Spider in red


This shot didn’t make the cut first time around but it has been growing on me so I thought I would share it. The spider was completely hidden under sumach leaves so the light is poor but I like it anyway.

Over on The Shed Gallery’s Blog today, my post is about photographing flying bugs. If you have been reading Focused Moments since the beginning, you will already know the piece as it is almost the same as one I posted here in April. If not, why not pop over – I share all my secrets, such as they are 😉

9 thoughts on “Spider in red

  1. I’ve been shooting bugs for a few years, and only this year did I manage a few decent shots.

    It does not help that where I live there’s always a breeze blowing, so the flowers are moving. But beyond that, the insects here must be light-headed from the altitude’s scarcity of oxygen . . . they hardly ever stand still. Manual focus is nearly impossible, and auto-focus plain does not work. The best bet is to use manual at a preset distance, and hope for the best.

    My best shot from this year is probably this (http://smu.gs/TosrlZ), but the bee was hovering, practically standing still. I did get a few other decent shots:
    http://smu.gs/TosKNH and http://smu.gs/Tot4Mm
    (no need to click unless curious – yours are better)

    Thanks for the hints. I’ll see what I can use next year.

  2. The hints on photographing flying bugs was quite helpful. I think I was overdoing the shutter speed, trying to stop the action, but I like your approach of slightly blurry wings. Would you also comment on the specific settings and lenses you use for some of your landscape shots — e.g., Windsor Great Park on Nov 7. How do you get the foreground and background in such sharp focus? Thanks.

    • Hi Sue. For a wide depth of field (everything in focus), you need a large f no. I use aperture priority for my landscape work. If the light is low, then a tripod will steady the camera so that you can still use a narrow aperture (high f no) to get as much depth as you want. Then you need to find the hyper focal distance. There is a formula for calculating it but I just focus on something roughly one third into the field of view and then recompose. The camera will normally render things sharp on a ratio of one third in front of the focal point and two thirds behind it. You will get more depth with wider lenses. In the shot you mentioned, I used a 10-20mm lens on a cropped sensor camera, so 16mm equivalent for a full frame camera.

      • Thanks for the information, Rachael. I did wonder where you actually should focus in a shot like that, so that was helpful. It could be my wide angle lens, but when I shoot at 18 mm, I get a fish-eye effect that is not rectifiable (?) in processing with Photoshop. Is it my lens, or do you do something extra to flatten the field of view?

      • Some lens distortion is almost inevitable with wide angles but it can be worse with cheaper lenses. 18mm is the standard wide end of a kit lens for a cropped sensor camera. Kit lenses are often less satisfactory than other lenses. Having said that, I still sometimes use my old 18-55mm kit lens on my 400D and can usually fix any distortion in post processing. Do you shoot in RAW or Jpegs? If RAW, then most distortions are fixable in Adobe Camera Raw. Jpegs are more difficult.

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