Small black spider

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

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rjlittlefield
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Small black spider

Post by rjlittlefield »

Image

I confess, there's nothing particularly interesting about this image. It's just my first handheld stack using a new combination: MP-E 65 and 580EX II flash. The combination is pretty convenient -- worked better than I expected it to.

That said, I doff my hat to folks like LordV who can shoot actually attractive images this way, day after day after day. I had lots of trouble just finding the spider through the lens, though it hadn't gone anywhere from when I looked around the lens to see where it was!

Canon T1i, MPE-65 at 2X, f/5.6, 1/200 second, ISO 100, 580EX II flash in ETTL mode, 4"x4.5" Opteka diffuser. 3 frames stacked with Zerene, no retouching. Slight crop.

Spider's body length about 4 mm. I think the apparent dimple on the dorsal abdomen really is a dimple, though I don't have enough different images to be sure. The other alternative would be a light leak around the base of the diffuser, but I don't see that in any other images from different viewpoints. The surface is enameled steel siding on my house. I was standing on a short ladder to shoot the dang thing.

--Rik

LordV
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Post by LordV »

Good one Rik - always much harder to shoot bugs on a wall esp when on a ladder too !
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Craig Gerard
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Post by Craig Gerard »

Rik,

Nice shot!

I can appreciate what you have said about locating the subject in the viewfinder. I've been doing the same thing myself today with an MP-E 65mm.

I'm using a 270EX flash (definitely worth $130.00) and a homemade diffuser thingo' that fits onto the front of the lense (it actually works :shock: ). I was about to write up a post; but my eyes are sore from squinting into the viewfinder.

I look forward to reports of your ongoing adventures :)


Craig
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rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Thanks, guys. Adding to the difficulty of finding the subject whilst standing on a ladder, this was also under an eave on the north side of the house, on a rainy day. So the light was a bit dim too. To help out, I lashed an LED camping headlamp to the body of the strobe. That didn't make much difference when I was out in the open, but it helped a bunch when I was lurking in the shadows.

--Rik

gmazza
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Post by gmazza »

Using the MP-E to focus in a wall is challenging, as the frontal element is 58mm and not extended, spo is easier to the lens borders to touch the wall which make a scarry sound. Usually when outside I use the leaf borders as parameters to start the focus. I use too led lights with the diffuser to help in a more precise focusing.
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Harold Gough
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Re: Small black spider

Post by Harold Gough »

rjlittlefield wrote: Spider's body length about 4 mm. I think the apparent dimple on the dorsal abdomen really is a dimple, though I don't have enough different images to be sure.
The spider looks like a typical linyphiid. I don't think the dimple is real; it 'comes and goes' as I stare at it. The eyes are, however, on a raised dome, as in males of many species in the family. I can see the left male palp, the right one being hidden under the right front leg.

Harold
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Ken Ramos
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Post by Ken Ramos »

I thought of buying a MP-E 65 at one time and may still do so, though I will have to stop by Lowe's for the step ladder. :lol: That spider looks like some of those that I find living among mosses when observed through the dissecting microscope, though those may be a bit smaller. Good photo though, the dimple does seem to come and go, I think its the highlights creating the illusion of that. Looks to be pretty well defined as to depth, an organ of sorts maybe? :)

Harold Gough
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Post by Harold Gough »

Ken Ramos wrote: Good photo though, the dimple does seem to come and go, I think its the highlights creating the illusion of that. Looks to be pretty well defined as to depth, an organ of sorts maybe?
No organ is to be found in this position. Were it to be on the ventral side of a female, it would be about the right place for the epigyne.

Harold
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rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Sorry guys, but after studying the series again, I definitely have to go with dimple.

Consider this image:

Image

Now bear in mind that the flash source is a small rectangular diffuser with hard edges. When reflected from a smoothly curved surface, its outline would be a slightly warped rectangle. But in the first image I posted, the upper left corner of the reflection has been obliterated, while in this second image, a different part of the reflection is obliterated (center of long side) at the same anatomical position.

That combination is very difficult to explain in terms of changes in the light source, very easy to explain in terms of a dimple in the abdomen.

I kinda wish now that I had trapped the little guy so I could take another look.

--Rik

Harold Gough
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Post by Harold Gough »

I suspect that such a distortion, if accidentally caused, would be permanent.

I note that the one species illustrated, in my general guide to spiders of Britain and Northern Europe, with this unpatterned, dark colour is also one in which the females have the eyes slightly raised up, such that, with the palps not clearly visible, even its gender could be in doubt. That is the genus Dismodicus but it is only about half the size you quote of 4mm. The scope for different (other) species and genera is considerable.

Harold
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Ken Ramos
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Post by Ken Ramos »

Appears to be two dimples now. Either micro-meteorite impact craters or kids with BB guns. :D

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