"That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang."William Shakespeare, Sonnet 73.
The Art Of To Put Everything In The Correct Place
In the above picture we can view a leaf as principal subject in the centre. It's limited by a wood bar in the left side, there is a wood table below and a spider-web above and in the right side.
The Scenery Where We Danced As Puppets
The location in this kind of macro-photography is not too much important. This picture could be taken in everywhere, but it was taken in the Henares river path (in Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain). It's a leaf over the new wood fence.
Not too much time ago there was a discussion about this fence. In the past there was a very old metal fence. The city hall wanted build an enormous cement wall, hiding the nature behind it. Finally, they built a small wood fence, the fence that appears in this picture. You can read more about the polemic and view pictures in my other blog: "Astaroth's World" (in Spanish, with auto-translation).
The Story Behind the Scene
I wanted create a new post in my blog about wildlife "La Ventana Salvaje". I carried my camera, my tripod and my telephoto lens to take pictures of animals... but animals didn't appear. Instead it, I took some pictures of spider-webs those I published here.
I also shot some animals and other things, but not enough to create a new post.
The macro photography of spider-webs was the principal subject of that morning.
The long way from the idea to the picture
This picture is a "macro", so it's made with large focal distances (300mm, for be closer) and playing with the depth of field. I've used an aperture of f/13, an intermediate aperture because I wanted have a 3D volume in focus (that it contained the leaf), while the background was unsharpened.
You can view several layers of spider-webs with a different level of sharpness.
The shooting speed was not too much important in this case because there wasn't wind and I had a tripod: it was a very static situation. Increase over 100 the ISO speed was not necessary (and there is noise even with low ISO speed).
I created some HDR versions and I mixed them with the original file. I've worked dividing the image in two areas with different processing: the corner left-down and right-up. Finally, I used some treatments for increase the sharpness.
You can view Exif data in Flickr.
Another Feelings About The Same Scene
To choose the better version of a picture is a very difficult decision for me. I'm going to show you several versions of the same scene that competed with the final image.
First of all, the original image, without processing:
In the opposite side, we have the default HDR image (made with Qtpfsgui / Luminance HDR - Mantiuk algorithm).
Between two above versions there are a lot of variations until the final version.
What do you prefer? Write about it in comments ;)!
What does the author think about his own work?
In this picture I really like the composition. A withered leaf, the wood with strong textures, the spider-web... they are objects with a powerful emotional charge, with a lot of symbolism: the end of the life, the death of the nature. The used colours increase these feelings.
The leaf is framed by the wood and the spider-web. It's alone, dead, forgotten in a dead environment. They are delicate things: a withered leaf and a spider-web are things we can destruct only with touch them.
I think the view is easy to be directed to central subject, but it's not a plane image: the spider-web connects different planes at different distances from the camera.
I think it's a very poetic image.
I don't like the over-processing. The final version was made with a lot of layers in GIMP, and my satisfaction with my work in inversely proportional to the number of layers used :p. I also used processing by areas, and it's a negative point.
By other hand (maybe because of over-processing) there is a lot of noise. It's not a "clean" image.
How feeling closer this picture?
You can buy several products (prints, puzzles, mugs, etc.) with this image in deviantART.