Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Jolly Telamonia

That yellow spider...

Telamonia festiva or the Jolly Telamonia can be found in most wooded areas around the Peninsular.
Its a specie of jumping spiders and is also one of the colourful around.
In short, I never get tired of capturing the Telamonia on my camera.

Side profile full body shot
 Getting the most out of your equipment..
I have plenty of praise for Canon's MPE-65 macro lens.
With this, you are able to go as high as 5x in magnification.
The extreme magnification allows you to capture the spider in its full glory.
For an arachnid measuring no more than 8mm in length, you would need a lot of magnification to bring it to life on an image.
The typical set up is 1x - 1.5x in full body shot.

The higher the magnification, the harder..
Not many people can work with 4x magnification and above while shooting their subjects handheld.
One of them is master photographer Kurtis Guek.
He is one of the very few skilled macro masters who spend a great deal of time capturing spiders as well as other insects up close.
You can view Kurt's blog and his excellent advise on macro photography.
With the Telamonia constantly on the move, you would need a pair of steady hands, knowledge on full flash settings and a good diffusion technique to capture the spider.
I learned a great deal from Guek on how to control the MT24EX flash.
On 4x magnification, the challenge was to get the Telamonia in focus and at the same time, fire the correct amount of light to illuminate its eyes.
Once the focussing is in place, the finger on the trigger just reacted.
Most of the time, its a 70/30 gamble to get a sharp image.
As the MPE-65 is a full manual lens with a very narrow band, you have little room for error to produce your image.
I set the Camera's FEC (Flash Exposure Compensation) to +1.5 stops. 
On the Adobe Lightroom 4.2 post-processing software, I am able to correct the exposure to get my desired effect.
As it is, I am very happy with the results.



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