This year, fall kinda caught me off guard. I was in a light summer dress, chilling by the river, and all of a sudden: it’s October! I have to wear a jacket and boots, and days have become shorter and colder. It’s often rainy, cloudy and dull, and for many of us, taking photos is not the first thing that comes to mind in this weather. But there’s a way to spice up your photography even when the colorful leaves and the rare sunny days aren’t on your side.
Rainy, cloudy days are perfect for shooting glowing mushrooms, and in this video, Christian Möhrle will show you how. It’s simple and fun and it can give you some neat results.
In the video, Christian shares the process of both shooting and editing your photos of glowing mushrooms. For starters, you’ll need a flashlight (it can be the one on your phone), a camera, and something to put it on. You want to keep your camera low, so you can use a small tripod, or do DIY and use this “frying pan tripod.” Since you’ll need to take several photos of the same scene, it’s good to have a remote trigger so you don’t move the camera.
Okay, first find the mushrooms you want to shoot and set up your camera. Take the base shot without the lights first. Then, light-paint every mushroom with the flashlight and take a few more photos. Keep the flashlight as close to the mushroom as possible so that the light glows through it.
Christian starts by editing the base shot and the “glowing shots” in Lightroom and synchronizes the settings. Then, he opens these photos as layers in Photoshop so they’re stacked on top of each other.
Once the photos are opened in Photoshop, they may not be perfectly aligned if your camera moved a bit while you were taking photos. It shouldn’t be a problem if this happens: just select them all, go to Edit > Auto-Align Layers and click “OK.” From here on, you need to paint in the lights into the base image.
Add a layer mask to each “glowing image,” one by one. Click “Ctrl + I” to invert it, and then carefully paint in the glowing mushroom with a white brush. If you’ve ever created “levitation photos” in Photoshop, you’re familiar with the process, as the principle is very similar.
And there you have it: a great idea for photos to make you go out even on a gloomy, cloudy day. Even I will try it out, and it’s difficult to make me go out when it’s cold and rainy. : ) I’ll make sure to share my results, and if you decide to give it a shot, share your photos in the comments, too!
[How to Photograph & Edit Glowing Mushrooms | The Phlog Photography]
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