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Old Aug 2, 2004, 11:12 AM   #1
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First Macro shots, I'm not really that proud of them & wouldn't post... but I was really hoping someone could figure out type of spider this is, closest I have been able to find is a wasp spider, but they seem to inhabit southern England, & I am in central NJ. It was about 3/4" long, I thought it only had 4 legs until I took the pics, I wasn't putting my face that close.

Taken with a canon s1 with a hoya close up filter set +7.
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Old Aug 2, 2004, 11:13 AM   #2
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Old Aug 2, 2004, 11:32 AM   #3
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I am not one to identify spider species, but it looks like what we used to call a "banana spider".
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Old Aug 3, 2004, 8:19 PM   #4
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I think it is a black and yellow garden spider or in that family. I have not read much on it. The slight difference in appearance may be that yours is the male.

http://www.enature.com/fieldguide/sh...?recNum=IS0107
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Old Aug 3, 2004, 8:41 PM   #5
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I believe you are right, Widowmaker. Here's another page that has more pictures of what appears to be the same type of spider as this one:

http://www.bugguide.net/node/view/4805/bgpage
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Old Aug 4, 2004, 10:15 AM   #6
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Thanks Guys, I had looked at the black & yellow garden spider pics but only seen the ones that looked alot different, that last one is very similar.

Any input on how to improve macro shooting, I was all excited to get the close up filters after seeing all the amazing pictures on this board, but this is the best I have come up with so far, I guess its just a matter of practice makes perfect, and finding good subjects.
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Old Aug 4, 2004, 10:24 AM   #7
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Finding good subjects that will stay still for the number seconds needed to setup and take the shot is always tough with insect macro photography. You need patience for that aspect of macro.

Do you use a tripod? Do you manual focus? Do you use aperture priority, setting up for maximum DOF? Getting enough light so that you can take a photo at a fast enough shutter speed while getting maximum DOF is also crucial.

I find macro photography, especially of insects, to be tough. Nevertheless I've managed to get some pretty decent photos. Others on this forum seem pretty darned good at it - puts me to shame.
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Old Aug 4, 2004, 2:39 PM   #8
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Ditto on Geoffs comments. I have not been dealing with shooting macro shots much and what few I have done are not what I would consider macro. A still subject and tripod are a big plus. Even on bright days I find my shutter speed suffering because I find myself needing a high F number, like 22, to get the entire subject in focus.

Heres a link to a few insect shots.
http://www.pbase.com/rz22g/insects

The fly was my first shot with a macro lens and you can most of it is out of focus. I later found that needed F22 to get all of him. The hoverfly, while not what I would call a macro shot, is my favorite.
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Old Aug 4, 2004, 2:49 PM   #9
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Some observations from a 'newbie' - things I've learned the hard way:
  • More light! A flash changes the feel of the picture, but helps temendously with depth.[/*]
  • Use highest f-stop possible.[/*]
  • Bracket your shots, you can always delete later.[/*]
  • Try to achieve your result with as few add-ons as possible; anything that reduces light will make it harder to get depth, and anything that increases focal length will make it harder to focus.[/*]
  • Tripod or monopod are ideal but hard to set up quickly enough to get the scurrying beastie.[/*]
  • Manual focus - use magnifier function if you have it. My cam's auto focus isn't accurate enough to give predictable results at close range.[/*]
  • If your subject is sitting at an angle from you, focus on the head / face or be aware of what part of the body you want to be the focal point of the photo and focus on it. Animals with wings and/or tails are notoriously difficult to get entirely in focus; you can exploit this fact for artistic effect.[/*]
  • Be aware of the background. With close-ups the background can be really distracting. Flash sometimes helps by causing the background to be underexposed.[/*]
  • Set up a small studio. If you feel like going to the trouble an artificially posed insect can yield good results. You have more time to compose and consider the conditions for exposure. But always return the bugger to his home turf (unless he's your garnish for tonight's dinner).[/*]
  • Move VERY slowly - many insects react to sudden movement but are oblivious to a slowly moving object. You can get a dragonfly to move onto your finger if you move slowly enough.[/*]
  • Most of all, patience and time, and then more patience.
[/*]
Good luck!
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