Fungi Fine Art Prints for Sale by Artist C Ribet 03

Mushroom Art for Sale by Artist C Ribet

Visit the online gallery to browse Mushroom Artwork for sale as fine art prints, photo prints, greeting cards, canvas prints and other artwork presentation formats ready to hang gallery style.

Mushroom kingdom. Fungus kingdom. Fungi kingdom. Mushrooms, fungi! What's the difference? The words fungus and mushroom or fungi and mushrooms are often freely substituted for one another. Fungi kingdom is mushroom kingdom and likewise mushroom kingdom is fungi kingdom. Common usage often doesn't really distinguish much between the two terms mushroom and fungi, but there is a difference. Properly speaking a mushroom is a fruitbody of a fungus. When you inspect a wild mushroom or a troop of wild mushrooms, you may never see the underlying fungus at all. It may be hidden under the soil or concealed out of sight inside the bark of a tree or stump from which the mushrooms spring forth. Without the fungus, there would be no mushrooms at all. The fungus multiplies when the mushroom releases spores which land in a nourishing spot and germinate.


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One of the wild Mushroom Art Prints for sale by artist C Ribet at the C Ribet Zenfolio gallery section devoted to Mushroom Art and Fungi Photos. Click on the Mushroom art photograph above to be transported to the gallery section on Mushroom and Fungi artwork. Visit the online gallery to browse Mushroom Artwork for sale as fine art prints, photo prints, greeting cards, canvas prints and other artwork presentation formats ready to hang gallery style.

Many things which some might view as hassles are in fact what make the process of stalking mushrooms for fungi watercolor art appealing, while other difficulties and technical problems are and always will be just simple drudgery and trouble. There is a certain practical challenge involved in squirming into a moldy patch of forest debris while chasing the perfect angle on a little mycena, but being up close in the natural environment of that mushroom is its own reward too. While that may be true, as soon as it comes time to change a camera lens, the drudgery and trouble appears in force. When you are out hunting pictures of mushrooms, not only is there often plenty of mud, dust and debris, but there are always lots of fungus spores on the ground and stirred up into the air. It's like a macroscopic encounter with quantum mechanics - because the act of capturing the mushrooms photograph sets the state of the subject. Unfortunately, the fungus spores would like nothing better than to settle inside a camera body or inside the bellows of a lens mechanism.

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Visit the online gallery to browse Mushroom Artwork for sale as fine art prints, photo prints, greeting cards, canvas prints and other artwork presentation formats ready to hang gallery style. While not the case for mushroom art prints, for the purpose of mushroom identification and mycology studies, it is perfectly acceptable and in many circumstances absolutely essential to pick the mushroom. If the mushroom is growing so that the gills are not visible, or if one needs to take a spore print, or if one needs to examine the base of the mushroom stem to determine if it is tapered or bulbous, one often can't do any of that satisfactorily without picking the mushroom. For a mushroom photograph to adequately present a subject for safe mushroom identification (which you certainly want if you are out mushroom picking), it should show clearly every feature of the mushroom. How does a mushroom photograph show the top and the bottom of a mushroom, from cap to base of stem, if the there wasn't at least a little mushroom picking in the photographic process! 

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There is no question that from a purely mechanical and practical standpoint, mushroom picking can make mushroom photography a technically much easier process. However, in addition to physically disturbing the delicate natural features of the mushroom's natural micro-environment, and risking inflicting physical damage upon the mushroom itself, mushroom picking disrupts the scene's natural composition. Most frequently, the natural elements present in the surroundings of a mushroom are what draw me to that particular mushroom in the first place for mushroom art prints. It may be because the natural light conditions are highlighting the mushroom. A ray of sunlight may be filtered and cut by surrounding trees to spotlight a lone mushroom, for example. A mushroom troop may be back-lit against the sky. These moments are often fleeting, and often come when the sun is low on the horizon and moving quickly to dusk. Visit the online gallery to browse Mushroom Artwork for sale as fine art prints, photo prints, greeting cards, canvas prints and other artwork presentation formats ready to hang gallery style.

