Photo: Liquid Suspension

Liquid Suspension — water droplets floating in a spider's web

Tiny raindrops, levitating in a spiderweb. Most people don’t realize it’s a spider’s web, but if you’re observant, you can figure it out from the stray dirt and threads. I shot this in January 2007 with my old Canon A620 (this is the first release here); I focused as close as it would go (one centimeter) for this, as the drops were really tiny. To increase the depth-of-field, I closed down to F7.1 (the range on the A620 is F2.8-F8). I kept taking photos after this, but disturbed the web mistakenly, causing all the drops to fall. This one, while dull at first, came to life with my editing. The reflections in the drops are my favorite element, each representing a microcosm of the world we know and love.

If you haven’t figured it out, spider webs aren’t pretty. There were pieces of dirt and dead bugs strewn in the web. My purpose as an artistic photographer is to present a realistic ideal of the world, through whatever means necessary. My job was to remove those, both from the web and the droplets’ reflections. I only did this in a couple; in the other droplets, I decided that the reflections pass for branches or leaves above or around the web. I used Adobe Photoshop CS2’s spot healing brush and clone stamp to take out the offending elements, while double checking that there were no smudge marks by making the image much darker using the Levels tool, followed by checking the integrity of the highlights. The last step was to crank the contrast into overdrive (curves), because the scene was really dull to start; it was a dreary, overcast day, after all. It all came together in the post-processing stage.
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Canon PowerShot A620, 1/320, F7.1, 7.3mm, ISO50, 2007-01-18T13:16:43-05, 2007-01-18_18h16m43

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Please credit me as “Photo by Richard Thripp” or something similar.