Two-day special workshop on Fungi Photography by Mr. Stephen Axford and Ms. Catherine Marciniak 31 st August-1 st September, 2019

Highlights of the Event:

> The EH Naturenomics™ School had coordinated a unique workshop on Fungi Photography, with celebrated international photographer Mr. Stephen Axford and Australian videographer Ms. Catherine Marciniak.

> The objective of the programme was to train participants in the specialised area of macro photography of fungi.

Mr. Stephen Axford and Ms. Catherine Marciniak are volunteer trainers for the international scientific research and community education, raising awareness about the role that fungi plays in life on the planet through their mentoring skills in photography and videography. Mr. Axford has an international reputation as a specialist in nature photography with a particular passion in macro fungi photography. He also has a unique expertise in time- lapse photography of fungi. His photographs have appeared on international websites and in international books and magazines, including: Nat Geo Magazine, the 2014 IUCN ‘Red List of Threatened Species’, the Daily Mail UK, etc., while his fungi time-lapses were featured in the BBC Planet Earth 2 blue chip natural science documentary, etc. Ms. Marciniak is a renowned ABC (Australia) Features Reporter, with a 30 year old background as a master cinematographer and director.

The Eastern Himalayan Naturenomics™ School had organised a unique 2-day workshop on Fungi Photography, mentored by Mr. Axford and Ms. Marciniak. A total of 20 people had partaken in the workshop. On the first day, the participants were taken through a brief profile on the mentors before being inducted into the programme. Mr. Axford and Ms. Marciniak had begun the session with a presentation on the basic concepts of fungi, their various parts, toxicity, etc. This was followed by a number of videos which had documented their various field trips across the world and the north-eastern states of India in particular, covering their interviews with scientists and local people about particular species, information on toxicity, etc. Among the techniques of photography, they emphasized mainly on focussed stacking, single shots, time lapse, use of ISO, aperture, etc. The participants were then asked to exercise their photography on studio set-ups and props representing micro ecosystems inside the classroom. On the second day, the participants were taught about macro photography of fungi, insect, reptiles, amphibians, etc. After the theoretical session, participants were asked to step out and put their lessons to test. Each participant was then asked to submit 3 un-filtered photographs, which were evaluated in an interactive session on post-production techniques. The programme had ended with distribution of certificates to all participants.

Impacts of the event:

> The workshop was conducted as a beginner’s guide to fungi photography where the basic concepts of fungi and techniques of macro photography were taught.

> The programme hopes to have encouraged an awareness and enthusiasm toward fungi photography among the participants.