Spam (madbodger) wrote,

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photographing spiderwebs

I like photographing spiderwebs, but I’ve had a hard time of it, trying to get lighting and focus to work well together and produce the sort of results I’m after. Finally, ruminating about it while driving somewhere, I realized there was an easier way. Instead of using the point-and-shoot digicam, I should be using my DSLR and focussing manually! Then all I would have to worry about would be exposure, aperture, and lighting.

The first three are various attempts with the digicam. I would generally use focus lock to focus on something (like my hand), then switch to the spiderweb and hope for the best. This didn’t work very well, as that camera locks both exposure and focus, and I’d have to estimate distances as the LCD simply doesn’t have the resolution to permit focussing by eye. Each semi-usable shot represents dozens of tries.

15 May 2004, Nikon Coolpix 5000, 1/60, ƒ/4, 13.6mm, SB-30 flash off camera with manual exposure

30 July 2005, Nikon Coolpix 5000, 1/174, ƒ/4.4, 7.1mm, SB-30 flash off camera with manual exposure

13 August 2005, Nikon Coolpix 5000, 1/60, ƒ/3.6, 10.5mm, SB-30 flash off camera with manual exposure

This is my first try with the DSLR. If I’d done it at night (with a flashlight or something to illuminate the spiderweb for focussing), I think it would have been a winner. Even so, it’ll do (the bright blob in the center is the spider, she’s blown out so the web will be visible). I’ll probably do some more of these at night, and perhaps make up some sort of disc-on-a-wire gadget to try to even out the light so I can get both the spiders and webs correctly exposed.
14 September 2005, Fujifilm FinePix S1 Pro, 1/108, ƒ/11, Nikkor 50mm lense, On-camera flash


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