spiders are often a test of patience, at least when it comes to
individual species.At times it can take a very long time to get
certain spiders to stand still long enough to get a usable picture
give advice on camera settings is a difficult exercise. Both because
the quality of equipment varies widely, and because light switch.
There will be various opinions about most things. But I can mention
some general facts in a situation where you shoot small creep
with a macro lens.
is about the choice of aperture or shutter priority, setting the
ISO value, and focus setting. And often it is about the use of
a tripod. Should you take pictures of species, try to achieve
good depth of field, and add the best possible conditions for
electronic imaging after.
choice of aperture is about on how quickly you want to let light
into the imaging chip. Lower aperture numbers mean large aperture,
high numbers small aperture. That is, the higher the aperture
value you use, the longer the shutter speed will be for the same
amount of light to escape into. Longer shutter speeds, gives greater
depth of field. Increased distance to the object also provides
increased depth of field, but with small spiders you have to come
as close as possible.
it is used macro lens with three intermediate rings. These rings
are necessary when you take pictures of small spiders. Without
the intermediate rings the cropping of the images afterwards will
be too extensive, with grain images as a result. The pictures
are taken with artificial light. In good daylight the closing
time will be slightly shorter, but with approximately the same
depth of field.
Aperture priority f/2.8 - shutter speed of 1 / 6 seconds
and depth of field of approx. 2mm.
Aperture priority f/8.0 -shutter speed of 1.3 seconds
and the depth of field of approx. 4mm.
Aperture Priority f/14 -shutter speed of 4.0 seconds
and the depth of field of approx. 10mm.
4: Aperture Priority f/22 -shutter speed of 10.0 seconds
and the depth of field of approx. 15mm.
the exception of shooting in good light, high aperture numbers
often requires a tripod, even if your camera has a bright lens
and image stabilization (IS). Sunlight on the subject gives a
short shutter speed and allows hand-held camera, and it can give
good results. But often a stable and good tripod is a must.
tripod should be of a type where the legs can be adjusted as far
down as possible in order to get close enough to the smallest
creeps on the ground. Some choose to shoot without a tripod, and
preferably with the use of flash. However, to avoid reflections
in the insects oil blank chitin shell, one should also try to
filter the flash or the help light.
(International Organization for Standardization).
is in relation to shooting a measure of sensitivity to light.
Low ISO value gives a low sensitivity to light, visa versa. This
means that dim lighting can increase the ISO value, for example,
from ISO 100 to ISO-400, to shorten the shutter speed. This can
be an absolute necessity if the subject is in motion. But setting
a high ISO number has some downsides. There are in general good
reasons to choose a low ISO number.
will illustrate the difference by comparing the way painters paint
on a tightly woven or a rough canvas. A tightly woven canvas (read:
low ISO numbers) will reveal many more details and small color
shades than a rough canvas (high ISO number). When you take landscape
pictures it won`t be much of a difference. To get the details
on a small spider, it makes a big difference. Taking picture of
a spider with a body length of 2 millimeters, the difference will
be obvious when you look at it on a big computer monitor.
cameras can handle ISO settings of 200 and 400, even when the
object contains small details. The problem reveals itself when
a tiny spider only fills a small area of the image surface and
extensive cropping is needed during the electonic crop after treatment.
It's like moving closer and closer to a painting. The painting
becomes larger and larger in the field of vision, and the subject
becomes more and more blurred. If you want to compensate by sharpening
the image in an imaging program, you will quickly discover that
only small adjustmensts can be made. Sharpening has already been
done by using high ISO value. Further sharpening will make the
image very grainy, with the loss of detail as a result. The recommendation
is therefore to use the lowest ISO value.
with the choice of a low ISO value and a high aperture number,
you may not get a good exposure (right amount of light). If you
set the camera on low ISO and select aperture priority (Av) with
a high aperture number, the automated metering will determine
the shutter speed. That is why it is important that the metering
is at the object itself, and setting the central focus is required.This
is particularly important if you shoot against a background that
is substantially lighter or darker than the object you are shooting.
If the the central focus point is not on the object, the result
will be over-or underexposure.
Autofocus and manual focus.
you use auto focus during macro photography, you can have problems
with depth of field - even if you use a tripod and select a low
ISO value and high aperture numbers. With the focus point on the
back of a spider, obliquely from above, the distance to the outermost
point on the outer leg, will be too long to get the full depth
of field. At the same time the focus point often has to be on
the back of the spider for proper metering. Again, the choice
of a tripod and manual focus is a better solution. You should
select the focus from a middle distance. Even with good equipment,
it will be difficult to achieve depth of field of more than 10
to 15 millimeters of macro photography because of the short distance
between the lens and object.
correct white balance is very important for color rendering. Often,
auto white balance works well, but if you choose to set the white
balance manually, it is important to remember to check it each
time. Options are often symbols for sunny, cloudy, incandescent,
fluorescent and flash. The result can be influenced significantly
by incorrect white balance setting.
A good rule of thumb I use in the settings of my camera (sometimes
even I forget the rule myself) is HIV. H = WB. I = Iso. V = Value
(for either aperture or shutter priority).
kind of technique?
Glenn Halvor Morka
We can choose whether we want to take pictures of spiders in their
natural habitat, or make an artificial background. The disadvantage
of the spiders web, is that the least breath of wind causes the
entire subject to "flap", and the object becomes unclear.
If you choose to take the pictures outside, my advice would be
to do it in calm weather.
Many spiders have very good camouflage colors and patterns, but
if you can discover them, you will see them with the naked eye.
