Photographing Morning Dews

After shooting macro regularly for a while, one may get bored especially when you have captured most of the common subjects such as ants, spiders, grasshoppers, damselflies, dragonflies, etc. Rare insects or creatures are hard to come by and it is not uncommon that you may return empty handed or only a handful of unimpressive shots despite spending a few hours in the field. Since we are seeing the common subjects most of the time, how do we make them looks more appealing in a image? Yes, dewdrop is the answer!

Dewdrop is a wonderful photographic subject by itself. Whenever possible, position in such a way that you get the sun reflected in the dews producing a sparking “starburst” effect.  Using a smaller aperture of say f16 or underexposing the image a little would have a higher chance of getting a “starburst” effect.

Dewdrop can also complement and very effective in making an original subject looks amazingly different. I always find it interesting to see water droplets clinging to a leaf, a flower, a spider web and I personally find insects cover in the morning dews most beautiful and attractive.  Also, it often gives me the nice feeling of the morning freshness.
When would you find heavy dews?
I used to have the impression that if it is raining today, it should be a dewy morning the next day which is not really the case. Basically, if it is warm at night, there will be little dew formation even if there was a heavy rain the day before. Yes, thing might get wet because of humidity but generally you would not find the little droplets of water you see in many photos posted in this forum. The conditions you want to find heavy dews is a warm humid day, followed by a clear cool night. From my experience, April & October are the best periods to find heavy dews.

What is the best time to photograph dews?

Generally, you need to be there at first light usually at 7.00 am. There are certain months such as October & November where the first light can be as early as 6.45 am. Singapore has a warm climate and therefore the dews do not last very long. It will only remain while the temperature is low and before the sun warms things up. Very often, dews are evaporated by 8.30 am. Most of my better dew photos were taken between 6.45 am to 8.15 am.

Where are the best places to find dews?

I read that there will be much fewer dew formation under tree cover than it is in the open. So, it is unlikely that you will find dews in forested areas. From my experience, Wild Wild West @ Cooperation Road End, the entrance of Kranji Nature Trail & Holland Woods have lots of bushes not under tree covers and these are some of the best places in Singapore to photograph dewy subjects.
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