Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Learning Something New Every Day

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Spider webs are taking over the exterior of my house.

The image above was actually a huge spider web that spanned across the front walkway to my door. I'd been walking around it for days, saving it until I could get a chance to photograph it dressed up in dew. The rains beat it down before I got the chance to capture in its fully glory, but all was not lost because it caught some pretty good size drops that I could zoom in on.

Here is what I learned as a result of my spider web shooting:

  • I thought that the reason spiderwebs were so iconic around Halloween was because spiders were creepy and scary.  I guess I'm showing my ignorance here, but until I researched it, I didn't know there was a spider season.  Apparently all this effort is in preparation for mating and then doing whatever it is they do after that (die or hibernate).  The things we become aware of when we start to take pictures of everything.

  • Curious about what appeared to be the reflection in the dewdrops, I again consulted the oracle Google and learned that it was not reflection but refraction.  After flipping the image over and zooming in, I realize I had captured the neighbor's house through the droplet.  I could even make out their little boy's blue swimming pool.  All this lead me to a cool website that explained a technique that is way too advanced for me, but I aspire.

Thanks to my new photo friend Lissa, I also learned about extension tubes. Although not necessarily directly related to my spider web shooting (sounds like something Spiderman does), they could be useful in this endeavor.

Photography has increased my knowledge in many areas.  It is no longer enough to just take the photo, I am hungry to learn more about what I'm shooting.  

I realized to what extent I've been educated by photography when a facebook photographer friend misidentified a butterfly he captured and someone pointed it out to him. When I  started to photograph butterflies this summer, I found a great site that helped me identify them. On my last trip to the retreat center, which has resulted in many butterfly and other types of photos, I bought a book on the history of the place.

Care to share how photography has expanded your knowledge in ways other than phototechnic specific ways?

1 comment:

  1. Macro photography is so much fun. I haven't used extension tubes but would love to have some. As a photographer we slow down and start to notice all the things we use to rush by. Wonderful work, LeAnne.

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