On pictures however, it is entirely different. Often it may disappear
totally against an uneasy background, the contours of the legs
and body will be erased. Think about how the background is before
are relative things. How often have we not bought paint or clothes
in a store, then come home and discover that it was not the "right"
color? I think most of us have experienced that..;) So why does
this happen? The reasons are many. The lightening of the store,
colors on walls, or "neighboring colors"on a color map,
and more. Many things come into play.
color theory used terms like "complementary", quality
contrast and simultaneous contrast
etc. This terminology can be difficult to understand if any of
you have not experienced it before. I will try as best as possible
to explain it in a simple manner. We will initially use two of
strongest contrast you can find. This includes colors that stands
100% against each other in color value. In the illustration below,
it is easier to see what this means.
1. A red spider will have the strongest red color
on a green background.
Example 2: A yellow spider will have
the strongest yellow color on a purple background.
each color has its complementary color on the opposite side of
the circle, which will reinforce it.
illustration shows the colored spiders on their respective complimentary
peope will wonder and ask, -Do not all colors have "the
same color", regardless what background they are put up against?
brain gets deceived in terms of perception of color. When it receives
a light signal from an object, this will be transformed into an
information we can understand. The brain does not only receive
the light from the main object, it also takes the light from other
elements around, and mixes into a stir. This is what we call illusion
and delusion. In other words: the brain is fooling us! (Light
is a mixture of all colors) These "visual deceptions"can
be used constructively in eg art, advertising, or as in our case,
for example a red tomato. When placed on a green surface (which
is always done in the fruit shelves), the red color seem brighter
and stronger. It is more "delicate" in other words.
This is the stores way of making everything in the fruit section
look delicious and fresh, a sale trick, good one too! ;)
two spiders have the exact same color. The spider placed on the
green background, looks more red because it is placed on a complimentary
color to red. Our brain is "tricked".
can be used in photographing too. By being aware of what colors
that can be set up against each other to get the sharpest contrast,
we can achieve an effect that enhances the illusion we want. We
can roughly divide the color wheel in two parts. Left and right
half. The left shows the "cold"colors, while the right
side shows the "warm " colors.
is rare to see as pure colors in nature as we see from the example
of the color circle. They are a mixture of yellow, red and blue.
The color brown consists from a mixture of blue, red and yellow.
The more blue in the mixture, the "colder" the brown
color will seem.
brown spider will get different shades of brown, all depending
on what background you put it on. Here are a few examples:
spider to the left seems "warmer" (more red) in color,
because the blue around is forcing our brain to "add on"
a little extra red. (Both spiders have the exact same color)
spiders with the exact same color. The left seems darker because
of a mirage. Our brain perceives it as darker on white background.
The opposite happens on a black background
with the same hue on the spiders, the one to the left seems "cold"
because of the simultaneous contrast. It's quite strange how we
perceive color, it all depends on the background which the spider
is set upon.
effect as the picture above, only this time I have used turquoised
spiders look like they have the same color, but do they really?
I have tricked you! In example 5, the spider to the left is a
little darker, although it does not look like it is. In example
6, one can easily see that the one to the left is darker against
a white background. It is much harder to see the color difference
in example 5 because the brain gets confused by the colors around
of color theory:
the spider is brown or reddish, the color will come out better
against a "cold" background like blue or green tones.
If it is white or yellow, a background color with a violet tint
will reinforce the object color. The key is to find a background
that highlights the spider so that it becomes easier to see. If
you have the color circle in mind while shooting, the result will
probably be pretty good with a little practice.
a white background nearly all colors becomes neutral, and can
be used. Just be a little aware of that black shiny spiders can
get the light reflecting enhanced by the white background. The
shooting angle and the camera setting often determines this.
do I find motives?
is tempting to say, Everywhere! One can look in basements, buildings,
houses, gardens, forests and mountains. Many spiders do not build
webs, they hunt for their prey. You can seek them out for yourself
or sit and wait until they come to you.
that there are not many spiders that can be identified by just
taking a picture of their habitus. You may want to get some pictures
of the spiders underside, where their genitals sits (female),
or the palps (male), that sits in front of the spider. This is
not easy but you can use a glass to put the spider in and then
take pictures from underneath. The clearer pictures you get, the
easier it makes the identification. After the "photoshoot"
you can place the spider back in its web again.
If you want a white background, a deep dish is very useful. Place
the spider in the dish and shoot ..,-when the spider is standing
still that is. Not all of them do. The species within Theridiidae
can run around down there in the bowl for hours if they feel like
it. Thats when you need patience....a lot of it! Some Linyphiids
can also do this. Wolf spiders are rather easy to handle when
shooting pictures. They run around for a few, then stops, and
species are some tricksters,-especially Clubiona. They
may apparently seem slow and sluggish, but do not be fooled. Suddenly
they explode into activity, and they are gone. They run straight
up the wall of the dish..and in a few seconds they are gone! The
Philodromidae species also do this!
is a small list of genera that climbs straight up smooth surfaces,
and require extra vigilance during shooting: Clubionidae,
Miturgidae, Philodromidae, Anyphaenidae, Salticidae, Thomisidae,
Gnaphosidae, Corinnidae and Sparassidae. The remaining known
species are usually unable to climb the dish wall.
spiders, however, operate with something called "ballooning".
That means that they lift their back end and lets out a thin silk
line. This can be several meters long, and is ultimately taken
by the wind. Then they suddenly sweeps out of the dish, and disappear
right in front of the poor photographers nose! This applies to
any small and juvenile spider.
author out in the field photographing spiders.
Glenn Halvor Morka.
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Annie Antonsen & Glenn Halvor Morka © 2010.
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