Jumping Spider Eating Fly

I saw this tiny Jumping Spider on a leaf in our flower garden, so quickly went back and got my camera. It was really hard to get into a good position to get a shot (my old body doesn’t allow some of the positions I used to be able to get into, plus I didn’t want to destroy flowers in the process). He was so small I couldn’t see what he was doing until I brought this up on the computer screen. He was eating what appears to be some kind of small fly, so he posed longer than normal, which was good for me. I had leaves or stems of flowers in ever position that hindered a good clean shot. I will try to include a shot of him walking down a stem and an ant is on a bud right above him. We know how small ants are, so it can give a better since of his size.

Specific Feedback Requested

Anything that can improve the image. I have already cropped fairly tight just to remove the oof leaf at the bottom.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
I shot this with my Canon 5D Mark IV, Canon 100 mm L Macro lens manual settings, KX-800 twin flash with diffuser, HH, f16, 1/200, ISO 320. Edited in LR and Topaz AI.

Oh wow how cool. I think you did an amazing job - the eyes and the prey are in focus and that leg! Brava!

How do you like doing macro with flash? I’m a big flash baby and have not used it extensively…or really at all if I’m honest.

Thank you, Kris. I appreciate you viewing and your kind comments.

As for flash, I like it at times, as it gives me the light I need to be able to have the f-stop I want, etc., which in macro, it really is a huge help to me. I have the twin flash which are moveable, and so I can set the flash heads a good ways from the diffuser, and it seems more like natural light. I can have one light stronger than the other when needed. I’m still learning, but I think for me it has been a game changer in macro. I am not into stacking yet. Not sure I could stay one one position long enough to get several shots for that either. I was just out shooting honey bees in flight close up, and the flash stops them in motion, and so that is also a nice feature with using the flash. I also am able to handhold. Some like it, some don’t.

I was going to remark on that with this little jumper - the light looks nicely nuanced and less harsh than it probably would be with just the sun.

In terms of macro, I think your approach and mine are just different aspects of the same art. If I had a longer macro like yours, I might give thought to flash since I can see how useful it would be - especially for flying things. I can’t ever seem to catch them well. There’s a rumor about a 100mm macro coming out from Olympus for MFT and boy…that would make me drool and probably spend money. :stuck_out_tongue:

Now that I think about it though, I could probably use a flash set up with one of my mid-to-long range zoom lenses. Two focus pretty close and so…

Oh boy.

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Fantastic, Shirley. The detail in the spider and its prey is outstanding. Good idea to crop off the OOF leaf, so the crop works for me. I like the background with all of the various leaves and stems for the movement they create, adds energy to the scene. Always amazed with the detail you’ve captured while hand holding your equipment. I believe you’ve convinced me also to invest in a twin flash set up. Very nicely seen and captured.

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Hi Shirley,

A very nice composition and I like the hard lines of the plant stem in the BG too. The plane of focus is right where it is supposed to be. The flash provided some subtle lighting which works well in the macro World! You could fill in the secondary highlights in the eyes if you want a more natural appearance. I like it as presented though. Well done…Jim

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Shirley…its so nice to see you post a jumping spider. Amazingly manged light with the flashes and diffusers. I Struggle a lot to get the light right with these jumpers, as I am a novice with artificial light. This male three striped jumper is a deadly predator and you got the focus spot on its eyes.
Very well done.

Balan Vinod

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Amazing details and great capture Shirley. The lighting worked very well. I have not been using that flash system yet but maybe it is time to practice. I thought about getting the 100 f/2.8L even though I have the 180. IS would be the main reason getting one.

Thank you, @Balan_Vinod, @Kris_Smith , @linda_mellor . @Jim_Zablotny and @Dean_Salman, for your kind comments.

Dean, I really enjoy my 100 mm f2.8L macro lens. It is my go to most of the time. I am still figuring out my diffuser. I think I have it now, but it has been to windy around here to try to shoot macro for the last few days, so having to wait. I was so disappointed that the 180 doesn’t have IS. I have started using my 70-200 mm f2.8L lens with a Canon 500 Closeup filter on the front, and impressed with the closeness it lets me get with it, and of course it has IS and is very fast on focus.

Fantastic shot of a tiny object! The flashes give wonderful light and I admire your ability to handhold this rig. I didn’t know about this flash and it looks really great. How is a diffuser held? By hand, or does it attach to the central arm on the flash?

Thank you, Diane. I appreciate you taking the time to view and for your kind comments.

I use a Venus KX-800 twin flash. I like it because I can adjust the distance of the flash heads to the subject and diffuser, as well as lower or raise the power individually on each of the lights. I have been struggling with a diffuser that I can keep in place and works fairly well. I think a cheap one I bought a week or so ago by Angler for about $9 is going to work fairly well. It has a hole with elastic that holds well to the lens. It was what I was using on this image. I think I didn’t aim the lights quite right (I found out I need to angle them in so that the lights are crossing beams), so that it doesn’t show the reflection of the 2 lights, since we only have one sun. I’m working on it, and figuring it all out. It isn’t all that heavy. When using the flash it can stop action at about 1/5000 a second, no matter what the shutter speed is at.

I might try that on my 100-400 ii f/4-5.6 I do not have a fast lens longer focal length. My 100-400 gets about 3 feet from the subject at 400mm. I may give that a try because the focus on that lens is faster.

Dean, I have been having trouble with my 100-400 focusing lately, so when I tried the closeup filter on it, and it didn’t focus, I thought that it just didn’t work on it. But then I tried the lens later without it, and was having focusing issues. I wiped the contacts with a clean soft cloth, but it worked some, and didn’t work again. Not sure what the problem is, but right now, I don’t know for sure if it will work on that lens or not. I’m hoping that filter will work on that lens though. Be nice for capturing skittish things, like dragonflies and butterflies up just a bit closer.

I have read that the filter was designed for Focal length 70-300 and I think I know why. I have the 25mm closeup lens so I may try that again. From what I read your 100 is sharper all the way to the edges, you just have to get closer to those buzzing subjects :smile:

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Shirley, this is a great look at this spider. I like how all of the plant parts either point towards the spider or act as framing. It’s pose, with those long legs sticking out fit with the shape of the leaf. BTW, I don’t think you’d get anything close to this magnification with your 70-200 + close up filter and still have corner to corner sharpness.

Thank you, Mark. You are so right about the lenses. I think the 70-200 + close up filter would be good for skittish subjects, letting you get as close as they will let you and still have somewhat a closeup of them. I haven’t had any dragonflies or butterflies to try that setup out on yet, but I think it might be as good as the 180, but would be faster on focus and have the IS. Not sure about all that yet, but will see with DF and BF come around to pose. Thank you again.