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Thread: Green Spider

  1. #1
    ktuli's Avatar
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    Bill S

    Green Spider

    All,

    I could use a little C&C on this image. I personally really like it, but it never seems to do well in any competitions I enter it in (though it did ok in the mini-competition last week). What is lacking?

    Green Spider

    I've discussed it on my blog, but never managed to get much in the way of comments there either (http://www.ktuli.com/photography/node/100). If you visit the blog, you can see the small adjustments I made to this photo from the original exposure.

    Please let me know what you think I could have done better with this shot. Thanks!

    - Bill

  2. #2
    jeeperman's Avatar
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    Re: Green Spider

    Bill, for me th colors of the spider are nice. However the focus seems to be on the portion of the body where the legs connect and not where the most intrest is for me would be, in the facial area. I know this is difficult do to the position and angle, as I think most of the really captivating shots of spider are shot from above rather than below. Although had the mandibals been sharp it would have helped I think.

  3. #3
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: Green Spider

    I agree with Paul and I find the bright spot on the right hand side too white and distracting. The eye is drawn to the brightest spot in the image and if it is not the main subject of interest by design it will be by default. If the background was more tones of green I think the interest would be more on the spider.

  4. #4
    ktuli's Avatar
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    Re: Green Spider

    Peter & Paul (still waiting on Mary's comments),

    First off, thanks for the comments.

    I think that is something I am learning about my macro photography is that I need to increase my DoF. I seem to shoot wide open too often with macro, and it makes it difficult to have all of the subject in clarity. At that aperture, I worry that had I focused for the mandibles that I would have lost the clarity in the pattern in the abdomen - which I guess is where my eye is led to in the photograph.

    The shot was made at 1/130th sec at f/3.5. Anything slower, and I probably wouldn't have gotten crisp focus due to a gentle breeze that day. Which I suppose argues that I need to look into a ring flash or other macro lighting solution, huh? Would you guys concur?

    As to the white spot to the upper right of the spider, in the original (shown below) it was more a muted grey, but in brightening things in PS, it got shifted to the more bright white. I'm still a toddler when it comes to PS, so any suggestions you might have for managing to brighten the greens without blowing-out that grey/white area would be helpful!

    Green Spider

    Thanks so much for the suggestions!

    - Bill

  5. #5

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    Re: Green Spider

    When the light is poor, Bill, flash at them!

    I use my Speedlite but reduce the exposure compensation as required. It does take a bit of experimentation and the settings may need adjusting for each shot. When necessary, I have used my camera pop up flash but I remove the lens hood if it might cause a shadow.

    I normally use Tv setting at around 1/180 to 1/250 which should allow an aperture of F14 with ISO 100 or 200. Even better, but constant adjustment is required for each shot, is to use manual.

    Decide on what settings would be ideal for the situation, say 1/180 with F 14 and ISO 200. Set that up manually, then adjust the flash compensation until you get good results. After some experience, and a lot of initial failures, you should be able to guess the required compensation quite accurately.

    But you will need to make a few trial shots before you encounter any interesting beasties and keep reviewing the results as you move between different lighting conditions.

    And after all that, spiders will still prove difficult. Sometimes it is necessary to search for an ideal angle; which usually entails lying in the mud.

  6. #6
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: Green Spider

    Hi Bill,

    You quickly learn that the background will make or break any composition but particularly macros. Once you have identified your subject you must then concentrate on the background. You can use the tones (blurred background) to really advance your image but as you can see highlights can draw attention away. It is all a great learning curve.

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