TheAspenStand: Do Simple Subjects Trigger Your Greatest Creative Growth?

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Do Simple Subjects Trigger Your Greatest Creative Growth?

Variety is a wonderful thing. Of course, it's what makes life interesting. You've seen it written many ways but you know it because you are not like anyone else. You may have some similarities to others but that's probably minimal when you get into the depths of it. I love to look for what's different.

Just as some photographers favor humans over other subjects, I favor nature. I blame it on being an introvert but that's not a bad thing. And I do like to have a little fun with my subjects as you see Mr. Lego moving that large flat top white mushroom through the rugged pine straw and weed terrain.

Yes, mushrooms out in natural surroundings are one of my favorite photography subjects when I can find them in our high desert environment.

Several years after moving here I noticed the interesting variety of mushrooms while out walking during our rainy season, which we call monsoons here.

I've found quite a variety of mushrooms popping up out in the forest, meadows, and prairies where I walk the dogs. Some time back, I wrote a post titled "6 Captures Exposing The Low Down On Perspective" which shares photographs of a variety of mushrooms we saw that year during our walks.

I'm never one to shy away from crawling around on the ground to try for a better angle when getting a photograph. The dogs have a great time sniffing around and thankfully aren't interested in eating them which could become a problem.

I've walked the woods many years and never saw a true Amanita Muscaria mushroom. The photograph below was a chance finding. I happened to change direction after not seeing any mushrooms and caught a glimpse of the color from this one in the brown pine straw recently.

mushroom, amanita, amanita muscaria, orange, photography, fungus

The orange capped mushroom below was found on one of the first hikes many years ago when I started looking for mushrooms. I have this photograph framed and hanging as a print in our home. I also offer this photograph as a wrapped canvas seen below as one of the several products featuring this orange capped mushroom busting through rotted pine wood and pine straw in my online store. Click the image to check it out.
Colorful Mushroom Busting Through Canvas Print

Colorful Mushroom Busting Through Canvas Print

Several years ago we traveled through Alaska. There were so many mushrooms that I had to narrow down what I selected for this post. We live in a high desert so we don't see the lush green environment like we did there. This vibrant green moss covered tree stump with the mushrooms growing out of it was the top choice for this post.

moss, mushrooms, vegetation, green, nature, tree stump,

The last mushroom photograph I share because it turns out that I actually ate these. This is what I was told it was called and found in research as a Lobster mushroom. It's said to have that title since it looks like the color of a cooked lobster. We were at our neighbor's home once for dinner and she served these with a dipping sauce. They had the density of cauliflower without any crunch. I really worried about getting sick after trying them but there was no problem at all. Having been out mushroom hunting (for photographs only) I now know the areas where I'll find these popping out of the pine straw. 

What is your favorite photography subject?
Are you one to get on the ground or to climb up to get a better view from above for a different angle of a photo subject?

Leave a comment to let me know your thoughts on the post and answer the questions. 


  1. Hi Patricia,

    Interesting about the mushrooms! We had a lot last winter and spring because of the big storms we got (around 100 inches of rain). There were mushrooms EVERYWHERE! Well, not inside the house, thank goodness! But the front yard, the back yard, and in the potted plants, too.

    I went to a talk on mushrooms by Christian Schwarz -- he wrote Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast, and it was so fascinating. He talked about how certain trees support certain types of mushrooms. So you look for the trees first and then you'll find whatever variety of mushroom nearby. And there's an app called iNaturalist where you can report your findings as a Citizen Scientist. Pretty cool.

    I love your pictures!


    1. Hi Carol,
      I had no idea your area had that much rain. WOW!

      That's interesting to know how certain trees support certain types of mushrooms. We're in a densely populated Ponderosa pine area and when we go to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon with a lot of Quaking Aspens we have not seen Lobster mushrooms BUT they might be out there. One year camping up there a large group of people were hunting and picking mushrooms for canning. When we walked past their camp they already had many in jars and others laid out on drying trays.

      iNaturalist sounds like an interesting app. I've heard there is one like that for wildflowers to help identify what you are looking at via the photograph you take. It was only in French at the time I read about it.
      Thank you so much for stopping by to check out the post and add an interesting comment.


Comments from visitors put perspective on my work. Let me know your thoughts about the post. Thanks.