One of my most anticipated summer experiences is sighting my first chanterelle mushroom at “camp” (State of Maine-speak for a rustic cottage or cabin). Sometimes a chanterelle appears randomly along a path or lane in the woods, but most often these treasures require you to hunt a bit. With the right summer conditions (just warm and damp enough), I’ve discovered clutches of the flamboyantly-ruffled, golden-hued fungi poking through pine needles among ferns and native blueberries or snuggled up to the south facing sides of outbuildings. As I carefully harvest my prizes (chanterelles are one of the easier mushrooms to identify, but always consult with an experienced forager before eating wild foods) I experience a little thrill at this small achievement of self sufficiency and later a big thrill when I sauté them up!
My photo was taken on an northeast-facing covered porch which helped me achieve an evenly lit portrait. If you encounter contrasty light, which creates unattractive shadows or too-bright highlights, find a way to diffuse (soften by filtering) it. Photographers use lightweight frames stretched with translucent fabric placed between the subject and the sun or flash (diffusers). An improvised diffuser, at home, might be a gauzy curtain or sheet held up, out of the camera’s view, to filter strong light. Paying attention to good lighting can make a huge difference in getting aesthetically pleasing results.