Nice effects with the flash.

Thanks @Vanessa_Hill - they are elegant in their way. Not super fresh ones, but still have some character.

Oh and thanks for the EP as well. :smiling_face:

Hi Kristen. I’ve never tried using a flash in a nature shot so it was very interesting to see your approach and final result. Thanks for sharing. I like how much separation there is between the background and the mushrooms. I feel that it would benefit from a small crop on the right side. The fading light at the bottom of the stems is a great touch.

Thanks @AndreDonawa - I’ve just picked up a flash this year and so it’s new to me as well in terms of digital photography. You don’t think it will be too centered if I do a right side crop?

Congratulations on the EP; wonderful image!

Thanks for sharing your technique too, that’s really cool.

Hi Kristen. I find cropping is such a subjective choice. At the end of the day I usually rely on my own personal feelings for the ‘ultimate’ decision and of course this can sometimes change after a few months. What helps me is if I look at the image at a small viewing size and try changing the background colour. I took this down to 33% in LR and changed the background to white. The cropped version seemed more balanced to me. It’s just a quick way to check and it doesn’t always work. You might have a different story that you are trying to tell. Either way I love the image.

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You are right about how we have an individual way of framing and cropping to suit what we like best. I like the crop and that you kept the stipes which are so delicate, but I think add to the overall feeling of fragility.

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