One Last Web

Typical things like dew and spider webs are usually mostly gone around here this time of year.  However, this past weekend was unusually warm and we were welcomed on Sunday morning with heavy fog and dew.

As I walked out to get the Sunday Newspaper, I noticed a perfectly dew covered spiderweb in one of our crepe myrtle trees.  I quickly ran in and grabbed my Sony A7R, Tamron 90 Macro Lens and my Vanguard Abeo Plus 323CT Tripod.  I ran back out and quickly setup.  It wasn't going anywhere, I'm not sure why I was in race mode.

I knew I wanted to blur the grass in the background to a soft, creamy green, so I shot this in Aperture Priority Mode at F/11 (which is a pretty small aperture for macro).  You can tell how shallow a depth of field F/11 gives us by how quickly we start to lose sharpness to the left side of the image.  It was also a bit windy, and the web was moving, so I knew I needed a faster shutter speed to help me freeze it.  To accomplish this I raised my ISO to 1600, which gave me a shutter speed of 1/400th.  

dewcoveredweb.jpg

If you are sick of these webs, you are in luck as I don't expect to see much of them around for a while. ;)

Smoky Mountain Dew

So, it's been a LONG time since you've heard from me.  I've had quite a few things keeping me from posting lately, but mostly the lack of a computer.  I ordered a new computer, then when it arrived it had a few issues, so I had to send it back for a replacement...which took about 2 weeks.  So, now I'm back in action with a brand new computer!

A week or so ago I met up with some long time friends for a quick run up to The Smoky Mountains for a half day photo fix.  These trips are always a ton of fun and always produce good photos from everyone involved.

We spent the hours before, during and after sunrise at Cades Cove.  We were treated to a pair of whitetails and a family of bears within our first 15 minutes once we got in the cove.  It was a very cool morning.  I'm saving bear photos for later...today I wanted to share with you a dew covered spiderweb.  In Cades Cove during the late summer, these things can be found literally everywhere.  So, you get to spend time picking the one with the best pattern, the best backgrounds, the best dew...you get the idea.

On this morning I found one with a very nice pattern, nice dew, I found a undistracting background and this one even had prisoners.  Bonus!

This image was taken with my Sony A7R and Tamron 90mm Macro Lens.  You can't take these macro shots at this time of day without a tripod, and I used my new Abeo Plus 323CT for this shot.  I shot this in Aperture Priority at F/8 to blur the background into soft, creamy nothingness.  Also, I had my ISO boosted a bit to 400, which resulted in a shutter speed of 1/50th.  I pushed and pulled a few sliders in Lightroom and this is what came out.

 

Don't overlook the details

During my Smokies Workshop a few weeks ago, while we were waiting on sunrise, or driving around looking for wildlife, I noticed several things that would make fantastic macro images.

I wanted to share a few of the images with you and remind you not to miss the forest for the trees, as they say.  Even though I was there to shoot grand landscape style images, I was on the lookout for these little details.  

When I saw that the morning dew had covered everything in sight, then I had to get the macro lens out and take a stab at a few shots.

First it was an attempt at spiderwebs.

This was shot at a very shallow depth of field for a few reasons.  First, I wanted to blur the background to a nice blurred non-distracting background.  Second, I wanted to get those cool out of focus dew drops on the other things in the background.  Lastly, I only wanted to isolate a few of the dew drops to be tack sharp.

This was shot using my Canon 5D Mk II and Tamron SP 90mm F/2.8 Di 1:1 Macro Lens.  I stopped the lens down to F/4 to get that nice, shallow depth of field.  I shot this in Aperture Priority, so with an ISO of 100, the shutter speed was 1/160th.

Next was the dew covered dandelions.

I did something with this pic that I very seldom do...I cropped it.  I have a good reason, though.  The composition I wanted was so close that it was inside the minimum focusing distance of my lens and I didn't have my extension tubes.  So, I shot the image getting as close as I could and still focus, then cropped to get this composition.

This was shot with the same combo, the Canon 5D MkII and Tamron SP 90mm F/2,8 Di 1:1 Macro Lens.  I increased the F-Stop a bit on this one.  I set it to F/11.  Typically that is an aperture setting that would allow everything to be in focus, however depth of field is directly effected by how close we are to our subject, so even at F/11 I knew the DOF would still be very shallow.  I also shot this in Aperture Priority Mode on my Canon.  I bumped the ISO to 400 to give me a reasonable shutter speed, which was 1/160th.

Next time you are out shooting - whatever it is - don't forget to look all around you.  There may be shots everywhere!