How To Take Pictures Of Webs And Spiders In A Winter Morning

pictures of spider's web

Spider Web In The Morning Light

Pictures Of Spider’s Web

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Taking some stunning pictures of spider’s web with dew drops is definitely a great challenge for nature photographers. Here I am sharing some tips to enhance your expertise in the art of macro or close up photography :

1- Search for a well formed web having symmetrical designing. Many species of spider make irregular webs which are having less attraction.

This search for a web in good shape and form can be the key element in spiderweb photography. Make your routine to mark the presence of spiderwebs in your backyard garden or along the way of your daily morning and evening walk. There are many types of webs made by the spiders like some what irregular cob web, a sheet web, funnel web and orb web which is more symmetrical.


Try to locate a web which is more isolated. Most of the time spiders try to make webs in a place difficult to shoot. There must be a space for holding your tripod and taking some angle to shoot. Spiders are scary and if there is a mess of branches or grass around then there is chance of spider flight from the web due to tripod entangling in the vegetation.  Some spiders make signature webs. that mean these are very specialist in making their unique design in web building. These webs are very much interesting and a very good subject to shoot.

2- Choose a windless still day for shooting spider webs as any slight movement would ruins your efforts.

Wind is the enemy of macro photography. Wait for a windless time in the day and winter mornings are best in this regard.  If there is a slight wind then that can be blocked by some card keeping on the wind side. An assistant can work well in this regards. Have your friend or younger brother with you while on shoot. Some time you need his help more than any thing.

3- Shoot very early in the morning as harsh light would evaporate the dew.

There are two benefits of shooting in the morning. One is that you have good, subtle light and second you have dew drops in well shape. As the sun goes up, the light would become harsh and d shape the dew drops and ultimately  wipe out altogether. Your pictures in the early morning must have pleasing colors and a good balance of light and shade. Sensors of digital cameras works at optimum in this light quality and exposure problems reduced to minimum. While in harsh light, highlights would burned and shadows looks ugly.


4- Be careful not to shake the plant leaves having web. It will drop the dew and may break the web which is bad for the spider.

Even you have to hold your breath to avoid shaking of the tree branches on which the web is suspended. Often students ask me how to avoid shake in macro pictures. There is no formula for that. You learn just with practice to be patient while shooting subjects like spiders. Any shake will create two bad effect. First your image will not be clear and second you may frightened the big eyed arthropod. You know that spiders have four to eight bulging eyes and a wide vision angle. So try to be slow in movements while shooting.

5- Try to have a clutter free back ground. Change your angle and keep the depth of field shallow.

Clutter free images are true macro images. Unnecessary branches or leaves can ruin the whole image. Even distant leaves can some time bounce light in a way that can damage the overall exposure of the image. So try to keep the  aperture wide open  to make the depth of field shallow or cut the extra leaves with a scissor if you need tight aperture to get more details.  I always keep a small scissor in my kit while going on macro shooting assignment.

6- Shoot against the light or with angular light to pop up the web details and dew drops.

Shooting against the light is not easy as the subject may gone extreme under exposure or you will end up with a wiped out background. Be creative in exposure and try to shoot one stop over while shooting against the light. macro subjects like spiders are smaller in size and it is very much obvious that camera will take the reading of the wast background and make the subject too dark.A rim light around the body of the spider is only possible when you shoot against the light.

The Trap

7- Use of tripod is a must. Position the tripod with care as it may damage the web.

I must say without tripod there is no macro photography. To have crispy results you must have to use a good sturdy tripod. One must spend at least a reasonable amount on tripod if he is purchasing a costly camera and macro lens. A tripod with ball head and easy to move arms is necessary. It must have an option to level with the ground as most of the time you have to go very low to get into the level of the subject.


8- Focus manually

Auto focus is failed most of the time in macro photography. Against the light condition make the camera to attain focus again and again and loose the stability. It also creates a difficulty in focusing a moving subject like a spider bust in preying or in making web. So always try to keep the focus manual. manual focus also gives you the liberty to partially focus the subject. Spider are mostly robust structures and it is very difficult to keep the whole animal in focus. The most important area to focus are the eyes of the subject and that is only possible manually to focus the eyes of the spiders.

9- Use a 2 second timer or a camera remote to release the shutter. That will reduce the chances of any shake.

A two second timer is a great feature for macro photographers. Most of the time you need this specially when you are not having a remote. In my personal opinion wireless remotes are more suitable as the wire of cable remote some time results in subject as it may entangle in vegetation.

10- I also use mirror lock option to reduce camera shake

Mirror lock is another feature in almost all modern DSLRs. It is in the custom functions and you can on this option while shooting macro subjects like spiders. Mirror movement, while you shoot, can cause a camera shake. But mirror lock option just stop the movement of the mirror when the aperture is open.

Keep in mind these points and you will end up with some excellent pictures of spiders and their web.

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