There are, undeniably, moments of staggering beauty in the Autumn garden, whether in the way that plants have grown together to form a living collage or the many many webs that spiders have woven between the plants and supports.
My veg garden has lain undisturbed, except for torrential rain, for the past week so I was expecting to see plenty of spiders and their webs this morning. I was reminded of a blog post I'd read recently in which the blogger said she walks into the garden waving her arms in front of her at this time of year for fear of walking through webs. (I apologise as I can't actually remember who it was that wrote that!) I haven't done that yet but I have brushed webs out of my hair and off my face many times during this so-called summer.
And so it was that I went to the garden early this morning armed with a cunning plan, my digital SLR camera and a spray bottle of water. Any spray will do but Ikea do one for 80p. Also good for ironing ;o)
If there was any dew this morning, it had all gone by 7.30 am when I went down to the garden. Time to put my plan into action. Spray, so I knew where the webs were, and then - why not? - photograph them.
I am, of course, just getting my eye in before we get proper dew in the garden but I hope you agree it worked rather well. Plus it's an excellent way to show children how big the webs are, before scurrying back indoors to read Charlotte's Web. Now wouldn't that be something, to find a web with a message in it!
A few key points:
- Spray in a light mist across the web. You may need to go back and forth across the strands a few times and you'll be surprised at how far some of the webs stretch!
- Have your camera ready as spiders may make a bolt for safety.
- On a still day, dial your camera to aperture/AV (rather than speed/TV) and set the aperture to a low number. This will blur out the background but you will need to have precise focus on the web.
- Try to have a dark background to make the web stand out.
- This is best done in early morning or the cool of the evening when there are more spiders about.
Edited to add: One last tip - be patient and take your time. It's worth it for the right shot and you'll see a lot more of the delicate beauty in your garden.
I do love spiders' webs but how about you? What's catching your eye in the garden this Autumn?
And do you have any good tips to share on photographing the garden?