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Photography Question 
Vikas Shivanker
 

Photographing Spider Webs


 
 
I took a photograph of a spider with web. But I feel the web is hard to see (although the spider is very clear ). Why did this happen?


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3/4/2005 5:40:30 AM

 
Brian A. Wolter
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/15/2005
  What was your f-stop set to? A small f-stop like f2.8 will have a smaller depth of field and will keep the spider in focus, but have everything around the spider blurred out. If you want the web in focus also, you must go to a higher f-stop to get more depth of field.


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3/4/2005 6:06:08 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Very fine things like a spider web show up better when there are highlights from a light angle. Also, brighter colors for a background make it harder to see.


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3/4/2005 8:01:35 PM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  Both of the above responses are correct.
The best time to accomplish this is early in the morning on a cool fall day. The wind will be minimal ... allowing for the use of a smaller aperture and long shutter speed (with a tripod, of course).
Try to position yourself with the rising sun in front of you, but at a slight angle to the left or right. This will accentuate the web, and create a halo of light around the spider (if he's home).
Also, you can use flash to illuminate the web. This is best when it's cloudy or if the web is in deep shade. Use a small aperture and fast shutter speed to illuminate only the web. Everything else will be black.


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3/6/2005 5:20:55 AM

 
Daniel J. Nolan  
 
 
The best way to get the most dramatic shot of a spider web is by shooting it with a strong back light (such as a rising sun or remote flash) against a dark background. To further enhance things if there are no early-morning dew drops on the web, use a water mister to place small droplets on the web. Unfortunately, this action may scare off the spider, but be patient, it'll be back. You may have to use a small on-camera flsh also to get details of the spider, if still there. My photo attached. Dan Nolan


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3/8/2005 5:32:41 AM

 
eric brown   Mist the web with a little water. It won't hurt the spider, and the water will pick up the light coming through the web.


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3/8/2005 12:34:27 PM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
 
 
 
Natural dew is much more appealing than that which can be applied with a mister. (I've found few arachnids that will stick around after such an assault ... though applied moisture can definitely enhance empty webs.)
If you arrive early, around sunrise in autumn (about the same time the leaves are changing), after a clear cool night, you can be assured of at least a good hour of shooting time before the sun burns off the dewdrops and the wind picks up.
I've noticed that large arachnids like this garden spider will usually build their webs in a position to maximize the warming effects of the rising sun. They will position themselves on the web where their metabolism will increase in the least amount of time.
During these early-morning hours, they can be approached to within inches for some great close-ups. The attached photo was taken from a distance of about 10".


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3/8/2005 4:29:44 PM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
 
 
  Shrowded in Dew
Shrowded in Dew
A garden spider, early morning light.
(Nikkor 55 mm, Provia 100, hand-held)

© Bob Cammarata
Nikon FM2 Manual E...
 
 
I will try again to upload the photo :(


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3/8/2005 4:37:25 PM

 
David   
 
 
Here's one I got shortly after it had rained. Think I had f-stop set at 3 something. :)


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3/9/2005 7:49:04 PM

 
Ryan Glaze   I shot a lot of spider webs last year. A couple of ideas that I used were to wet the web with a fine mist of water (from a handheld sprayer or a fine mist with a water hose). The other idea is to position yourself so that something dark is in the background (like a window with the lights off on the inside of the house) ... and as stated before ... use a flash.
If you're patient, wait until something flies in the web and watch the spider attack its prey. It is very quick, so be on the lookout!


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3/14/2005 5:58:42 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Yall need to quit harassing spiders with water bottles for your own benefit.


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3/14/2005 8:44:24 PM

 
anonymous 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/7/2005
  Gregory,

I'm sure spiders aren't worried about a bit of water! They live outdoors!! If they were, then they would build their webs somewhere more sheltered. Not like they are cutting up the web or chopping off the spiders legs.....


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3/14/2005 9:15:20 PM

 
Ganesh G
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/24/2005
  Hi everyone,

Sorry for butting in because I am not a professional photographer and can offer no advice.

I just thought I ought to comment on this because this is one of the VERY few threads on the site which has atleast a word of humour in it. I guess you can consider this an indication that the site is getting far more technical and far less interesting.

By the way. Wouldn't it be simple to shoot the web/spider and everything else with a simple handheld autofocus point and shoot camera? (See, I am getting technical too. Had to use four adjectives to describe a camera...This thing is contagious).

If I do that, what would be the problem?


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3/15/2005 3:52:06 AM

 
Daniel J. Nolan  
 
 
I'll try again to attach my spider web photo (Web of Pearls), taken way back in 1964, (when I was attending New York Institute of Photography), with my original Nikon F. The dew on the web was natural. In those days everything was manual focus, and I would recommend switching to that mode with today's cameras, since the web is so fine that the auto-focus may try to focus on the backround. Thus, a hand held auto-fucus only camera may not do the job. Zoom in on my shot to see the multitude of water droplets, that look like pearls. Dan Nolan


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3/15/2005 4:42:00 AM

 
Daniel J. Nolan  
 
 
Again !


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3/15/2005 4:50:18 AM

 
Norbert Maile   The water mister works great. If you do not want to use a flash, don't forget about using a reflector. The macro setting on your lens will probably be ok, but the best investment would be a dedicated macro lens if you don't have on already. Just depends how close you want to get. Some large webs may need a 50mm. Norbert


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3/16/2005 10:10:30 AM

 
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