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Thread: Fluorescing Jumping Spider

  1. #1
    ktuli's Avatar
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    Bill S

    Fluorescing Jumping Spider

    No - you don't need to recalibrate your monitor... this photo is colored as it was taken (no changes to color were made in post processing). The effect being illustrated here is fluorescence - the effect of some organisms to be able to absorb a certain wavelength of light and emitting a different wavelength of light as a response.

    I recently got interested in this for my dive photography, but since I won't be getting back in the water till October, I started trying this out on land. And as it turns out, apparently this species of spider does indeed fluoresce!

    The spider is a fairly normal looking greyish-brown jumping spider in white light....

    Fluorescing Jumping Spider

    ... but using a special excitation filter on my flash to produce the correct wavelength of light and a filter on my lens to eliminate that special light so what would be left is the fluorescence wavelength, we get the following green glowing spider on a red leaf...

    Fluorescing Jumping Spider

    Pretty insane, huh?

    My apologies for the slight miss on focus - because white light easily overpowers the effects of fluorescence (which is why we don't see it all the time), this type of photography has to be done in dark conditions. I was actually shooting this handheld, I would get focused and then have my wife turn out the lights and I would try to fire of a shot or two before I would lose focus.

    There will definitely be more of this to come - and I absolutely can't wait until October when I can get in the water and bring back some fluorescence shots for the reefs!

    - Bill

  2. #2

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    Re: Fluorescing Jumping Spider

    Cool. With the equipment you have you can make some pretty amazing land pics. As for losing focus etc try a tripod and remote release with mirror lock.

  3. #3
    ktuli's Avatar
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    Bill S

    Re: Fluorescing Jumping Spider

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobobird View Post
    Cool. With the equipment you have you can make some pretty amazing land pics. As for losing focus etc try a tripod and remote release with mirror lock.
    Bobo,

    When possible, I would definitely use a tripod, remote, and mirror lock up... but with a tiny jumping spider like this, the chance of it holding still long enough for that to work are probably just as good as my ability to handhold the focus and make minor adjustments long enough to turn off the lights and trigger the shot. All in all, the focus really isn't all that bad - it just slipped enough to make the top of the spider's head out of focus.

    Also - I forgot to mention this in the original post, but if you look closely under the spider - you can see where its "shadow" has prevented the excitation light from hitting the leaf, and it still shows up there as its normal green color.

    - Bill

  4. #4
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Fluorescing Jumping Spider

    Very interesting Bill,

    and I absolutely can't wait until October when I can get in the water and bring back some fluorescence shots for the reefs!
    It sounds like you're almost as 'excited' as the spider

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