Sunday Spider: Backlit Araneus

Araneus sp. | Wildwood, St. Louis Co., Missouri

Araneus sp. | Wildwood, St. Louis Co., Missouri

Letting the dog out tonight, I encountered this spider—presumably in the genus Araneus—who had strung up her web in the corner of the doorway and was eerily backlit when I turned on the porch light. Without a tripod that would allow me to position the camera about 7′ above the floor and make use of a super long exposure, my only option for capturing the scene hand-held was to crank the ISO all the way up to 3200, ratchet down the shutter speed to 1/20th sec, and open up the aperture to f/5.6 (any lower and the shallow depth of field would have been unacceptable). Heavy-handed processing to reduce noise and increase sharpness yielded a serviceable photo; however, I’ve been thinking about getting a tripod lately, and the chance to produce much better versions of scenes like this only strengthen those thoughts.

Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2013

4 thoughts on “Sunday Spider: Backlit Araneus

  1. I couldn’t live without my tripod, though I have a permanent crease in my left shoulder from hauling it around with my camera attached. I recommend a snap-mount system for quick attachment of the camera. Shots like your stationary spider are a breeze, using a tripod.

    • I suppose I could have one on hand for such situations, but I still can’t imagine carrying one around with me when I’m in the field. I haven’t quite gotten to the point yet where I can go out and focus only on photography and not collecting.

  2. They can definitely do wonders, although I had to buy three of them before I found one I would actually carry. Lightweight carbon fibre ones are coming down in price, If I had a car to get around, I would probably carry a heavier one instead, but all the busing and walking I do forces me to carry the lightweight one (whicjh is still not bad if I hang my camera bag from the post). .

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