Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Encounter with the snow white crab spider

Close-up of the white crab spider

A mother and its spiderling

One of the big surprises that landed on my work bench on Monday night was a white crab
spider.These critters are hard to spot and usually lurks around areas with lots of flowers and the right environment for crab spiders are in garden parks.While I was searching around with my Fenix TK-40 high powered LED flashlight, I spotted
a white coloured spider that fits the bill.Not wanting to miss the opportunity, I clipped off the branch where the spider is resting
and took it back to my house and set up a rig to photograph it.My Canon EF100mm F2.8L IS lens would not be able to handle it because the spider
measures about 5mm in length.To get a proper shot, a 2x - 3x magnification lens would do the job.That was when I rigged up my MR14EX ring flash with the MPE-65 F2.8 macro lens.This takes close-up photography to the next level as it is able to capture the spider's facial
features.I have been told that any images that are shot about 3x magnification would be harder than
the usual.Flash Exposure has to be compensated to one or two stops higher.Getting the spider in focus itself had proven to be a challenge.The MPE-65 has a narrow focus band and there are textbook techniques on getting it right.So, I had to focus the subject on 1x and slowly rotate the lens barrel to 3x.The focus lamp on the MR14EX flash did help a lot in getting a focus lock and the rest was
history.I managed to squeeze a few shots, but after looking at the images on my post processing
software, the details are not sharp enough.From this point, I have to work on my focusing and its never easy to zoom in on the
spider's eyes which is roughly the size of a pin head.That said, more work on the focusing and more outing in search of the colourful crab
spider.
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