Strolling in the woods is more than just a peaceful activity for photographer Alison Pollack. It’s become her open-air photography studio as she cranes her neck to discover her next small subject, thanks to her obsession with fungus and Myxomycetes. Pollack creates creative photos of her subjects, which are typically only 1 or 2 millimeters tall, using focus stacking and macro photography. The end result is a series of beautiful pictures that delve into the realm of seldom seen mushrooms and slime molds.
Pollack is fascinated by the variety of mushrooms and myxomycetes, and spends time in the woods looking for new species to photograph. Pollack keeps an eye out for bright colors as she moves carefully. She locates her selected topic, examines it with a magnifying glass, and then starts to work.
Pollack tells My Modern Met, “The smaller the subjects are, the more interesting they are to me, and the more difficult they are to capture.” “I use an extreme macro lens, which has five times the magnification of a typical macro lens, for the extremely tiny ones, 1 to 2 millimeters tall and even smaller.” This lens is difficult to operate, but with skill and patience, you can produce extraordinarily detailed images that never cease to amaze.”
To work through this type of extreme macro photography, Pollack takes a series of photographs from different angles and then uses software to put together a crisp, detailed image by stacking different images. At times, this can require anywhere from 100 to 300 photographs, but the end result is well worth it. In Pollack’s photographs, these miniature treasures look like giants of the forest. With such rich detail, viewers are able to take in the incredible color and texture of organisms they may not have known existed.
In fact, some of Pollack’s joy in her profession stems from her ability to share the wonder of the forest with others. “I want everyone to see how incredible and lovely these small things are!” Many people are unfamiliar with Myxomycetes and are unaware that there are so many lovely little mushrooms. My objective is to capture them so that others may see the intricate beauty just beneath their feet as they stroll through the woods.”
Pollack keeps pushing herself both technically and creatively. She’s even started going to distant regions, such as Alaska and Colombia, in order to document new species. She is educating people and urging them to take a closer look at the world around them by investigating the richness of this mostly forgotten world, since little beings sometimes have the biggest personalities.
Alison Pollack enjoys photographing fungus and Myxomycetes in a creative manner.
Many of her subjects are only a few millimeters tall, necessitating extreme macro photography to fully depict them.
“Walking through a damp woodland reveals a fascinating world beneath your feet!”
Alison Pollack: Instagram