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Reflecting eyes
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canonian



Joined: 31 Aug 2010
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Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands

PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:56 am    Post subject: Reflecting eyes Reply with quote

In Matthias'post a discussion started about the reflection of lens and diffuser in the eyes of jumping spiders, and the techiques and methods that can be used to avoid these reflections.
In this photo reflection of the lens is edited out, and I ask you: does it look more natural or less natural. Should it be edited out or left alone, as-it-is?
Are we so getting used to this type of inevitable reflection --the 'pupils', that editing it out leaves the spider with an absent, almost blind looking expression?



The original is showed here. The reflection of lens and diffuser can clearly be seen, giving it a 'curious' expression.

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jgknight



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fred, IMHO I think I like the second photo the best.
The eyes really look "alive" compared to the first one.
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DQE



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In several conflicting ways, a tough call!

Normally, I prefer a small "catchlight" for each eye, anthropomorphizing these little creatures of course. With a catchlight, it gives the eyes a sparkle and life that would otherwise be lacking.

Yet the 2nd photo, with its apparent pupil, also looks human-like in its own way.

If forced to choose, I prefer the 1st photo since intellectually I know that jumpers don't have pupils.

Similarly, a highly reflective, mirror-like eye surface that shows a reflection of the scene the jumper is looking at, has its own merits and I also enjoy that effect.

I hope these comments help even if they end up sounding non-committal.
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canonian



Joined: 31 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DQE wrote:
... that shows a reflection of the scene the jumper is looking at, has its own merits and I also enjoy that effect.


So this would be more appropriate? (Sorry John, it was the only thing close at hand ) Very Happy


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DQE



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

canonian wrote:
DQE wrote:
... that shows a reflection of the scene the jumper is looking at, has its own merits and I also enjoy that effect.


So this would be more appropriate? (Sorry John, it was the only thing close at hand ) Very Happy



Personally, I do prefer the last photo over the others, but I couldn't provide anything resembling a strong argument defending my preferences. I think much of these sorts of preferences is probably not much more than what the subject's photograph reminds the viewer of. In other words, it's not necessarily the photograph but rather the viewer that is the primary factor. One of course runs into the same sorts of issues in paintings and other works of art.

I also suspect there are various subjective issues about certain flash unit's shapes, as reflected in the jumper's eyes, that depend on what the viewer brings to the photograph. For example, I have a strong negative reaction about the ring-shaped flash-head reflections that may appear in jumpers' eyes when photographed using a macro ring flash.

Regardless of all this speculation, I do personally like the last photo most of all!

Jumpers make such photogenic subjects.
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Craig Gerard



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Notice the reflection of John's avatar in the jumper's eyes. It is reversed as in a mirror.... Think Fred, how did you put John in there?

Do jumping spiders have mirrors behind their eyes?

Some spiders have eyes that 'glow' when you shine a torch at them at night.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AbqrfC64YE

I'm about to read this article on Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye

and this one:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumping_spider


Craig
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canonian



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Craig Gerard wrote:
...It is reversed as in a mirror.... Do jumping spiders have mirrors behind their eyes?

Craig, reflection is correct: look at his camera, it reads "nonaC". Smile
John's avatar was used, his reaction was some thread back (Hope you don't mind, John)
It was the first image of a photographer I could find, and put there in response to DQE : a reflection of the scene the jumper is looking at...
Used a bit of creative PhotoShopping.

Thanks for the links. Interesting read, never heard of 'tapetum lucidum' before.
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jgknight



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha. Good to see that I am a star even if only in the spiders eyes. Very Happy
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Chris S.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL, Fred, at your later image. Glad I don't have an avatar. . . .

Regarding the original question, my preference is for the first of the two images. The reflections of the diffuser in the second image give me the impression eye structures that the spider doesn't have, and in general, photographs that give a false impression bother me. So I'd vote for the "cleaned up" version. Not that I'd be happy with the prominent reflection of your flash, but you probably aren't either, and that wasn't the subject of this experiment.

Yesterday, there was a salticid on my window, and I was sorely tempted to experiment with lighting its eyes. Couldn't bring myself to do it--sac'ing a salticid for a quick lighting experiment was beyond me, though I'd certainly do it for a careful photographic study. Of course, I was eating a chicken sandwich, and probably bashed dozens of small flying insects with my car while driving to pick it up, so none of this has any basis in logic.

A question to those who shoot salticids: How long do the eyes continue to look lifelike after the subject is killed?

For a hemi-demi-semi-slightly similar lighting situation, a while back I posted a cluster of oriental bittersweet. Shooting the waxy, reflective berries reminded me of the shiny-ball exercise sometimes given to beginning photography students. Everywhere I put the lights gave a reflection, so I had to make the reflection work for me. I did cross polarize, but with the reflection completely removed, the waxy surface of the berries was no longer apparent, and I wanted to show this fruiting cluster as it really is. So I dialed some of the reflection back in.

But having this dimmed-down reflection appear nearly everywhere on the berries made it much too prominent, and hid too much of the red-orange color that is a signature of this plant. So I masked off (or "flagged") much of the diffused light with black paper. I kept adding pieces of black paper until I had a balance of reflection and non-reflection that showed the berries to be crinkly and colorful.

