The magical morels

Agorastos Papatsanis's Image

Agorastos Papatsanis (Greece) composes a fairy tale scene in the forests of Mount Olympus.

Agorastos wanted to create a magical scene, capturing these fungi in a fairy-tale setting. He waited for the sunshine to filter through the trees and light the water in the background, and then used a wide-angle lens and flashes to highlight the labyrinthine forms of the morels.
Fruiting for only a few days each spring and very difficult to cultivate, morels are regarded as gastronomic treasures in many parts of the world. However, in some forests, like this one in Greece, they flourish naturally.

Various species of morels are found throughout northern temperate regions. They are typically characterised by their distinctive honeycomb caps, which has pits within which spores are produced. Some morel species fruit prolifically after forest fires, whereas others are associated with particular trees, both evergreen and deciduous.

Roz Kidman Cox, Chair of the judging panel, writer and editor said, 'The morels are the stars of this photo, their strange spore-bearing honeycomb heads emerging out of the old leaf litter, but the magic comes from catching the moment when the Sun illuminates the backdrop of pool and waterfall and highlights the yellow-green of new spring growth'.

Behind the lens

Agorastos Papatsanis

Agorastos Papatsanis


Agorastos is a professional photographer based in Thessaloniki in northern Greece. He’s won numerous awards in major photographic competitions, including European Nature Photographer of the Year, Asferico, Big Picture and MontPhoto. His photographs have also been published in National Geographic.

Image details

  • Nikon D810
  • Laowa 15mm f4 lens
  • 0.8 sec at f20  •   ISO 200  •   2x Godox V1-N flashes  •   Godox XPro-N wireless trigger  •   Leofoto tripod
  • Mount Olympus, Pieria, Greece
Copyright in WPY competition photographs remains the property of the respective photographers. You may not copy, share, reproduce or republish the photographs except as expressly permitted by copyright law. For media image usage enquiries, please contact us.

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