Little Red Mushroom

I almost blew over this little red mushroom while clearing off the driveway and yard with the leaf-blower: This Red Mushroom Was Hiding In The Yard

I'm glad I didn't because I think I got a good image of it, although what you see is slightly "manufactured". Let me explain.

Inspiration and Information

I found this fungus (I think it's a mushroom but then again I'm no expert) while using the leaf blower to clear off all the pine straw that was covering the driveway. It was hiding under some leaves/pine straw and I nearly blew it apart but caught myself before I caused any damage. As soon as I saw it I knew I had to photograph it because the color caught my eye. I put down the leaf blower and went into the house to get the T3i, the 50-250 kit zoom lens and the tripod. My plan was to do as much of a Macro shot as I could given the equipment I had. I was also interested in creating some bokeh if at all possible.

When I got back to the mushroom I quickly figured out that in order to get a decent shot I'd have to adjust things a bit. I had to trim some of the grass in front of the mushroom as well as clean up the area around it so that there wouldn't be as much stray stuff in the shot. I also had to place the pine cone in the background in order to get some detail that could be "bokeh-ized". I set up the camera on the tripod and zoomed all the way in to the 250mm setting. At this zoom the minimum focusing distance was around 3 feet so I had to play around with the tripod location to get things in focus. When I got things lined up I took about 10 shots at different focal lengths and meter settings and ended up with what you see. The focal length of 214mm with the "wide open" aperture of 5.6 gave a decent bokeh of the pine cone in the background. I also got some decent detail in the mushroom itself.

While this image isn't a true Macro shot, it is decent. I've been considering the purchase of a real Macro lens because I'm interested in photographing smaller items. I'm considering the Tamron 90mm version as I've heard it has good reviews.