Ragnatele

It’s Italian for cobwebs.

On a normal day, you don’t see them unless you get up early and catch the morning sun reflecting off them as it crests the surrounding hills . . . the angle has to be shallow, you see, otherwise they blend.

But on this morning there was a fog. A fog that deposited tiny water droplets on everything it touched; it touched ragnatele.

cobwebs, dew

Every morning I am surprised at how many there are . . . the above is just a small portion of the rock landscape on our lot, but it is representative of rest of the rocks.

cobwebs, dew

. . . what’s that? Oh . . . yes, those are weeds. I only weed once every few weeks.

cobwebs, dew cobwebs, dew

Actually, that last one is something I’ve not pulled from the ground. It reminds me a bit of miniature trees, and that is enough to have me spare its life . . . it will dies soon enough in the bitter cold of freezing nights.

This is what one of the spiders built . . . note the ominous entrance; what manner of beast resides within? Oh, yeah . . . a spider.

cobwebs, dew

I tried to get one to surface, but as it was cold and damp, no amount of faux-bug-caught-in-a-web vibrations worked to get the monster from its lair.

What is of interest to me is the amount of work that goes into these webs . . .

cobwebs, dew

. . . and the fact that one finds cobwebs on nearly everything . . .

cobwebs, dew

Of course, in this case its web spinner might just have had a leak, and there was no intention to build anything, otherwise that is one sorry excuse for a spiderweb.

Sometimes I look at one particular webwork . . .

cobwebs, dew

. . . and think about how it might look in B&W . . .

cobwebs, dew

Meh! . . . I’ve played around with all these files to see how a B&W treatment might enhance the web itself.

What I found is that as long as the web is not too intricate, it can be made to look good in B&W. If, however, one tries to capture all of the web, it becomes too much and ceases to work.

cobwebs, dew cobwebs, dew

I really tried to turn this next shot into a B&W masterpiece . . . all to no avail. I left it as is.

cobwebs, dew

You can click on the photos to get a larger view, or you can go look at the originals in the associated SmugMug gallery HERE.

This next shot shows a particularly ambitious effort (on the part of the spider, not mine) not just on the surface of the rocks, but extending toward the heavens.

cobwebs, dew

Like I said, when it gets too complicated, conversion to B&W suffers a bit . . .

cobwebs, dew

But, in this case I could play upon the reflection by adding a bit of ‘glow’ to the conversion, and darkening the background.

cobwebs, dew

I saved this preset, but it did not work on other shots.

Here are two treatments of the last photo I snapped that morning.

cobwebs, dew cobwebs, dew

But, while I am at it, let me show you a ‘Paint’ treatment on one of the shots not good enough to use ‘as is’.

cobwebs, dew

I thought that was it with the cobwebs until we had our first snow.

20140912_092048_DIGI

I noticed a few cobwebs on the small evergreens flanking the walkway to the front door. I would not have noticed them were it not for the flakes resting on them.

A few days later I grabbed the mister (that something that produces mist, not a person referred to as ‘mister’), the tripod, the camera, and my macro lens.

Cobweb,

Again, I played around with the B&W conversions I had used on previous occasions.

Cobweb,

Now, both of the above look good at full resolution, but as much as I tried, I could not ‘bring out’ the drops and make them ‘pop’. By that I mean ‘have them stand out’, not ‘explode’.

Cobweb,

For example, the shot above . . . here’s one treatment I tried.

Cobweb,

It’s not bad, but not what I envisioned.

It gets especially more difficult when the picture is full of details . . . 

Cobweb,

Not even tinting helps . . . 

Cobweb,

So, I next tried cranking up the original before the conversion. This seemed to work a little better.

Cobweb,

Cobweb,

I was getting desperate! My whole reputation as a mediocre – and sometimes lucky – photographer at stake, I started to throw the kitchen sink at the photos (it was attached pretty good, and I had to employ my considerable strength to dislodge it). 

Cobweb,

Cobweb,

No good! . . . it all sucks! Sucks, I tell you . . . you just can’t resolve as much detail as one would see when looking at it closer. I was doomed; I was scre . . . !? . . . wait a second . . . let me zoom in a bit . . . 

Cobweb,

HOLY CRAP ON A CRACKER! . . . the answer was a 1:1 zoom and crop; it was sitting there right under my nose the whole time!

Had I  a smaller nose I would have seen it earlier. But no matter; once I knew the secret, I went to town, and when I came back I prepped the following. I was going to reprocess the earlier ones, but it was late, and I had feet to go before I slept.

So, here’s what I’m going to do for you, gentle reader and persons of obvious discerning tastes and fine upbringing (you are, after all, reading my blog); I am going to post my four favorite all at once, and then call it an evening (the post is scheduled to go up in the morning).

Cobweb,

Cobweb,

Cobweb,

Cobweb,

Don’t forget the SmugMug Gallery HERE, or to at least click on a few of the images.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.

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. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.

About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Black & White, Black and White, Effects and Filters, Macro Photography, Photography Stuff and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Ragnatele

  1. Why do you have a large pile of rocks in your garden?

    The misted photos remind me of bubble wrap. And, are those nasty dangerous large spiders? The funnel entrance brought to mind Sydney’s infamous funnel webs.

