Look up, look around (with rework)

With Ola’s suggestions -

A tiny jumping spider keeps a careful eye…well eyes…on the LED panel I’m holding above it I to light the scene a bit. IRL it’s about 5mm long and the colors revealed themselves only under this kind of magnification. It’s a 5 image stack. While it studied the light, I moved the focus point around in the viewfinder (thank the tech gods for that joystick!) and got a few shots before it moved. Miracle!!

My macro lens is a fairly short focal length so for true 1:1 or close to it, I have to be almost on top of these little ones. So a flash is out of the question most of the time, but I can use the LED panel on a bright setting.

Specific Feedback Requested

Are the colors too much? I kind dig her little suit of motley, but…

Technical Details

Handheld with the LED panel on an articulating arm attached to the hotshoe
Focus points selected manually


Lr for the RAW work including a crop and some dehaze and color work to bring up the leaf. The usual sharpening, texture, clarity and nr. Copied to the other 4 shots and exported directly to Zerene. I think this is PMax stack with a little retouching in the hair. Lr again for a bit of contrast work and I reduced the reds a little I think.

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Oh wow, Kris, now who’s the Jumping Spider queen??? Very nice. I’m not familiar with this particular type so not sure about his colors (they seem a bit unnatural, but again, I don’t know what he looks like in real life), but the green leaf looks natural. Wonderful lighting and a super smooth BG. I love how he is looking up at the lighting. Nice reflections in his eyes. Great shot.

Thanks @Shirley_Freeman ! The annuals I always put on the deck seem to have lots of spiders on them this year for some reason. It’s like wild kingdom in four pots! The spiders try to catch the bees and hover flies, I worry that the hummingbirds will eat the spiders. Crazy.

Glad this one worked out. I had my doubts when I shot it, but the alignment was really close from shot to shot so Zerene had no trouble putting the stack together.

I’ve found that many small spiders have lots of color when you get them up really close. With the naked eye many just look dark brown or black all over, but then…surprise!

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What a cool pose – up on her tippy-toes – ready to jump on something? The light probably brought out the colors.

The picture is amazing, but what is more amazing is hand-holding a focus stack with an LED light in the hot shoe and using the joystick to re-focus to a different spot each time. And getting a good set. In the world of antique airplane fly-ins, something analogous to this qualifies an attendee to get the Biggest Balls award.

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Thanks @Diane_Miller - I’m not sure I deserve such accolades, but I’m happy to have them. So long as spiders sit still I’ll do my best to work with them, even if it means a lot of fiddly stuff. Especially cute little jumpers.

Well worth your effort, Kris! The pose makes me think of a studio model shot! It would be so cool if you could get different individuals and put it in a glossy magazine or book. I love the details of the stuck up hairs on the head! So cute!

Jumping Spiders of NPN: The Glamour Shots

@Shirley_Freeman & @Balan_Vinod could be major contributors!

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Great image, Kris. The colors are no problem. I have to try to photograph spiders and insects, it seems to bde a lot of fun! The important thing here is of course the spider, but anyhow one idea could be to darkened a tad the FG and rotate the image slightly to get rid of some of the grey area in the LLC.

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Well now that works a treat, @Ola_Jovall - thanks for the idea. I sometimes get boxed in with processing so I appreciate your thoughtful edit.

I had a go myself and put a 2nd shot in the OP.

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Great image. Amazing you were able to get a good focus stack before it moved!

Thanks @J_Fritz_Rumpf - it was mesmerized by the LED panel so sat still…for a jumper that is!

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Hi Kris,

Pretty cool image. I prefer the darker version because the colors look deeper and the brighter areas have been reduced enough so as not to be a distraction. Awesome little spider…Jim

Thanks @Jim_Zablotny - it certainly is a cute little thing and I’m glad it has a starring role now.