Photography

Pearls of Light


This dewy Spider’s web was shot first thing in the morning in the Winter in Rotorua, New Zealand’s steamy geothermal area. We arrived so early and with the heavy sulphur steam, it created very challenging low lighting conditions. However this turned out to be the perfect time to shoot Spider Webs!  Here are a few tips about this surprisingly challenging subject.

Try to get as close as you can with a given lens. You want to capture the dewy silk strands and pearls of water. Using a Macro lens does the trick. Shoot with the lens wide open (largest aperture possible). This was using a Nikkor 100mm at f2.8. Be aware of your shutter speed as you don’t want a blurred image. If possible, sturdy the camera on a tripod, or against a solid object like a tree, stump, rock etc. I like to shoot with an ISO of 200, but try pushing it higher if you still cant get a high enough shutter speed.

Always check what is behind the web – look for colors and backgrounds that make the web stand out. Shooting a white web against a white background will not be very dramatic. Try different angles – often webs are shot at 90 degrees and are quite predictable. Shooting off-center allows some selective focus, drawing the eye into the web and its drops. Lastly, try not to disturb the hard work of the spider. Leave it as you first saw it!

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5 responses

  1. Melanie

    Thank you for the words of advice – that’s just what I was wanting!

    June 15, 2011 at 3:25 am

  2. This image is both magical and dramatic, Eric. The composition is thoughtful and effective. How does one create DoF and capture tonal range with this subject? You did it! Just stunning!

    June 15, 2011 at 12:43 pm

  3. AWESOME work Erik! Great tips, too, thanks for sharing those my friend. Wow, you can really see every little thing on this web, what a fabulous image.

    June 15, 2011 at 1:08 pm

  4. nice capture

    June 15, 2011 at 11:46 pm

  5. LOVELY FIND, WELL CAPTURED

    June 23, 2011 at 8:25 pm

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