    Like

    • disperser says:

      We live in a desert area, so using rocks for decorating part of the yard is a common thing (those were there when we bought the yard). Many people have nothing but rock (and I wish we did) as it cuts down on the need for watering. Rocks, it turns out, need very little water to survive.

      Those are funnel spiders, but not the kind for which you need Elendil.

      Like

      • I use pebbles and stones around my cacti, although we aren’t desert. That’s further up the coast in Spain.

        The delicate plant looks like one of my ferns that appeared from nowhere, a transplant, an implant or maybe just a plant?

        I don’t want any Tolkien spoilers. I’ve yet to read books 1 and 3, I don’t want to know what happens with the evil spider and the delicious Gollum.

        Like

      • disperser says:

        You read them out of sequence? Sorry . . . you are reading them out of sequence? No spoilers then.

        Oh, and unless you never want to read the trilogy ever again, don’t read “Bored of the Rings”.

        Like

        • Two Towers was included in a free book haul that we snaffled. I left it till last on two grounds. Thought Tolkien was overhyped and wanted to read book one first. I was running out of books and marooned in Spain so Two Towers it was and I was smitten with Gollum. I’ll read Bored when I’ve finally read the others. Should be in the library, bit difficult to use a Gib library when rescuing a Spanish pup in Spain and waiting for his jabs and chip…

          Like

        • disperser says:

          Wow . . . if you find ‘Bored of the Rings’ in your library . . . let’s just say I will be immensely impressed.

          Like

  2. oneowner says:

    I think perhaps the rocks encourage spiders to live there. They might possibly provide shelter for them and even help them thrive. I like to see these photos, especially the black and white of the simpler webs. They’re a natural for the conversion.
    I thought I was the only one who keeps a mister handy for such occasions. I actually have one for the front yard and one for the back yard. And one in the kitchen.

    Like

    • disperser says:

      Could be . . . Not sure I ever see that many insects on the rocks, nor, for that matter, on the spiderwebs themselves. Perhaps they are trading a fertile hunting ground for a little extra protection.

      The mister is being used in part because you had mentioned it. I’m still experimenting with the proper technique . . . too much, and it just overwhelms; too little and it doesn’t show up well.

      I signed up to take the “Proper Misting Technique” class at the local college, but it turned out to be about plants. Very disappointed.

      Like

  3. sandra getgood says:

    I wasn’t expecting to get really excited about looking at pictures of cobwebs…or webs of any kind….but I usually find your posts so interesting that I gave it a try. And the pictures are beautiful, particularly the colorful ones with the tiny little bubbles. You continually surprise us. And a big thank you for me for resisting the temptation to include pictures of the spiders (although perhaps I should thank the cold weather and the cautious good sense of the spiders, as well.

    Like

  4. Wow! What amazing webs and photos of webs! Stunning!
    I especially love the “dewy” rainy ones, and the snow one!
    I think that paint treatment photo is cool! It’s like “What Would Happen if Spiders had Access to Dry Tempera”! Ha! :-)
    I was just talking to a friend today about seeing some huge webs and thinking about the spider who weaved them, and about the hours of work. A thing of beauty. As long as I’m not walking into the web! ;-)
    HUGS!!! :-)

    Like

  5. Disperser … Those spider webs might be scary or remind someone of a need for a good house cleaning. But I love your photos where droplets of rain highlight the web’s presence. It reminds me of a walk I took in the woods back home in a nature center. The sun lit up one web beautifully. I wanted to kick myself for not bringing a camera. I did my next trip there. Unfortunately, that memorable scene was not reproduced.

    You have snow already? Or are those photos from earlier this year? If not, Yikes! ;-)

    Like

    • disperser says:

      Yup, although it was a one-day deal. Since that day we’ve had dry and warm weather, but I expect another chance of white stuff on the ground in the not-too-distant future.

      . . . and yes . . . always have a camera with you (easier nowadays since there are decent camera in phones).

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Emily Scott says:

    Snow already! Have to admit I prefer the colour to the b&w photos, but then I usually do.

    Like

    • disperser says:

      It was only a dusting, and was gone late that same day, but the mountains got significant amounts. Some of the states to the north had record snows, both for the amount and how early it fell.

      Like

  7. PiedType says:

    I particularly like those last 5 or 6 photos. Reminds me of some kind of bejeweled netting that might be overlaid on a woman’s ball gown, or perhaps in her hair.

    In the last few weeks I’ve noticed little dew-covered webs like this scattered across the grass in my backyard in the morning. It looks like delicate little handkerchiefs.

    Like

    • disperser says:

      That’s what first attracted my attention, the way they draped over the rocks.

      The water droplets do look neat on a web, but I miss the big geometric webs I used to see in Michigan. These look like tapestries as opposed to the spiderwebs we are used to seeing in drawings, with the spider sitting at the center of it.

      Like

      • PiedType says:

        Those big geometric webs always fascinate me. Amazing structures. I’m always careful not to break them (assuming they’re not near my house). Love to watch the spiders at work.

        Like

  8. AnnMarie says:

    The master has weaved yet another great post! The patterns and textures the webs and water produced are works of art and truly awe-inspiring. And off to SmugMug I go!

    Like

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