Walking on a thin line

Now try getting that song out of your head!

Spider portraits are always fun, but action shots are harder. I found this furrow orb weaver (male - just look at those boxing glove pedi palps!) by the dock and took several traditional shots (see below), but spiders are rarely still and finding a way to show them doing stuff is more what you’ll get. It’s harder though and so I wonder about this shot … I like how it shows how carefully and easily they can get around - they make their own roads! The precise way he has to place his feet is interesting to watch. At least to me. I spent quite a time with this little one (with legs relaxed about the size of an American nickel). This species is known to hang out by bodies of water with sometimes dense clusters of webs.

Here he is head on -

Specific Feedback Requested

So the face isn’t visible or in focus…is that a deal-breaker?

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Lumix G9
P/L 45mm f/2.8 macro
f/5.6 | 1/125 sec | ISO 1250
Handheld leaning on the step…kind of braced I think

Processed in Lr to manage exposure a bit, some clarity & texture & sharpening. A crop to eliminate some of the oar he’s dangling from.


Very nice, Kris. I especially like the head on shot. Nice details in both.

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Amazing Kris, I love to composition of the spider hanging on a web like that. Great photo

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VERY cool! Both shots show the precise use of his legs very well. I don’t think you could ever get everything in focus with a live spider so the OOF legs don’t bother me at all – in fact they contribute to the impression of how small he is.

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Thanks everyone…I kinda thought it was a neat shot, but tastes differ. It was my first time shooting this species.

Really good job getting sharp focus in what sounds like an awkward position. I don’t mind focus in either photo. I like how the colors stand out esp. in first one.

Thanks @David_Leroy - I liked the backlit one, too. The reddish hues came out big time.

Hi Kristen, quite cool to see how this guy gets around on a single strand. Nice behavioral capture. The spider stands out well also from that smooth background. A fine image. I like the head on shot too.

Kris, the side view looks great, nice colors and good background with the single thread being a fine extra.

Both super shots, @Kris_Smith. I prefer the second one (Sitting on the Dock of the Bay?) - the face may be partially hidden but the eyes and boxing gloves are everything, especially with the lovely blurry surround. An open aperture works much better for this one - whereas, in the first one, with a higher f number we could have a bit more leg focus which would please me (but then you’d maybe lose that good bg).