Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis)

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

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Troels
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Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis)

Post by Troels »

The mother guards her offspring seen behind the web in lower left corner. The lady jumped into invisibility when I arrived with the photo gear. She had already lost one leg. I had to wait more than 10 minutes before she showed up to see what happened. With all eight eyes.
Pisaura_mirabilis_PSV_13jul20_rz1024px_J.jpg
Full size at Flickr

Stack of 42 exp. Natural light. Tripod. Somewhat cropped.
Troels Holm, biologist (retired), environmentalist, amateur photographer.
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Guido
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Re: Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis)

Post by Guido »

Very good picture, I like it a lot!

A very natural picture from this spider!

Did you use internal camera stacking?

Troels
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Re: Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis)

Post by Troels »

Thanks Guido!

I used in-camera focus-bracketing and made the stack afterwards with Zerene Stacker.
Although I could not see any movements during the bracketing, some of the spines on the legs moved a little.
I had to do some retouching to remove "double spines", an easy task in Zerene.

In fact I made two stacks. Unfortunately the picture is a little overexposed in the highlights in the spider's fur.
I had to use the PMax method to get the threads of the web and the spines clear of the background.
But PMax enlarges the contrast making the nearly blown-out parts even lighter.

So I also did a DMap version with better colors and less contrast from which I could retouch the "fur" of the body and legs to the PMax picture.
The best from both worlds.
I still wish I had exposed the pictures one stop lower. Shiny white hairs are dangerous!
Troels Holm, biologist (retired), environmentalist, amateur photographer.
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Dalantech
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Re: Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis)

Post by Dalantech »

Really nice behavioral shot!

Judging by the shadows it looks like the natural light was a little harsh. Can understand why the white hairs gave you a fit. Ever thought about using a scrim on a stand out in the field?

Troels
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Re: Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis)

Post by Troels »

Thanks for your comment, Dalantech!

With drifting clouds the light was changing fast. Diffusion is certainly a very good idea in harsh light.
I always carry a piece of white diffusion plastic in my photo bag for use in sun light.

Unfortunately I am no longer able to hold it perfect steady with one hand :(
This spider was very alert on any movement. I even used a cable release.

And in this case another stand was not possible.
But next time I get the chance I will consider a better solution.
Troels Holm, biologist (retired), environmentalist, amateur photographer.
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Guido
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Re: Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis)

Post by Guido »

Thx Troels, for explaining your workflow.

MarkSturtevant
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Re: Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis)

Post by MarkSturtevant »

Congratulations on a successful field stack. I have been going back and forth on basing my stacks on the Pmax or the Dmap picture, and then touching up with the other picture. Sometimes it seems one is best, other times it seems the other version is best to start with.

I smiled in learning about the challenge of using a diffuser to soften the ambient light. Not an easy problem without adding unwanted bulk to the gear one already has to carry into the field. Maybe a small diffuser mounted on an flexible arm of LocLine tubing, and that is attached to the camera?

Maybe you could help the brighter areas with some post processing.
Mark Sturtevant
Dept. of Still Waters

Guido
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Re: Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis)

Post by Guido »

Troels sorry to bother you with another question. Does your camera collect the stacked images in a video?
Mine does.

hayath
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Re: Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis)

Post by hayath »

Excellent environmental portrait

Troels
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Re: Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis)

Post by Troels »

Guido, don't worry about asking.
Sorry for answering so late but I have been away from computer for 12 days.

My camera, Olympus OM-D5 mk II, when set to focus bracketing takes a fast row of single pictures (JPG or Raw), around 10 frames per second while changing the focus a tiny bit between each capture.

You could make a video out of it. But it would look strange 8) .
Troels Holm, biologist (retired), environmentalist, amateur photographer.
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Troels
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Re: Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis)

Post by Troels »

Thank for kind comments,
MarkSturtevant and hayath !
I appreciate it.
Troels Holm, biologist (retired), environmentalist, amateur photographer.
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