The Photographer and a Boring Spider

While walking around the yard looking for inspiration, I came upon a nice spider web covered with morning dew. However after a few shots of a boring spider on a web, I couldn’t get inspired to shoot more; the light wasn’t ideal to make the background interesting. Then a stream of sunlight broke through the cloudy sky and made the morning dew droplets sparkly and more inviting. I shot a few more frames, though I still find the images boring. But the sunlight helped stir up my creative brain and gave me the challenge of wanting to take the ordinary and make something unique with it.


After a few close up shots with different aperture settings, I decided to shoot at the largest opening available for my lens (f/6.3) to get the most shallow depth of field and bokeh background. With this in mind, I shot all the images a little underexposed so the background would be dark, with very faint details while keeping the details of the water droplets as sharp as possible. In Adobe Lightroom, I converted the images into monochrome with yellowish undertone for the highlights. After adjusting the exposure, contrast, and clarity; I added more highlights by using the brush tool to dodge and burn. I used the tool more like a paint brush: adding highlights to create  a more illustrative, surreal image. It was a good experiment and helped me think outside of the box — which is always a good thing… 🙂




4 thoughts on “The Photographer and a Boring Spider

  1. Hi Em! Wow, what a series of pictures! I find the background detail intrusive in the colour shot (especially that pinkish stem), but taking the images into mono has opened up an incredible world of striking beauty – >>> do more thinking outside the box!

    My favourite is certainly the one you’ve printed largest and placed at the top – and I suspect this is your favourite too – its very striking. But I also like the 4th mono shot down – beautiful strings of suspended dew drops, and great out of focus effects. Good stuff, Em! I hope you’re keeping fine – any more yacht trips? Adrian

    1. Good day, Adrian. As always, your insightful input is greatly appreciated. Great minds think alike… I thought the background was very intrusive too and no matter how I shoot to minimize it, the detail was still annoying in color. But that’s what made me think out of the box and came up with the mono idea. So sometimes annoyance can be a good creative motivator. These images are definitely more impressive looking at a larger scale. I can just see them printed on 4 or 5 feet or larger canvas displayed on nice white walls.

      Life is good, can’t complain. So far, I’ve been on a couple of sailing trips and another one scheduled today. The weather is absolutely beautiful today… sunny, blue sky, with light breeze — just perfect for sailing around the Puget Sound with Pirate John. 😀

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