Getting beyond the “Big Picture”
I love to shoot big wide angle landscape just as much as the next nature photographer, but I find that the intimate microcosms are what really do the location justice. It’s hard sometimes to pay attention to the small details when you are faced with vast rolling mountains, majestic waterfalls or wide open meadows, so I make sure to always look at my feet when out in the field. You would be surprised how many amazing images we literally pass over when we don’t look down.
Here is a shot I made last autumn of an open meadow on the edge of Spruce knob Lake in the Monongahela national Forest of West Virginia. The light was really amazing and the entire meadow was glowing with a soft translucent layer of fog. I used my 80-200mm to frame up a pleasing composition of meadow, spruce trees and the distant hillside awash with autumn color.
What I didn’t Notice at first was the hundreds of Orb Webs in the meadow. Only after walking further into the scene above and examining the meadow grass did I find this wonderful treasure. I set out immediately to find the perfect web that was covered in dew and also being touched by the soft warm light of the early morning sun. I got very low to the ground and set up this shot using my 105mm macro lens. I intentionally focused on a single line of dew and only stopped down to f8 to make sure nothing else in the image was in focus. This selective focus forces the viewers eye to travel along the string of dew as well as creating some really beautiful specular highlights from the extremelyout of focus water drops. By using back-light, the dew and web glow with a kaleidoscope of colors from the blue sky to the autumn foliage in the near background.
This is one of the most popular spots on the tour and we will also spend time shooting in this location.
If anyone is interested in signing up, we still have a few spots available.