Macrophotography / Microphotography of Lichen; 67 Macrophotographic Images of Lichen

By clicking on this picture and viewing the larger image, you will be observing a truly magical image of nature at it's finest!
By clicking on this picture and viewing the larger image, you will be observing a truly magical image of nature at it's finest! | Source
By clicking on the picture and viewing the larger image, you are able to observe strands of what appears to be spider webs.
By clicking on the picture and viewing the larger image, you are able to observe strands of what appears to be spider webs. | Source


Through the macrophotography of lichen, we will journey into a magical kingdom that the woodland fairies secretly inhabit. We will be viewing their world much closer than usual and will be intrigued by the beauty that continuously lays at their feet. Macrophotography makes this possible for us mere humans.


Layers of this colorful lichen would create a fabulous gown for the fairy queen.
Layers of this colorful lichen would create a fabulous gown for the fairy queen. | Source
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You will journey through a world padded with the color and texture of lichen. You will be able to view this world up close and personal through the magic of macrophotography which brings tiny details into amazing focus.


Lichen is a very interesting subject - not quite fungus and not quite algae. Instead, the two organisms are layered together in a symbiotic relationship that benefits both.


Macrophotography will allow you to discover remarkable features about the lichen that you would not otherwise have been able to see with the naked eye. And you can take as long as you want searching for a fairy who might have been caught peering out just as the photography snapped the shot.


So come and take a magical journey through the macrophotographic world of the intriguing lichen.


(Note: Clicking on most images will allow you to view a larger version of that image.)


