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I am not a professional photographer, just an amateur trying to improve my shots as I go. The way I go about it, I try to do dozens of shots of the same stuff, and later on pick the better ones (I am sure everyone does something similar). So I reduce or increase flash output, and move the “crosshairs” around the target, to account for different colors/darkness of the parts of the target. I don’t really know ahead of the time which ones will succeed and which one not – just the flash settings in the camera are mind-boggling and overwhelming :-) If I use adjustable lenses, I try to stand back and zoom in instead of being close – I find it easier that way to control negative effects from flash. With fixed Macro lenses, I don’t have that choice and have to just play around with angles and intensity and where I point it. Of course I do some post processing, but I don’t own any tools like Photoshop or the like, just free Picasa tool. So I mostly either increase or decrease brightness of the picture (for example if I stood too far back, I may not have enough brightness). I also do cropping using the same tool – there is not much more available in Picasa, except for a bunch of some freak effects that I don’t use of course. I used to need to apply some warming effects, because my point-and-shoot tended to add blue in darker forest-floor environments, but it’s not the case anymore with my current camera. That said, if you’re a professional, you can find ample flaws in my photos.
Can I ask about what you did technically to get this shot? That the white in the center of the picture shows up so well – but then you got no glare off the shiny much darker cap of the mushroom looks to me to be an remarkable achievment. These pictures are always hard for me to get when there is a big contrast between the very light and very dark areas. Any post processing? Thanks.