Jumping Spider and a word on Macro Lighting (Two Photographs)
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Another spider and, as promised in my last post on insects, it provides an opportunity to talk about lighting in close-up and macro photography. When you get close to small things you will find light is often at a premium. Moreover many creatures move quickly and flash can help stop motion. A quick search on-line will show you literally hundreds of options for macro lighting from specialized flashes to ring flashes. After some experimentation I chose to use a soft box, you can see it on my about page. It is not as large or heavy as it looks. The Lastolite Ezybox soft box covers an on-camera SB900 flash by Nikon. The soft box as its name suggests, gives a soft light and the effect is enhanced the closer you are to your subject. These photographs were taken with the soft box and they have given some catch lights to the spider’s eyes. Had I not used a flash, I probably would not have had a sharp photograph and I would have had to shoot at a very high ISO, increasing noise. This was taken in manual mode with my shutter speed at the highest synch speed appropriate for my flash and camera (1/250th of a second). The only variable was the aperture and for a good depth of field I used F14. I was lucky that the foliage behind the spider was close enough to catch the light. Had the background been further away light fall off (light goes only so far) would have meant the background would go black. Many people do close-up photography without flash and with subjects that are out in the open, static and well-lit. Once you get involved in insect photography, the need to stop motion and the need for light means exploring lighting options that work for you.