Click thumbnail to view full-size
A green algae and a lichen fungi that have come together to form a lichen. This lichen is .2" (5mm) long. There are so many different textures and colors in this tiny space.Notice the different textures, the ruffled edges and even the small variance of color.Lichen on a Rock - Doesn't it look dry and parched - almost like dry cracked soil.The small red fungi is Fruticose Lichen.The colors -from gray to gold - and the textures of these different lichen is beautiful.Layers of different types of lichen create a very interesting look.Notice the smoothness of the lichen. It's beauty has been enhanced by its ruffled edges. This could create a wonderful fairy skirt.Lichen will grow on stone and on a wooden branch, but the varying environments creates a different lichen form.This lichen creates a magical world of golden beauty as the lichen reaches and ruffles out.
A green algae and a lichen fungi that have come together to form a lichen.
A green algae and a lichen fungi that have come together to form a lichen. | Source
This lichen is .2" (5mm) long. There are so many different textures and colors in this tiny space.
This lichen is .2" (5mm) long. There are so many different textures and colors in this tiny space. | Source
Notice the different textures, the ruffled edges and even the small variance of color.
Notice the different textures, the ruffled edges and even the small variance of color. | Source
Lichen on a Rock - Doesn't it look dry and parched - almost like dry cracked soil.
Lichen on a Rock - Doesn't it look dry and parched - almost like dry cracked soil. | Source
The small red fungi is Fruticose Lichen.
The small red fungi is Fruticose Lichen. | Source
The colors -from gray to gold - and the textures of these different lichen is beautiful.
The colors -from gray to gold - and the textures of these different lichen is beautiful. | Source
Layers of different types of lichen create a very interesting look.
Layers of different types of lichen create a very interesting look. | Source
Notice the smoothness of the lichen. It's beauty has been enhanced by its ruffled edges. This could create a wonderful fairy skirt.
Notice the smoothness of the lichen. It's beauty has been enhanced by its ruffled edges. This could create a wonderful fairy skirt. | Source
Lichen will grow on stone and on a wooden branch, but the varying environments creates a different lichen form.
Lichen will grow on stone and on a wooden branch, but the varying environments creates a different lichen form. | Source
This lichen creates a magical world of golden beauty as the lichen reaches and ruffles out.
This lichen creates a magical world of golden beauty as the lichen reaches and ruffles out. | Source
These lichen appear frosty although they are not. Notice all the different textures including the hairy stems.
These lichen appear frosty although they are not. Notice all the different textures including the hairy stems. | Source
The lichen seems to stand proudly erect as if guarding the entrance to a kingdom just out of sight. A truly magical sight.
The lichen seems to stand proudly erect as if guarding the entrance to a kingdom just out of sight. A truly magical sight. | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
These two lichen seem to be in a battle for territory.This lichen appears to hold small cups filled with a fragrant burgundy wine.The beauty of this lichen goes beyond its delicate appearance, frilly shape and muted variations in color. Its beauty is further enhanced by its unusual veined texture.The very tips of this lichen appear to emit a small red glow.Look closely at the delicate nature of this lichen and the spider webs that share its space.A gray lichen with black fruiting bodies, Porpida cineroatra or Lecidella elaeochroma. Cladonia coccifera - a lichen that is trumpet-shaped.Cladonia cocciferaCladonia grayi -  anyone ready for golf?Mother nature has provided  her version of the abstract painting through the use of various colors of lichen.
These two lichen seem to be in a battle for territory.
These two lichen seem to be in a battle for territory. | Source
This lichen appears to hold small cups filled with a fragrant burgundy wine.
This lichen appears to hold small cups filled with a fragrant burgundy wine. | Source
The beauty of this lichen goes beyond its delicate appearance, frilly shape and muted variations in color. Its beauty is further enhanced by its unusual veined texture.
The beauty of this lichen goes beyond its delicate appearance, frilly shape and muted variations in color. Its beauty is further enhanced by its unusual veined texture. | Source
The very tips of this lichen appear to emit a small red glow.
The very tips of this lichen appear to emit a small red glow. | Source
Look closely at the delicate nature of this lichen and the spider webs that share its space.
Look closely at the delicate nature of this lichen and the spider webs that share its space. | Source
A gray lichen with black fruiting bodies, Porpida cineroatra or Lecidella elaeochroma.
A gray lichen with black fruiting bodies, Porpida cineroatra or Lecidella elaeochroma. | Source
Cladonia coccifera - a lichen that is trumpet-shaped.
Cladonia coccifera - a lichen that is trumpet-shaped. | Source
Cladonia coccifera
Cladonia coccifera | Source
Cladonia grayi -  anyone ready for golf?
Cladonia grayi - anyone ready for golf? | Source
Mother nature has provided  her version of the abstract painting through the use of various colors of lichen.
Mother nature has provided her version of the abstract painting through the use of various colors of lichen. | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
This lichen has a very interesting growth pattern.
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This lichen has a very interesting growth pattern.
This lichen has a very interesting growth pattern. | Source
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Click thumbnail to view full-size
Notice the wonderful textures of this lichen and the blue color on parts of it.This lichen looks almost like the needles of a cedar tree.Notice the water drops hanging from this white lichen in New Zealand. An unusual green lichen.A gray lichen with black fruiting bodies,  Porpida cineroatra or Lecidella elaeochroma. Also predominant is Rhizocarpon geographicum, a fluorescent yellow to flourescent green lichen, depending on the light conditions.Such a wonderful variety of textures and colors to contrast and compare.A bit of size perspective.An interesting contrast in lichen types on a boulder in Colorado.Rhizocarpon geographicum, a fluorescent yellow lichen in bright light changing to a greenish-yellow and to Fluorescent green as the light fades.
Notice the wonderful textures of this lichen and the blue color on parts of it.
Notice the wonderful textures of this lichen and the blue color on parts of it. | Source
This lichen looks almost like the needles of a cedar tree.
This lichen looks almost like the needles of a cedar tree. | Source
Notice the water drops hanging from this white lichen in New Zealand.
Notice the water drops hanging from this white lichen in New Zealand. | Source
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An unusual green lichen.
An unusual green lichen. | Source
A gray lichen with black fruiting bodies,  Porpida cineroatra or Lecidella elaeochroma. Also predominant is Rhizocarpon geographicum, a fluorescent yellow to flourescent green lichen, depending on the light conditions.
A gray lichen with black fruiting bodies, Porpida cineroatra or Lecidella elaeochroma. Also predominant is Rhizocarpon geographicum, a fluorescent yellow to flourescent green lichen, depending on the light conditions. | Source
Such a wonderful variety of textures and colors to contrast and compare.
Such a wonderful variety of textures and colors to contrast and compare. | Source
A bit of size perspective.
A bit of size perspective. | Source
An interesting contrast in lichen types on a boulder in Colorado.
An interesting contrast in lichen types on a boulder in Colorado. | Source
Rhizocarpon geographicum, a fluorescent yellow lichen in bright light changing to a greenish-yellow and to Fluorescent green as the light fades.
Rhizocarpon geographicum, a fluorescent yellow lichen in bright light changing to a greenish-yellow and to Fluorescent green as the light fades. | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
The types and colors of this lichen make it truly striking.This lichen almost looks like flowers.This interesting combination of lichen almost looks like matches.Dark brown to maroon fruiting bodies, Apothecia.An interesting play of colors and textures is exhibited by these lichen.A very interesting contrast of colors and textures. Coral-like Lichen - it truly looks like something that could be found at the bottom of the ocean.This lichen appears hairier than most and appear to have more height to it than other lichen of this type. Note the interesting colors on the surfaces of this lichen.Some forms of lichen can appear very fragile and delicate.This lichen colony exhibits some truly striking colors.
The types and colors of this lichen make it truly striking.
The types and colors of this lichen make it truly striking. | Source
This lichen almost looks like flowers.
This lichen almost looks like flowers. | Source
This interesting combination of lichen almost looks like matches.
This interesting combination of lichen almost looks like matches. | Source
Dark brown to maroon fruiting bodies, Apothecia.
Dark brown to maroon fruiting bodies, Apothecia. | Source
An interesting play of colors and textures is exhibited by these lichen.
An interesting play of colors and textures is exhibited by these lichen. | Source
A very interesting contrast of colors and textures.
A very interesting contrast of colors and textures. | Source
 Coral-like Lichen - it truly looks like something that could be found at the bottom of the ocean.
Coral-like Lichen - it truly looks like something that could be found at the bottom of the ocean. | Source
This lichen appears hairier than most and appear to have more height to it than other lichen of this type. Note the interesting colors on the surfaces of this lichen.
This lichen appears hairier than most and appear to have more height to it than other lichen of this type. Note the interesting colors on the surfaces of this lichen. | Source
Some forms of lichen can appear very fragile and delicate.
Some forms of lichen can appear very fragile and delicate. | Source
This lichen colony exhibits some truly striking colors.
This lichen colony exhibits some truly striking colors. | Source


