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.

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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… ūüôā

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Natural Weather Prediction

As I was standing around, waiting for the furry kids to do their business on a grassy patch at the golf course pond; I looked up at a tree branch just above my head and to my surprise, I saw what looks like a bee’s nest. As I stood in awe of the perfectly constructed nest, and was wondering what kind of bee lives there — when a menace looking hornet flew out of the nest.


I told Jean Yves about the nest. I told him it was hanging so low I could touch it. He told me that when a bee’s nest is built low, it means we will have warm weather this winter. While I am familiar with the use of a groundhog to predict if spring will arrive early or late, I’ve never thought much about using insects. Our conversation got me curious on what other insect weather predictions there are. Especially, since I noticed that there are still a lot of dragonflies and spiders hanging around. Normally they would be gone by now…

After some research, these are some of the insect predictions:

When you see more of spiders in the fall, that means abnormally cold temperatures for the upcoming winter months. Hmm… guess this kind of clash with the low hanging hornet’s nest prediction. Although, I’m hoping that the hornet is right. And we will have warmer winter temperatures.

According to the ancient Chinese prediction, if a dragonfly is flying vertically rather than horizontally, it’s a sign there will be heavy rain. Well… I took this shot yesterday and this dragonfly was flying horizontally all over the golf course pond. The weather today started out sunny but it’s starting to rain…

While this was an interesting educational experience, I wouldn’t trust the predictions from the insects anymore than I trust our politician’s campaign promises. Guess, we’ll just have to wait and see. ūüėČ

Have a nice weekend everyone.

The Photographer and A Spider

In my pursuit of getting that perfect spider web photo, I ended up with a life lesson from a spider. What I learned from my encounter with this spider is to keep trying and don’t give up… but know when to cut your loses even if you have already put in a lot of time.

As I waited for Max to finish his morning rituals, I noticed a perfectly¬†made spider web above the hydrangea bush. In the center of the web¬†was¬†a¬† spider waiting to catch its breakfast…

Honestly,¬†I don’t like spiders… my first instinct is to squish them if I find them invading my house or other places that are off-limits.¬† Nevertheless, the beauty of this perfect web captured my attention.¬†Every joint perfectly aligned and evenly spaced… how something so small could create such complex structure? Just the mathematics behind the measurements would baffle a lot of people. I later¬†found out¬†that the spider actually uses its own body as a measuring tool.

A light bulb went off in my head… I ran to get my camera. When I got back, the spider was still waiting patiently for its prey. I reached up and gently touch the web to make some holes.¬† I was only able to get a couple of shots before the spider quickly pull itself up and away.¬† As I stood there looking at the broken web, guilt crept into my conscience for a moment. I quickly got rid of the web… thinking the spider wouldn’t be back.

I was wrong. The next morning, another perfectly made web exactly like the one before in the same exact¬†spot and the same spider waiting patiently for its breakfast. I hate to admit it… but I ran to get my camera again and yes, I got a few more shots. When I cleaned up the broken web, I was sure the spider would know better than to pick the same place again.¬† Well… the next morning… there it was again. Needless to say, this spider intrigued me. I was curious to know what would it take to get this spider to move to a different location. I know… not very nice. All that work…

The next morning… there it was again. Perfect just like the others. Once again I got rid of the web.¬† However, my guilty conscience finally got the best of me. I decided that would be the last web I demolish. The next morning, I got¬†the answer to my experiment… the spider moved over to my next-door neighbor’s bush. I have to admit… this little spider turned my fears and hate into admiration and respect. Not that I would want to keep them as pets anytime soon… but, at least I won’t look at them as nasty bugs anymore.