Decades ago when I got my first “real” job my first luxury purchase was a Nikon F (even the black body since that was more “elite”). I thought about doing photography seriously. While I mastered some of the technical aspects (even print making) and some of the concepts of what makes a good image (from books and one class) I soon learned I didn’t have the aesthetic sense to really be a serious photographer. But I swore I would never degrade to just doing easy snapshots that everyone does (and like to see) and so sometimes try to spot something more interesting.
One of the main ideas of photography as an art is to learn to see things we normally overlook and then see these objects through the eye of the camera and thus make something out of nothing. Spectacular scenery (or cute people photos, which I don’t do) is easy; by luck you can get some good photos, especially now with digital stuff where you don’t waste a lot of money on film and processing to get the occasional “good” shot.
This photo, unfortunately with my first and less advanced digital camera, was one of those lucky breaks where at least I could see something interesting. I was actually in an old-growth Redwood preserve somewhere in northern California. If you ever walked one of those you know they’re very dark as little light gets down through that majestic forest canopy. But every now and then there is a gap in the canopy and literally a shaft of bright light, almost like a searchlight, penetrates and illuminates something on the ground.
That’s what I got here and while I don’t claim it’s something all that great I really like the elements. The spider web was brightly illuminated with that shaft of light and so obviously interesting, but I spent a while studying the scene to try to find how to present it well. Having the bright leaves in conjunction with the web and the totally unexposed background (not how it looks to the eye) is, IMHO, an interesting subject.
Fortunately I did have preview in my digital camera and thus could get the exposure where I wanted it because this is actually a difficult lighting situation. Probably if I’d shot this with my old Nikon it wouldn’t have turned out as well because I did do several exposures (and focus) and could see what I was getting and try again until I got it to my satisfaction. Given you can’t “pose” natural, especially of something this fragile, I can imagine a better image but I don’t think, in this circumstance, I could have done much better.