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Old Dec 17, 2005, 8:36 AM   #1
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hi guys

right, playing with the fz30 in all kinds of situations and had the perfect opportunity the other night. what a pity i blew it really need your help.

the scenario:

1. a spider spinning its web, in action. this was the original shot i wanted to take but ended up struggling so much in the end that i had to take the next one.

2. the spider finished spinning its web, and sat perfectly still in the middle of it staring at me.

3. the spider and web were against a dark night background, with a slight bit of light from the left of the web (from an outside light on our patio)

riiiight. so. have a look at the two pics below. i took about 40 pics and these are the best. either i couldn't get focus (using auto and manual, lcd would focus but pic afterwards was blurry) or the pic was too dark or too bright (using the flash gave hopelessly too much light).

the top pic below is without flash, using some of the reflected light from the patio light on the left side of the pic.

the bottom pic is with flash.

how frustrating! what did I do wrong here? please help so that next time I'm faced with a moving spider in the middle of the night, I can capture it mid-spin with the right light reflecting off the web.


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Old Dec 17, 2005, 9:07 AM   #2
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Low light shooting is tricky but once mastered will be very rewarding.These things I have found to help:

1.Set the camera to "Manual Mode" and adjust shutter timing until you get the desired exposure.

2. Set your ISO to your most minimum setting, i.e. - 50 or 80. This will minimize the 'noise' in your photoas you don't need to boost the ISO sensitivityas your getting the desired exposure/lightingfrom setting your shutter speed through the Manual Mode and as well slowing your shutter speed will take advantage of other sources of light.

3. Forget about the flash for close-ups. If you need light, set up some other sources. i.e - table lamp/floor lamps/ candles

4. Mount your camera on a tripod. In low light situations your shutter could be open far longer than you'd be able to hold that thing still. Take the pic using the timer or with a remote.


In this night shot of yours, balance the house light on the left by bringing out a lamp from inside the house, set it up on the right side and your good to go!

If your looking for a closer look then some settings change like switching from Manual Mode to Macro. Your sort of stuck with the shutter speed the camera picks so you'll have to apply the lighting techniques. If you have to use flash then block the flash with a couple sheets of white paper to soften the light and shadow effects.

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Old Dec 17, 2005, 9:44 AM   #3
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Catching a spider spinning its web during night time is difficult. You need to give more time for the web to show and if the spider moves, you will only have a blurry picture. See if indirect flash helps. Better still, as has already been suggested, throw some more light on the web and shoot. Your first pic has actually come well, though it was not what you had in mind.
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Old Dec 17, 2005, 12:22 PM   #4
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hi there guys

thanks for the helpful advice. i think what comes through in both your replies is that MORE NON-FLASH LIGHT is needed to get the ultimate shot.

i really did try different iso, focus (manual/auto/macro) and shutter settings. of course, i'm sure there are many i didn't, so will give it another shot in a few days with a new subject! i like the idea of the home-made filtering solution ... will definitely try that.

i just got my canon 250d 58mm close-up lens today ... would've gone done veeerrry well for mr spider, don't you think?
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Old Dec 17, 2005, 7:02 PM   #5
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Pretty much what spy and raghu said are spot on. John, aka boyzo has the FZ30 and the Nikon 3t/4T filters so you may want to ask him and Fred, aka fmoore and tchaunye on some macro tips as the two of them produce some remarkable macro shots.



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Old Dec 17, 2005, 10:35 PM   #6
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thanks harj! i've come across one or two incredible macros here (the original fly and the fly with drop of water) that inspired me to give the filter a go. i'm just waiting on a step-up ring and will be out and about experimenting. hopefully it arrives before christmas ... i have so many flowers and butterflies (and spiders) just waiting to put on a show!
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