Through the macrophotography of lichen, we have traveled into an amazing and magical world of beauty and have viewed lichen from a whole different perspective - one of exquisite splendor. Many times we overlook these small delicate fungi, never realizing the simple beauty of their world. Through the use of macrophotography, we moved in for a closer look and were surprised to find a kingdom we never knew existed.

If you are interested in learning more about what makes lichen what it is, visit What is Lichen?


All Rights Reserved

Copyright © 2011 Cindy Murdoch (homesteadbound)


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Click thumbnail to view full-size
The beauty of this green matte of lichen is enhanced by the rays of the sun.The tips of this lichen appear to be almost ready to burst into flames.An interesting color and texture!Looks like a blob from a monster movie!Lichen on a wooden bench.Lichen on a dry stone wall.Notice the colors and textures in this image.Cladonia Lichen - very nice close up of the fruticose lichen.Lichen seemingly brushed onto an outcrop of dolomite.
The beauty of this green matte of lichen is enhanced by the rays of the sun.
The beauty of this green matte of lichen is enhanced by the rays of the sun. | Source
The tips of this lichen appear to be almost ready to burst into flames.
The tips of this lichen appear to be almost ready to burst into flames. | Source
An interesting color and texture!
An interesting color and texture! | Source
Looks like a blob from a monster movie!
Looks like a blob from a monster movie! | Source
Lichen on a wooden bench.
Lichen on a wooden bench. | Source
Lichen on a dry stone wall.
Lichen on a dry stone wall. | Source
Source
Notice the colors and textures in this image.
Notice the colors and textures in this image. | Source
Cladonia Lichen - very nice close up of the fruticose lichen.
Cladonia Lichen - very nice close up of the fruticose lichen. | Source
Lichen seemingly brushed onto an outcrop of dolomite.
Lichen seemingly brushed onto an outcrop of dolomite. | Source
This looks almost alien! Rhizocarpon geographicum which is a fluorescent yellow lichen in bright light changing colour to greenish-yellow to Fluorescent green as the light fades.
This looks almost alien! Rhizocarpon geographicum which is a fluorescent yellow lichen in bright light changing colour to greenish-yellow to Fluorescent green as the light fades. | Source
Lichen and Moss - a great contrast in textures!
Lichen and Moss - a great contrast in textures! | Source

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Comments: "Macrophotography of Lichen; 67 Macrophotographic Images of Lichen" 26 comments

davenmidtown profile image

davenmidtown 4 years ago from Sacramento, California

HBS: A very beautiful collection of lichen. I loved the lichens with the cynobacteria and the super colorful Christmas Lichen. Voted up and awesome and shared.


TajSingh 4 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi these photos are very beautiful. The focus are great which shows a lot of detail for these organisms. I read somewhere that there are actually cultures that eat lichens.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

davenmidtown - I am pleased that you enjoyed it. I know I certainly enjoyed your lichen hub, and have included a couple links to it. In fact, it was your hub that inspired this one, so many thanks to you.

