Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Fighting Spider II

A surprise find..
I was searching for bugs and found a male fighting spider prowling on a leaf.
In the insect world, the fighting spider is on top of the food chain. 
You can equate this little fella that measures no longer than 10mm in length as the 'panther' of the micro world.
The fighting spider feeds on smaller insects and is active during daytime.

Three-quarter side profile on 2.5x magnification
 Skittish creature
Its not easy capturing a fighting spider on camera.
Either you have luck or patience.
The spiders are easily spooked and will jump away to save its own skin.
So, you have to set up your camera correctly and wait for the moment.
Since the fighter's feature is very different than most salticidae, its compressed head and flat body made it hard to focus.
Even a face-to-face shot can be hard to frame and with a size below 10mm, the only way to get a decent shot is by zooming-in to the spider's face.

Face-to-face: 2.5x magnification
 The perils of high-magnification
To set up a high-mag shot, you will need a proper lens that is able to close-in on the subject.
At a 2.5x set-up, flash exposure needs to be compensated to -+1.5 stops.
This means, increasing your flash power output to get a proper and balanced exposure.
The spider's black exoskeleton and its blue iridescent markings made it a real interesting subject to capture.
So far, I have yet to capture a fighting spider in combat which I think: would be the holy grail for a macro photographer. 
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