Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Spider, up close and personal

I’m placing the photo at the end of the post today because I have a daughter with arachnophobia. The sight of a spider, no matter how small and far away, sends her into a panic. For twenty years, I’ve been the go-to guy when a spider needs attending to. So I understand those who can’t stand the things.

That said, I think this is a pretty cool shot of a large (1/2 inch) jumping spider. I taped two lenses together, face to face, to get the magnification. A 135mm prime was on my camera and a 50mm prime attached to the front of that with the small end aimed at the arachnid. The camera was mounted on a tripod and extremely small adjustments made to get the eyes in the plane of focus.

I used a variation of my standard window lighting setup with this shot. Instead of a large sheet of colored paper for the backdrop, I used a light blue Post-it Note. A small folded sheet of white paper was used to reflect some light onto the shadow side of the creature. The tough part about such closeup shots is that the lens ends up so close to the subject that lighting becomes an issue. There was enough sidelight from the window, along with the reflector, to give a fairly even light to the spider, which really brings out several of his beautiful blue-green eyes.

You may be wondering how this spider managed to stay still during all the fuss of setting up. He spent a little time in a refrigerator to slow him down prior to his appearance on the set. Some extremely talented veterans of insect photography like Kim and Meng Foo (two of my contacts at Flickr) might scoff at me for doing that, but I’m sure I’ll get better at this as I go.

It's a pretty auspicious start.

Click on picture to enlarge even further. Photograph © 2007 James Jordan.


Wanda said...

*****TOO CLOSE AND TOO PERSONAL FOR ME ****But it is a fantastic photo and the colors unreal.

James said...

wanda, I understand completely. Getting close to objects really give a new perspective on the intricacy of creation. There are so many more details than meets the eye (no pun intended).

Miss Trashahassee said...

Wow! For a second there, until I read the post, I thought that thing was a mutated frog!


Awesome photo!

Miss T

Lisa said...

Duuuuuude ~~ that's AMAZING! I've seen macro shots of these spiders before, but the eyes and colors on this one just blow my mind. Wonderful capture!

jessica said...

I dont know, I'm odd I guess, but that is kinda pretty in a way!