Fungi timelapse photography by Planet Earth II’s Steve Axford 🍄📷

Dave in an endangered rainforest the hunt is on for elusive species hidden in leaf litter and rotting logs one of the world’s best-known funghi photographers is at work I gradually became fascinated with fungus because really they’re just so cool you find them and these just wonderful colors and wonderful shapes and they’re so transitory Stephen Axford first became interested in this artform ten years ago his stunning images of mushrooms have captivated millions of people all over the world and especially a passionate funghi scientist in Melbourne funghi a mega diverse there’s a million species at least on the planet maybe a lot more most of which haven’t been cataloged and described and so there’s a lot of basic discovery to be done but there’s also a lot of misunderstanding about fungi and so what Steve’s doing in by capturing the fungi in the field he’s alerting people to the fact that there are these funny out there in the forest and he’s also showing them in nature doing their stuff so finally of breaking down wood they’re forming symbiotic partnerships with trees and so he’s helping people value what we’re doing I know people who have traveled halfway across the world just to find one I think one of the secrets to Axford success is where he lived towards this the rainforests of the New South Wales north coast are an international hotspot for fungi yet very little is known about the species of fungi that can be found here Axford is passionate about finding out more isn’t he cute it’s a little blue light bulb when I first started coming out here virtually every time I came out I’d find something that hadn’t been documented before and one of my favorites was the blue truffle we call it when Axford found this unusual mushroom he sent specimens to dr. Tom May at the herbarium in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne well it was completely new species that I’d never seen before the color was just extraordinary I never seen anything like it scientists who study fungi much as we would like to be in the in the bush the whole time we can’t be out there all the time collecting so all taxonomy to work on fungi are relying on collections made by field naturalists both recently and in the past in the 19th century field naturalist made huge contributions collecting plants or as Australia for people like Baron von Walla and really for funghi worth dealing that age of discovery it’s still hundreds thousands of species out there waiting to be discovered so anyone around Australia who spends a bit of time the bush has a chance of coming across things and finding new species today’s technology has given Axford the tools to take this tradition to a whole new level this is a shipping container which Axford fondly calls his Hungarian in it is a studio for doing time lapses of fungi well it all started with an ABC open project time lapse and I thought about doing time-lapse of clouds and landscapes and things like that but then I thought why not hungers and I had a spare shower which I thought the fungus would grow quite well in so I could bring logs in and put them in the shower and the fungus would grow and I could take time-lapse and things have just grown from there I was just blown away when I saw the time lapses initially because funghi are very static it’s quite hard to make a funky exciting apart from the color and the form so as soon as I saw that time lapse of the fungus growing up shriveling back down again tar needle insects wandering along the running up taking a nibble coming back down again if just see it in the field you don’t notice that and also because he’s so close in it you know there’s a tiny tiny funding in the insects that just even even my neuter it’s like it’s all blown up there with movement so it’s a completely new way of seeing fungi in nature fungi unlike punch thrive in the darkness of the forest floor then the BBC came calling Axford received an invitation from the producers of Planet Earth to to provide the fungi time-lapses for their new David Attenborough documentary I never would have imagined that my photography would end up on a series that is so high-profile but this one as he grows becomes luminous and they have David Attenborough with the voice-over on you you

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