Saturday, January 7, 2012

Spider pics

A week ago a friend of mine asked me to shoot his spider collection. This was pretty new to me. I've shot house spiders and smaller insects but never really shot tarantulas before. I think it would be neat.

So I went to his basement and looked at his pets. Some of them look vicious, but some of them were just lounging around. My fried told me most of his spiders basically just stand still. The ones that run fast are the ones that we should worry about...that's what he said. So our plan was simple...he'd block the spiders from getting out of their cages while I shoot them up close. Knowing he's been raising spiders as pets for a long time, I trusted him...hahahaha.

I used my 100mm macro for the shots. For lighting, I equipped my camera with a 430ex II speedlite attached to a ttl flash cord. A very good technique when shooting little animals. Of course you can attach the flash to your camera via hotshoe but that will give the subject heavy shadowing at the bottom. Unless you have reflectors, you can use this method. I prefer the flash cord method as this will give you very good lighting and also the flexibility to change the position of the lighting as the subject moves and changes position. So I held the flash with one hand, the camera with the other hand while my friend holds the tweezers to keep the spider from jumping out. I set my shutter speed to 125th of a second and varied my aperture from f4-f5.6, which in my situation lets in enough light without giving me a paper thin depth of field.

This one was getting irritated by the tweezers, it was going into attack mode.

I wanted to get so close to see the eyes.

The body in the middle of the legs!

The flash cord enables me to move the flash around for that depth that I wanted.

My friend told me that this one just molted.

When doing these types of shots, make sure that you are with someone who knows how to handle these animals. Do not attempt to photograph them yourself!

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