Being Methodical

My methodical approach to problem solving in a professional capacity also has an application in how I approach photography. When taking a photo I consider all of the tools that I have that will allow me to capture the picture that I see in my mind: camera, lens options, tripod, flash, natural light, etc.

The following photo was taken at Mooween State Park in Lebanon, CT. I was on a solo hike with the intent to do some photography.

I noticed this Orchard Spider waiting on its web for a meal. It was very close to the ground, the web spanning between two clumps of mountain laurel. Luckily it was not skittish and stayed in place while I set up my equipment. I knew that I wanted to take a macro shot, so I attached the EF 100M 2.8L lens and mounted the camera on my tripod for as sturdy a base as possible.

For the composition, I chose to go with the rule of thirds, placing the subject, the spider, at the junction of the top and right-most lines. The tripod was positioned very close to the ground so that I could shoot at an upward angle. The backdrop was then the sky light peaking through tree leaves. I took a few test shots with different aperature settings to get this light to blur enough to create some wonderful bokeh.

Since the light was pouring through the leaves from behind and the side of the spider I was shooting was pointed at the ground, I needed to add a little fill light. However, I was finding that this began to appear very unnatural. So instead of a flash, I used a small white sheet to bounce a little light back onto the subject.

This final step, back home, is to do some post processing in Lightroom. With some minor enhancements to the tone curve and sharpness, I think I ended up with an amazing photo.