Soft Focus and colour contrast

With some hesitation, because of the low light and weather conditions I decided to go ‘mushroom hunting’. Like yesterday there was a lot of wind. The ground was very wet and the temperature was mild, a good combination for mushrooms to grow.
Local people say that when we have a full moon mushrooms grow best ?!

I found what I was looking for, some very small Bonnets and one of my favorite mushrooms the Amethyst Deceiver. Because of the wind I decided to try out some different Soft Focus shots with color contrast. Not an easy task when everything blows away around you. A stable underground is a must, so I set my tripod very low to the ground and my little silver reflector screen provided the mushrooms with enough light. Because of the overcast day the colors gave a nice clear contrast.

I like to play with the point of focus in the image frame. In this image I focused on the tiny little mushroom with a small fly on it.

Look for more mushroom images in my Mushroom and Fungi gallery.

Special Winter Photography Tour

Special Winter Photography Tour
featuring Photographers Jeroen Stel and Kristel Schneider
Winter, maybe the most thrilling and challenging photography season. Rough weather conditions combine with beautiful light, high key landscapes and close-ups.

In the winter season, and if Mother Nature allows it, the French spectacular volcano chain in Auvergne wraps in a white blanket of snow. Ideal for all nature lovers, the scenery looks different every day. For us, photographers, winter offers never-ending opportunities to try out a wide variety of landscape shots as light becomes magical at that time of the year.

‘It will be a unique photography experience, as we will travel on snow rackets and dog sleds in the heart of the beautiful Auvergne volcanic countryside’ – Kristel

Read more…

Horsetail plants

Horsetail Plants
by Kristel Schneider

One of my favourite places in  Auvergne is the Massif du Cézallier. An open area with lots of  different landscapes.  There are volcano lakes, little brooks and wetlands. The amount of different wild plants that grow there is enormous.

Driving up to the Cézallier   always means new discovery to me. This can be a plant I have never seen or a certain  light that appears in front of my eyes  because of the fast changing weather conditions.

The last time I was there, the weather was not that great. But along a little lake there were these nice Horsetail plants in bloom.

I decided to spend some time with them  and try to get some different angle and background shots. My eyes were constantly pulled towards the  white blooming bud with the brown little patches on it, so fantastic to look at.

The wind provided me with  the background I wanted, just a little bit of movement to get rid of the static look of the stem. I definitely will go back there to get some more detail shots of the stem and try to get a nice back-light shots, but that is for later.

The images on this page were all taken with a 5DMII Canon body in combination with a 150mm Sigma Macro lens .

Marsh Horsetail
Equisetum palustre

Horsetails (Equisetaceae) are perennial, ornamental plants that grow from creeping rhizomes. They look like miniature bamboos because of their single hollow, jointed stem with bristle-like branches. During prehistoric times, they grew as large trees.

Food in Nature – workshop

Food in Nature – Workshop
by Kristel Schneider

The nice thing about organizing one-on-one workshops  is that you sometimes get funny or unusual requests from your participants.  And yesterday I had to organise a workshop with one of those special requests for a private photography workshop. The participant was a cook and wanted to take images of  Food in Nature.

After looking on the net and into my own cooking books I thought this was not going to be an easy task.  But I liked the request so I agreed to organize this workshop and the date was set for yesterday.  A whole new concept for me, normally I walk in nature and drive around to look for some different sceneries whereas yesterday I had to wait while the cook was ready with some kind of dessert or other dish so that we could place the subject on an old moss-covered tree trunk , in high grass or just in the vegetable garden.


I can tell you that food photography is not the same as taking images of wild mushrooms or  landscapes.  Personally I like images that are a bit abstract or with movement but with food you still have to see what is presented. So in the end also it was a learning process for me and although I didn’t have the time to shoot images for my own archive I took some snapshots with my 300mm to give you an idea of what we did with two little fruit pastries.

Now, if you think you also have a nice idea for a private photography one-on-one workshop feel free to contact me so that we can discuss the possibilities.  Click here

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