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Charcoal burner (Russula cyanoxantha)

Charcoal burner (Russula cyanoxantha)
Photo Information
Copyright: Niek Bouwen (SunToucher) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2385 W: 237 N: 3033] (11162)
Genre: Fungi
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-10-18
Categories: Fungi
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro, Tiffen 82mm UV
Exposure: f/11, 1/10 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Abstract Nature [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-10-20 6:12
Viewed: 6229
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I'v just returned from a mid-week vacation in the Belgium Ardennes. It was a wonderful short vacation, but not a good photography trip. I've only one or two more photos that I am pleased with. I think that the biggest reason of this failure is the fact that I do not know the location. Which causes me to wonder around without getting to the good spots. An other important reason is that I have huge difficulties in forest landscape photography. I somehow do not know how to get a good composition without making it too cluttered.

Anyway, on the last day, I went for a little stroll in the hill near our cabin. After a long search I finally found some fungi worth photographing. I saw a few before, but all were already decaying. The light conditions were perfect since the leaves filtered out most of it and left me with nice soft light to work with. I had major difficulties getting the several fungi in focus. It was a rather humid day, and my glasses and viewfinder fogged up quickly. This resulted in a badly focused photo of a very beautiful fungi...another shot ruined. But this one turned out good.

The Russula cyanoxantha, known as the Charcoal burner, is a mushroom, distinguished from most other members of the Russula genus by the fact that its gills do not split, but are soft and flexible. It is one of the most common Russula in Europe.

It is an edible mushroom. It was designated Mushroom of the Year in 1997 by the German Association of Mycology.

horia, pankajbajpai, fartash, mbasil, gracious, cicindela, cedryk, jrobertop, Silke, Jamesp, kjpweb, PDP has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To horia: Incomplete noteSunToucher 2 10-20 22:34
To PaulH: Incomplete noteSunToucher 1 10-20 10:04
To mbasil: Incomplete noteSunToucher 1 10-20 10:03
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-10-20 6:41]
  • [+]

Hi Niek

This is definitely not a ruined shot! And you know it, too...otherwise you wouldn't have posted it :)
It's actually one with a very interesting composition and one full of geometry and hidden details.
The the lovely curved line of the edge of the hood for example - its shape is great, but it is so due to those "V"s that make it so individual...unique; it also acta like a beautiful border line between the subject and the wonderful darker BG.
The under-part of the hood is also wonderful, with those almost parallel lines that go out of focus so soflty and nicely. The side light falls gently on them creating a superb 3D picture - full of lights and soft shades.
I would say this is a terrific POV for all that and the fact that you took it so close and didn't leave all of it in the frame makes it even better...it concentrates all the attention all these aspects.
Wonderful work, my friend!

Bravo and TFS

PS: i know exactly what you mean by the forest landscapes. with your eyes, you can isolate certain things so that they look individually beautiful, but when you take a shot, no matter ofthe DOF that you use...it's too cluttered. it happens to me too :(

hello niek,
nice shot, sharp image with good details, lovely natural colours, liked the pov, well composed shot, good lighting,
well done,
tfs & regards

Hello Niek
Very intersting funig shot with an usual POV,
Perafect details,DOF and exposure,Welldone.


Very creative look here, Niek. Interesting angle on a beautiful mushroom. The light is good, too. I don't see an issue with focus, this looks very crisp to me (especially what looks to be a bit of spider web in the "v"). But I agree that first trips are best for sightseeing, and only OK for photography, it's the return trips that usually make for the best photos.

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2007-10-20 9:27]
  • [+]

Hi Niek,
hope you had a good trip, nice to see the fruits of your labour. I really like the very Autumnal looking light here and the close crop really emphasises the detail you are trying to highlight. Excellent detail and clarity with a very good job on the exposure. T
o say this is ruined is a bit harsh on yourself, although i guess everybody is their own biggest critic.
(p.s, i can empathise with your glasses problem..i get it all the time)

Hello Niek,
Still a good close up shot of the Charcoal burner!
the exposure and focus is great with lots of details from the side view!
Thanks for the sharing and notes

Hallo Niek,

I can agree entirely what HORIA has written. In one word perfectly. Regards and TFS Bob

Wat Horia heeft geschreven is in een woord voor mij te vatten. "Klasse" Beter had ik het niet kunnen zeggen. Je hoeft toch niet altijd een kompleet beeld van iets te fotograferen om toch iets moois neer te kunnen zetten??? Nou, dat is nou precies wat jij gedaan hebt. Groeten en tot TFS Bob

Hi Niek!
Simple idea and great artistic effect! Composition is really good, and even if not a whole mushroom is in the focus it is really nice for lookig at! narrow POV and "ground" perspective!
Lovely photo and interesting note!
TFS and best greetings,

This is nice Niek. I like the colors a lot. The green and darks in the upper background set off your mushroom nicely. I like the crop you chose.

I completely agree with you about photographing in the woods. It gives me fits because that is what we have near where I live. It is hard to find simple shapes for a good composition. I have the best luck in fall when there is some dramatic color...otherwise it is just busy green on green on green.

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • cedryk Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 50 N: 1722] (5270)
  • [2007-10-20 15:48]

Hello Niek,
I've read your note with a great interest. In fact the shot is very nice, not ruined for sure. The composition is unusual and appealing. Good macro enables to examin the structure of the fungus. Light is also perfect.
Best greetings from Poland!

Hi Niek.
I liked this!
Interesting fungi.
Beautiful colors and format; original POV.
Congratulations for the excellent work!
Josť Roberto

Hello Niek,
The accurate framing makes a dynamic composition with good lines!
Fine details in the mushroom, and the colours are very attractive making it look delicious...
A pleasant feeling of depth in this fine composition!
pablo -

  • Great 
  • Silke Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 729 W: 98 N: 1707] (5458)
  • [2007-10-21 11:17]

Fabulous details and perfect composition in my favourite "vegetable." thanks to the lovely mushroom pictures and superb notes of TN members, I have started to experiment with mushrooms in cooking. I do buy them (I would not trust myself to hunt them) but I am loving the experiments

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2007-10-21 15:25]

Hi Niek

Just marking - back later.


  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-10-21 18:35]

Hello Niek

A very interesting viewpoint.The POV and DOF are very well done.The way you have cropped makes for a lovely composition.The details are sharp with very good details.The lighting is well handled and the colours are natural and bright.TFS


  • Great 
  • kjpweb Gold Star Critiquer [C: 326 W: 86 N: 1084] (4788)
  • [2007-10-21 18:43]

Very effective use of DOF! It pops out nicely! Well done! Cheers, Klaus

  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2007-10-28 15:18]

Hi Niek, nice shot. Nice tones and good details in the gills. I think I would be tempted to crop off the top and bottom and make a panoramic format. Well done!

Who would have thought that anyone would have a mushroom of the year catergory! Did it attend the prize ceremony? :-)

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