CAMERA CLUB: Angi’s efforts reap just reward

Putting in effort reaps results. Northumberland Camera Club member, Angi Wallace, just won the Plant and Fungi Photographer of the Year with the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers (SWPP).

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 12:00 am
Anji's award-winning photograph.

You will agree with me that it’s a fantastic image and Angi deserves the award not only for the quality of the splendid image but for her hard work capturing it. Anji posted about her achievement in the Northumberland Camera Club Facebook group (www.bit.ly/PicNland) and afterwards we spoke about her adventure into the local forest to get this excellent photo.

“I’m over the moon.” Angi said. “It was actually a lot of work getting this shot. Travelling into woods on a mobility scooter, it was a nightmare getting to the spot. I took a mat to lie down on and LED light panels which I had to prop up using various sticks due to the lay of the land surrounding it.

“It was a battle to stop glare on the cap, being a slimy mushroom (a blue roundhead), despite using a polarising filter to help reduce the reflection. I then had to clean the mushroom stem with a tiny soft brush to remove specks of dirt as well as distracting leaves and vegetation from the surrounding area.” Angi then set up her camera on a mini tripod with a ball head. “It was still difficult getting in the right position due to a slope and the fact that the tripod is a fixed size. I used my Sony A7ii plus a Sigma 150 macro lens and adapter. I had to manually focus using peak focusing as it was dark in the woods. Using ISO 50 to keep noise to a minimum, and f/10 to get the whole mushroom in focus yet still get bokeh from trees, this gave me a shutter of 1/13 second. Using a shutter release cable to avoid any movement, I had one LED light balanced but had to handhold a second in place due to awkward location.” This isn’t Angi’s first accolade. She also received third place image from the International Garden Photographer of the Year just over a week ago.

Anji lives in North Shields. “I have enjoyed photography for about 30 years, although only delved into it properly in the last 15 years after being given a camera.”

Although loving landscape and portrait photography, she thinks her main passion is capturing close-up and macro images. Her subjects are anything from flowers, fungi and insects to abstracts. “I love nature and visit a local nature reserve, The Rising Sun Country Park, as often as I can with my partner, Michael, who also enjoys photography. While he pursues wildlife to photograph, I look for plants, mushrooms and insects. “

One of the great things about photography is the community spirit and Anji collaborates with other photographers who help each other find subjects to shoot. “There are a group of us visiting the park, some daily, who look for different species of mushrooms, amongst other plant and wildlife. We share our findings with each other to help us all see more as well as having a record of what is in the park.” Great work, Anji