A few weeks ago I went for a walk in Waiopehu Scenic Reserve in Levin:
This quiet and peaceful spot is just five minutes drive from central Levin. The area has picnic tables, a meandering stream and a number of native bush walks suitable for all ages. The remnant native podocarp forest has some large old Rimu trees. This land was proclaimed as a scenic reserve in 1913-15 after previously being set aside as a waterworks reserve. In earlier times, this land was a refuge for the Muaupoko tribe with the Koputaroa stream providing water and an abundance of eels and kakahi shellfish.
It’s a flat walk, dim and a bit damp and cool, so several fallen, rotting logs have masses of fungi attached to them.
I took various photos with both my iPhone and my Fujifilm XM-1 camera, but all were absolutely useless, I found when I got home. I’d been too close, or the photos were too dark, or there was some other problem. I thought I should go back sometime with a tripod and a bit more time to mess around. I also briefly considered getting a macro lens for the Fuji, but when I saw how expensive they were I decided that wasn’t a priority.
I thought about including one of those
no good photos here for comparison, but truly, they’re all just too terrible.
Yesterday I ended up back at Waiopehu Reserve with the new point and shoot camera I bought specifically to use underwater on an upcoming mid-winter holiday. The Olympus TG-870 has a Super Macro mode which allows the camera to be placed as little as 1 cm from the subject. It’s also possible to switch on a small LED light to illuminate the subject, and the tilting LCD makes it possible to see what you’re doing.
I took a bunch of handheld photos of fungi and am extremely happy with the results. I would definitely super macro again.