Longjawed orb weaver

So I went out to do a few things in the woods next to my favorite river and this is an unexpected bonus. I was doing some macro work with some moss on a boulder when I saw this tiny spider. My ID is tentative, but judging by body shape, leg length and position, I think it’s generally right. It’s the size of a mosquito. Really, it’s that small. It was so windy I could barely focus, but using focus peaking meant that I could see when it was in focus when the wind was relatively calm. When the spider tuned blue, I shot, keeping my ISO and shutter speed relatively high. I can’t believe I got it. I have the rest of the fern curl in the shot, but cropped it since it didn’t seem to add anything.

Specific Feedback Requested

Anything to improve the shot is welcome.

Technical Details

Tripod and probably the polarizer although I could have taken it off, I forgot.
Manually focused on the spider when the wind was sort of calm, used focus peaking to time the shot with the cable release. SO. VERY. HARD.


Lightroom for crop, lens correction, and general improvements. Used a select subject mask to bring up texture, exposure and clarity in the spider, inverted to reduce noise in background. Topaz Sharpen to improve details.

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Wow, Kris, this is really super neat. Now who’s the spider queen! Amazing that you were able to get him with the wind blowing, but I’m so glad you stuck with it till you did. I love how he is curved to the shape of the fern. Very nice find (not sure how you spotted him if he is the size of a misquote, but sure glad you did. The shades of green are a bonus, with that smooth BG making him and the fern stand out. Well done.

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Thanks, @Shirley_Freeman - I almost gave up, but figured what the heck, I was there and it was there and the wind couldn’t blow all the time, could it? LOL. I’m amazed I got it. Am contemplating pulling the trigger on a flash which would have been helpful here I think in terms of light and shutter speed, but I did it the hard way.

Kris, a flash is a thought, for sure. I use it for those really closeup subjects. You might not get as bright of a BG as you did in this image. I keep the power down to around 1/8, and that helps. Not sure if I have shared this YouTube link with you before Lighting for Macro Photography and Review of the Venus KX-800 Twin Flash - YouTube but it shows Thomas Shahan (great macro photographer, in my oppinion) using my flash. This video was what sold me on it. He has other videos of him using pop flash, etc. with diffusers too. I have learned a lot from him. I wish you the very best in your decision.

Wow, you really need to see the larger version to see the spider. Well seen, Kris.

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Thanks @David_Bostock - it was a tiny one for sure. It takes a little bit of time in the spring, but my brain is pretty well trained for things like this. I’ve been doing macro seriously for over a decade.

Not sure how I’ll go with my first flash rig, probably a traditional trigger and strobe that I can put on the ground or hold near a subject to light it. I’m interested in that aspect for microscapes, but also to be able to use it for fill flash with birds either on or off the camera. But certainly that bendy flash looks like it would do quite well in a macro only sphere. Oh to be made of money.

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I missed this one @_Kris . A really cool composition. As @Shirley_Freeman says, Thomas Shahan is amazing, especially for spiders. At the economic end, I enjoy the macro + flash tips on You Tube of Micael Widell.

Thanks @Mike_Friel - I’m glad you find my wee spider. Really - the size of a mosquito. Am off to check out the macro guys you mention. Still haven’t pulled the trigger of a flash, but more options will be good.