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One of the wild Mushroom Art Prints for sale by artist C Ribet at the C Ribet Zenfolio gallery section devoted to Mushroom Art and Fungi Photos. Click on the Mushroom art photograph above to be transported to the gallery section on Mushroom and Fungi artwork. 

I do not intend my mushroom art photographs and prints to be used for mushroom identification, and, although I am often tempted, I do not indulge in mushroom picking. In the final mushroom art print, I want to present an interpretation of the mushroom which reflects the state and environment in which I found it. This is impossible to achieve after mushroom picking for many reasons. Obviously, after mushroom picking, the mushroom is not in the environment any longer, but for many mushrooms even from the very moment of picking, the mushroom itself rapidly begins to change, spores are lost, delicate veils fall off and change shape, colors degrade (sometimes instantaneously). Even minor things change, which might be a part of a mushroom art print 'scene composition', for example, the colorful mites and flies (sometimes a blessing, often a curse) will often depart after mushroom picking. The subtle and delicate natural spore prints on the surrounding groundcovers are disturbed or completely lost after mushroom picking. In contrast to the 'invasive' nature of mushroom photography for the purposes of mycology studies and mushroom identification, mushroom photography for the purpose of creating pictures of mushrooms for making mushroom art prints is quite the opposite. Visit the online gallery to browse Mushroom Artwork for sale as fine art prints, photo prints, greeting cards, canvas prints and other artwork presentation formats ready to hang gallery style.

Fungi Fine Art Prints for Sale by Artist C Ribet 06

Visit the online gallery to browse Mushroom Artwork for sale as fine art prints, photo prints, greeting cards, canvas prints and other artwork presentation formats ready to hang gallery style.

Why is it that taking pictures of mushrooms presents a special challenge for someone wanting to make mushroom watercolor giclee art from these images? Well, it is a mix of technical, personal, and practical reasons. Many of these challenges are unique to fungi art photography (although one might imagine many are also shared by the mold photographer...). Happily, the end goal of creating the final piece of fungi art makes it all worthwhile, and luckily some "special challenges" are in fact part of the fun! 

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Sometimes it is best to use the scene's natural light, although this kind of low light photography (particularly under a dense forest canopy) can be difficult. Sometimes it is beneficial to augment natural lighting conditions with a remote flash or a macro flash to complement (or even overcome) the natural lighting and make the perfect art print. Whatever the technical details of lighting to get the pictues of mushrooms, the original natural scene composition which drew me at first glance is virtually always the scene which I will try to capture in the mushroom photographs destined to become fine art giclee mushroom fine art prints. Visit the online gallery to browse Mushroom Artwork for sale as fine art prints, photo prints, greeting cards, canvas prints and other artwork presentation formats ready to hang gallery style.

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One of the wild Mushroom Art Prints for sale by artist C Ribet at the C Ribet Zenfolio gallery section devoted to Mushroom Art and Fungi Photos. Click on the Mushroom art photograph above to be transported to the gallery section on Mushroom and Fungi artwork. 

My mushroom photography for my mushroom art prints is most often not so much mycological photography of the mushrooms themselves as it is photography of the mushroom micro-environment and the surroundings there. Each mushroom photograph uses a mushroom as either the emotional focus or the primary visual focus of the print, but the mushroom itself may be not of much use to a mycology expert. In some cases, the mushroom is a very small feature of the overall image presented in the ultimate mushroom art print, for example, in the two giclees shown at Gallery California, Mute Ovation and Impasse. In Mute Ovation the little mushroom is clearly the emotional focus of the print, but it is far from the dominating feature of the print. On the other hand, in Impasse, one might say the small band of adventuring mushrooms are the dominating feature, but they are nonetheless diminutive and tiny against the dramatic backdrop of their environment. Visit the online gallery to browse Mushroom Artwork for sale as fine art prints, photo prints, greeting cards, canvas prints and other artwork presentation formats ready to hang gallery style.

© C Ribet 2013