We’re getting into my favorite time of year to take pictures. I love fall morning and late afternoon light. I know those are generally the best times to take photos anyway, but there’s something different about the fall light. I don’t know what it is, but I always seem to get better pictures and struggle a lot less when I’m shooting in the fall. And I love how the dewy mornings give me lots of opportunity to go web hunting.
Anyone who has been reading my blog for awhile knows I love finding and shooting spider webs. I don’t have a thing for spiders and in fact, I usually do my best to avoid them. But I love their aerial artwork and I enjoy the challenge of trying to photograph their webs. It’s not easy, and I often find myself ankle deep in water or mud or standing in nearly shoulder-high brush and weeds (amongst God knows what other kinds of critters … but I try not to think about that!). Still, nothing quite thrills me as much as seeing the results of my efforts. Oftentimes I can’t shoot some of the best webs I find. Either they’re out of my reach or I can’t get myself (and my gear) in the right position where the light will allow them to show up. Or sometimes the background is just too obnoxious. The photo below is an example of that.
I found this wonderful web suspended between two old coneflower plants, but the background was really tough. Because the fog was so dense, I tried to position my tripod so I could shoot the web against the backdrop of the tree. Otherwise, the web wouldn’t show up and would vanish into the background fog. Unfortunately, this meant I had to have the distance between my camera, the web and the tree just so … which proved to be nearly impossible. Mind you, I was standing in the middle of a very dense, wet garden and trying not to trample too much in my quest to get things just right.
I finally got a couple of decent frames … not exactly what I wanted, but I was running out of time. So I did my best, then headed back inside to feed the dogs and get ready to scoot out for a riding lesson. Later, when I finally had a chance to download what I’d shot I was (somewhat) disappointed that I didn’t manage to capture the entire web against the backdrop of the tree. However, upon closer inspection I discovered a butterfly in several of the shots. When I was shooting I never got close enough to the coneflowers and web to actually see the butterfly. In fact, I think at the time I just thought the thing on top of the flower on the right was a dried leaf. (Age and bad vision … Ug!) But here’s the proof: it was a butterfly! A special little treasure, hidden in the frame!