Digital Photography Tips – Capturing the Spider’s Web


A favorite photography subject of many people is a spider web. They possess such an intricate beauty but also strength that far exceeds their outward appearance. A web, which has been photographed in a thoughtful & considerate manner, will produce a beautiful image. Here’s some tips to help you get the money shot when it comes time to head into the yard looking for our eight-legged friends.

  1. Always be an environmentally conscious photographer. When we go out in the field, you’re number one goal should be to leave as little evidence of your presence as possible. We have a great gift that is not to be squandered for our own purposes. Just keep that in mind when you’re out & about please!
  2. No motion. Because spider webs are so delicate, even the slightest breeze can result in your shots being out of focus. Sometimes reflectors can also be used to deflect gentle breezes. But you’re best to wait for natural calm. For this reason also, you will want to have your camera mounted on a tripod. Use a cable shutter-release or the timer function to help eliminate movement on the camera.
  3. Depth of field and background. Open your aperture as much as possible to avoid distraction & clutter in the background. You want the subject to be the web. If you have problems with getting proper exposure, even with highest shutter speeds & slowest ISO settings, you may have to use a neutral density filter to reduce light levels. Another way to help with light levels is to look for dark backgrounds. This will also help accentuate the web.
  4. Shoot all around. Be sure to get shots from both sides and looking directly at the web. With a shallow depth of field, you may find a particular web to b more interesting when only a portion is in clear focus. Likewise, you might find a “perfect” web front view that will need to be completely within your focal distance. Don’t forget to simplify and highlight your subject by filling the frame. You’ll be amazed with your results.
  5. Do the dew. Not that I’m trying to rip-off anything from the famous soft drink, but water on a web will give you a truly classic image. This moisture is best found in the early morning before the temperature starts drying everything out. You can also try going out after a light rain. Some professional photographers will carry a a misting sprayer with them to help with composition. Just remember our number one rule if you decide to start messing with things too much.
  6. Don’t forget the flash. Under most circumstances, the natural light you’re using will be sufficient for obtaining a proper level of exposure. However, there may be times when you need a little more. Many species of spiders are actually more active at dusk & dawn because of their feeding habits. In these situations, you may want to deploy a strobe to help provide additional illumination. I don’t recommend the use of a constant source due to the attraction of unwanted insects. But my guess is that your subject won’t mind the added company in this case.

Now you know the secrets to capturing an awesome image next time you find the spiders’ web. Good luck with your attempts. You never know what you’ll get unless you get out there & try.