Meanwhile, I was also masking off light to tackle another issue. The yellow-tan husks around the berries have a concave shape, a ridge, and a bit of texture. I wanted this to be apparent in the image, and this requires shadow. Not deep dark shadow, in this case, but nice, transparent shadow. With full, diffuse lighting, the shadows were absent, and the image looked flat; so part of my masking off process was to reintroduce shadow.

The final image is no earth-shaking work of art--my goal wasn't art, but illustration; care with lighting was part of conveying maximum information. (And I didn't clean the specimen, because specimens don't come that way in the wild--the bits of stray material might help somebody make an identification.) Anyway, it's a shiny, bulbous thing, so maybe there is some slight takeaway for salticid eyes.

Cheers,

--Chris

(edited for typos and, slightly, for clarity)


Last edited by Chris S. on Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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canonian



Joined: 31 Aug 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, Chris.
Ah, You're the fellow with the huge and ever evolving setup, the 'Bratcam'.
Really admire this setup, it's build quality and results, and your patient way of lighting these berries. I can see you don't rush things.
Chris wrote:
How long do the eyes continue to look lifelike after the subject is killed?

They keep their lifelike appearance a while but in one case the eyes went "off" and became misty / cloudy as you can see in the first picture.
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Chris S.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, Fred—Yep, that’s me, the fellow with the Bratcam. Ever-evolving, indeed. A family member has teased me by threatening to kidnap the Bratcam and sell it on "Pawn Stars" (an American TV show about a pawn shop--not sure if it has graced the other side of the pond). Thanks for your kind words.

Try as I may, I can’t seem to find where the eyes are misty or cloudy in the first picture in your other post. I do see what looks like reflections of your diffuser—a bit different in each eye, because the angle is different for each, but the same basic image. Am I missing something else?

Thanks for the info that the eyes stay life-like for a while. So if I sacrifice a salticid, I might be able to work with it for more than just one session. That’s very good to know.

Cheers,

--Chris
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canonian



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mind you Chris, the abdomen get mushy and leaky after a few days and will not stay in shape. In good and dry conditions it can be kept for about 1 week.
A friend of mine told me spiders are best preserved as a 'wet sample', kept in some sort of alcohol solution, an area I did not experiment with yet.
I do not particularly like to sacrifice a salticid either, or any insect for that matter, and it often leaves me with a gnawing feeling.
Some species I leave alone, like bumblebees and ladybirds and such, of each I caugh only one to study and photograph.
Weevils and bugs however come in such a large variety and the chance of finding the same genus or species is often small.
And then there is ID-ing them... Rolling Eyes
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yeatzee



Joined: 29 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the eyes eventually turn to this:



Smile
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Chris S.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

canonian wrote:
Mind you Chris, the abdomen get mushy and leaky after a few days and will not stay in shape. . . . (snip)
And then there is ID-ing them... Rolling Eyes

Fred, you present two good reasons for me to stick to my knitting, which currently does not include arthropods.

A couple of years back, I was involved in a "bioblitz"--a publically-sponsored 24-hour effort to identify as many organisms as possible within a tract of park land. I was attached to the botanical group, but also volunteered to photograph the whole event. The former role, I understood reasonably well; the latter, I understood less but really enjoyed.

One interesting bit to me was that the insect team was largely satisfied with noting the genus of specimens and then letting them go. In botanical circles, this would seem strange. But the entomology folks told me that to attempt to get identify species would turn the "bioblitz" into a "necroblitz" (dealing in death, rather than life). Interesting.

Another scientist was trying to estimate the number of living species extant in Ohio, and was having trouble getting within an order of magnitude or two. Among the conundra he listed was a conversation with an entomologist who said that in one Ohio field, he'd found 145 species of leafhoppers, and in another, 180 species (forgive me if I misremember these numbers--the general idea will still come through.) So how many kinds of leafhoppers do we have in Ohio? Who knows? Granted, this source was likely a splitter, and I tend to be a lumper--but the question remains.
My own sensei, a botanist, was trying to get me to understand how some fungi could be thought of as having five or so sexes, and how several of these "sexes" might need to get together in order to produce sexual reproduction. (About this time, my brain explodes.)

So in the end, I find myself interested in particular genera, such as the morchellaceae (a group of mushrooms). I'm familiar with the debate on speciation within this genus and related genera. In other areas, I'm content to accept an identification as close, such as to genus or even family. Depending upon the area of study, less than this level of precision may be sloppy, but more may be argument. If so, I'll try to choose my areas of argument to those where I might contribute something. This is very few areas.

Anyway, I'll likely shy away from salticids and other arthropods. Please don't further tempt me!

Tanner, nice image--I like your lighting. However, without knowing how your specimen would have looked when fresh, and how long it remained dead before you took this shot, I have no basis for comparison.

Cheers,

--Chris
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yeatzee



Joined: 29 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its just a crop from this image Chris:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tanneryates/5692657326/in/photostream

The specimen is a P. Audax adult female which had been dead for I'd say months but cant remember exactly. I have an adult P. Adumbratus that died and its eyes have started to turn the same way. Here's a shot of the same living specimen...


Phidippus Audax by yeatzee (now 17, but still learning), on Flickr

and for reference, a living P. Adumbratus with SUPER reflective and colorful eyes.


Phidippus adumbratus eyes by yeatzee (now 17, but still learning), on Flickr

(crop)
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