P. audax on thistle bush

Images of undisturbed subjects in their natural environment. All subject types.

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themagicdrainpipe
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P. audax on thistle bush

Post by themagicdrainpipe »

These are pretty old, but I am so proud of these. I love P. audax spiders, and these pictures really capture for me what the essence of the species is.

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microman
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Post by microman »

Great shots, he might need a haircut ;D
Wish we had these in europe :!:

zzffnn
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Post by zzffnn »

Very nice! Thank you for sharing.

Do you happen to remember the spider's size (or images' on-sensor magnification), and the F stop used there? It looks like you used twin flash through a diffusion collar?
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themagicdrainpipe
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Post by themagicdrainpipe »

zzffnn wrote:Very nice! Thank you for sharing.

Do you happen to remember the spider's size (or images' on-sensor magnification), and the F stop used there? It looks like you used twin flash through a diffusion collar?
If I had to guess I would say maybe ~1cm, maybe a small bit larger. I just looked at the settings and I was at ISO 400, 1/200, and f/11. I am using the MT-24EX with a pretty large concave diffuser. Here's a couple photos (ignore the extender and GoPro, two experiments which I ditched :)):

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zzffnn
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Post by zzffnn »

^ Thank you!

So many macro people are using similar flash/diffusion approach and F stop/shutter speeds.

I have not seen such a pretty spider in Houston/Texas, though I did not try very hard. When/where was it photographed? I hope I can find one in the future.
Selling my Canon FD 200mm F/2.8 lens

themagicdrainpipe
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Post by themagicdrainpipe »

zzffnn wrote:^ Thank you!

So many macro people are using similar flash/diffusion approach and F stop/shutter speeds.

I have not seen such a pretty spider in Houston/Texas, though I did not try very hard. When/where was it photographed? I hope I can find one in the future.
I was a proponent of convex diffusion for a while because I thought it looked softer. I went to the dark side and now will only use concave. The circular hood around the lens makes "pupils" on shiny eyes, an added benefit. I was noticing that the pupils were popular among some of the larger macro pages.

This was taken sometime in either August or September of this year. I think P. audax makes its way out to Texas, but I'm not sure. A quick search says it is. I usually look on larger plants in open fields. This one, like the title says, was found on a thistle bush near a fence line.
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Pleasant images! This species, or something closely related to it, are quite common where I live. They are some of my favorite critters to encounter and play with.
themagicdrainpipe wrote:The circular hood around the lens makes "pupils" on shiny eyes, an added benefit. I was noticing that the pupils were popular among some of the larger macro pages.
Hhmm... I'm not sure that either "popular" or "benefit" are the right words. The fake pupils are certainly very common. But I think that's largely explained by how often they arise by accident, assisted by people's amused tolerance for misleading anthropomorphisms. There definitely are other approaches. If you look, for example, at Thomas Shahan's work in National Geographic, you'll find lots of reflections but none that look like pupils. To my personal tastes, that's a much better rendition.

Reflections of the environment are unavoidable, of course, but I don't think we do ourselves any favors by going out of the way to make them misleading. Here at photomacrography.net you'll also find a lot of things that look like pupils, but they're often described as "the dreaded black hole" and a lot of discussion has gone into methods by which they can be at least partially avoided. It's probably worth mentioning that one of our top members, Charles Krebs, uses a spider with fake pupils as his avatar, but that staring-eyes appearance came about by accident, and if I recall his explanation correctly he turned it into his avatar largely out of amusement over the unintended result. I don't think he intended it as any sort of ideal to be emulated.

--Rik

zzffnn
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Post by zzffnn »

With live shy insects, flash diffusion is always tricky for me. Dead subjects are much easier, as one can simply place big diffusion surface as close as possible, to the subject.

I prefer to have flash intensity gradually decrease from upper left/ right to lower parts of shinny subjects, but it is not easy to adjust it quickly and accurately before the subject runs away.

I put 6 layers of progressively larger Vellum paper over a single large flash head and angle flash with a Magic Arm, off camera. But changing light direction would take me a few minutes (to twist the magic arm into the right direction and lock it down).

I am guessing twin flash like Venus KX800 may make light adjustment easier, though diffusion still has to be moved around together with flash and remained in good size and proximity. All that and without scaring away the subject. In this case, light flexibility may mean more stuffs dangling around and higher chance of subject running away.

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