Mushroom Magic

Agorastos Papatsanis's Image

Agorastos Papatsanis (Greece) illuminates swirls of spores appearing to dance beneath the gills of a deer shield mushroom.

Intent on revealing the magic of spore dispersal, Agorastos set up umbrellas to minimise air flow, positioned a light and a reflector and angled his camera with a polarising filter to highlight this often-unseen action.

‘I wanted to share with people this unique, unknown way that mushrooms reproduce,’ Agorastos explains. ‘To reveal something not visible is very exciting and so this image has a very special meaning for me.’

This wood-rotting fungus most often emerges on the stumps and fallen branches of broad-leaved trees. Its streaked stalk - up to 15 millimetres in diameter - supports a cap that’s usually fawn coloured.

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
  • 105mm f2.8 lens
  • 1/320 at f45  •   ISO 250  •   Godox flash + trigger  •   reflector  •   Leofoto mini 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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