Thanks for stopping by and for sharing. I'm hoping you have a truly blessed Christmas this year.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

TajSingh - I am thrilled that you enjoyed the pictures, and that you appreciated the detail of the macrophotography. I have never heard of anyone eating lichen, but I know that people eat algae. The lichen is so small, and I would think tough, that it would take a lot of harvesting to get enough. Interesting thought. I wonder if you can remember which culture. Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Merry Christmas to you and yours.


davenmidtown profile image

davenmidtown 4 years ago from Sacramento, California

TajSingh... there are cultures who eat lichen; and lichen makes a meal if one is lost in the wilderness. Some lichen are poison and as a supplement I would not advise eating lichen at all. Lichen absorb pollution and they pass that pollution along to those organisms that eat it. Caribou are dependent upon lichen as a winter source of food but caribou meat is often tainted and contains higher percentages of mercury and sometimes radioactive pollutants and heavy metals.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

davenmidtown - that is truly fascinating information. Is some of the lichen just plain poisonous, or is it made poisonous because of the things that it absorbs from its environment?

I did not know that caribou ate that much lichen, but it makes sense, since not much could grow in that cold environment.

Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge in this area!


davenmidtown profile image

davenmidtown 4 years ago from Sacramento, California

Caribou migrate through the frozen tundra and there is nothing for them to eat there but lichen. Most animals who are not used to eating lichen can not digest very much of it without special enzymes that is found in their intestines. If you or I were lost in the wilderness we could live for a short while on lichen it is low protein and high carbohydrate which works well for the caribou who need the energy. Lichen may also be a source of trapped moisture in those colder regions.

Lichen is a fungus...or rather is half fungus and mushrooms are fungi too. Not all mushrooms are eatable and some are quite deadly. Wolfs lichen is very poison.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

davenmidtown - once again, thanks for the valuable information. I would imagine also that people who have allergies to fungus would have some problems also.

Thanks so much.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 4 years ago from Oakley, CA

Great photos, and very interesting.

Lichen is a symbiosis between fungus and algae.

Now, I am very sorry, but I cannot resist submitting a horrible pun, first heard in my college earth science class. To quote the instructor, (who was famous for bad puns):

"Freddie Fungus was a great builder and had a wonderful house, but he was often hungry because he wasn't such a good cook. Then, he met Annie Algae, who was an awesome cook but who was homeless. It was a perfect match, so you see, Freddie Fungus and Annie Algae took a Lichen to each other. "

(I know--groaaannn....)


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

DzyMsLizzy - first of all, I did not groan, I chuckled then smiled, so thanks so much for sharing. I took a Lichen to your joke as well. Now you can groan!

I'm glad you were able to stop and take a macrophotographic journey through the world of lichen.


anndavis25 profile image

anndavis25 4 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

I'm like'n the lichen. Pun intended.

Very beautiful display, and very interesting hub.

up and awesome!


Madcaravanner profile image

Madcaravanner 4 years ago from North Derbyshire, UK

There is some fantastic images but it would be good to know what you used to capture each image it's exposure how you lit it and all the little tweaks you had to do to get such perfection


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

What a cool hub. This truly was a magical journey. Thanks for sharing these images. Voted up, awesome, beautiful and interesting.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

anndavis25 - I'm glad you like'n the lichen. It really was pretty. If you want to know more about lichen, be sure and check out davenmidtown's hub I have given the link to. It is very interesting.

Thanks so much for visiting.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

Madcaravanner - I am pleased that you enjoyed the images. I wish I had taken them but I didn't. If you click on the link below each image it will take you to the information about the image. Maybe it might have the information that you are looking for. I am not that much of a photographer that I would be able to help you.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you will find the information that you are looking for at the photographer pages with flickr.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

Gail - I am glad that you enjoyed the pictures in this hub. It is amazing how many images you have to go through to find this many pictures to use. And once you start looking, it is hard to stop. I keep hoping I will find and even better one.

Thanks so much. Have a blessed Christmas.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

I definitely appreciated the time it must have taken to put this hub together but the end results were stunning.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

Thanks, Gail! I really do like looking through the pictures as long as I am not trying to get a hub done every day. I think some days I just need to relax a little. I haven't given myself permission for that lately.

Thanks so much!


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

A well put together hub as usual. You have included some wonderful images on a fascinating subject.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

Rosemay50 - I am pleased that you enjoyed the hub. I just love lichen, and the macrophotography lets me get that much closer to the finer details. Thanks so much. It is good to see that you are still here.


Colin-47 4 years ago

A very interesting series, a great collection.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

Colin-47 - I am pleased you enjoyed it. Thanks!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

Amazing and has to be voted up.

I truly loved this one; so interesting and I have learnt so much.

Take care and enjoy your day my friend.

Eddy.


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

Eddy - So glad you enjoyed this. I enjoyed compiling all the wonderful photos. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

Fascinating subject and the photos were amazing, we don't stop to look at such beauty every day, especially on such a small scale, truly amazing!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas Author

Nell Rose - Thank you so much for stopping by. I truly love the beauty of nature, and for me, this is one of the most fascinating. Thanks so much for sharing the beauty with me.

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