Australian photographer Steve Axford sheds colorful light on the marvelous micro world of mushrooms and other fabulous fungi, capturing vibrant details of jellylike Slime Mold and crusty Lichen through his photos.
The arrays and ranges of colors, shapes, and sizes reflected in Axford’s Fungi – the recyclers portfolio displays the dynamic and diverse species that can be found across the world. While his photos capture odd and curious organisms, Axford may just be tapping into the surface of the fungi universe. A study based on the American Journal of Botany suggests that as many as 5.1 million fungal species may currently exist, so some of the species Axford encounters may very likely be currently unknown to science and documented for the first time.
Much of Axford’s photography is taken while working to restore the natural rainforest habitation of his residence in New South Wales. However, he has also travelled to Xishuangbanna in China, Chiang Mai in Thailand, and the Tarkine region of Tasmania, amongst many other exotic destinations to capture intriguing fungus, bacteria, and other natural growths. His upcoming work will take him to Moscow, Russia, and Yunnan China. He has also begun to film time-lapse videos of fungi growth, which will appear on the BBC series “Planet Earth II” later this year, amongst several other productions.
As indicated on his Facebook page, Axford’s fascination with fungi can be considered a fetish. “My photography has been my avenue into the natural world as it slows me down and allows me to look at things more closely. I try to combine the beauty I see with scientific accuracy, so most of my photos could be used to identify things and will show the fine detail.”
Axford’s photographs also extend beyond intriguing micro-growths, to a variety of subjects including volcanoes, travel, people, wildlife and rainforests. His full portfolio can be viewed on his website.
All images via Steve Axford.