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How the magic is done - Dinner is served

Today we are invited by macro photographer Adhi Prayoga to witness a feast take place in front our eyes. With meticulous patience, he has been able to capture the image of a spider coming out of it's nest for food.



I had the idea of the photo on a morning walk when I saw lots of spider webs in grass filled with dew droplets sparkling in the sunny morning. The next day, I woke up before sunrise, in order to get a good light and to look for a position to shoot the morning dew and the cobwebs. After getting the best position, I tried to take some pictures carefully to make the spider used to my presence. Next I waited for the sun to illuminate the cobwebs. Luckily the spider then went out of the nest to get food. I had the opportunity several times to get the best pose of spiders before he went back. It took some patience, because everytime I moved the spider went back and didn't come out for some time.

When I go and look for macro images, I always learn in advance about the insects habits to get the best moment. Like in this photo, I know that spiders often escape into the nest when disturbed, but when I do not do the slightest movement he would back out.

I think the best time to take these kind of shots is at sunrise around 6 to 8 AM and in the afternoon around 5 pm, because at that time there is a very soft light and it's suitable for photographing small insects. Composition is also very important in macro shooting.

The photo has featured in many competitions, and was nominated in several photo contests such as the Salon International (ISAP), and others.


I process the images with Photoshop CS3, set the Level, Curve, Brightness/Contrast to adjust the light and darken and brighten images appropriatly. I set the hue/saturation to get the right color.

To get the dimensions of the image more vivid and the bright areas darker, I used the dodge tool and burn tool carefully and thoroughly.

Plugin Color Efex Pro 3 will help to get the image as you wish, but don't use it too much, because the image that appears naturally can be more interesting. I set the sharpness of the image and removed some of the noise.

As the final step, I usually do a little cropping when needed to get the best composition.


Adhi Prayoga is a 41 year old amature photographer from Indonesia. His favourite genres are landscape, macro, nature and portraits. Some of his work has found success in Indonesian photo competitions and have been published in magazines.