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!