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Thread: Black spider shots

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    Member graham68ktm's Avatar
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    Black spider shots

    I was recently trying to take some macro shots of a red back spider and I was finding it hard to get any detail because the spider is very black !
    I was wondering if anyone has some tips on how to bring out more detail in these little critters . I am using a canon 7d , 100 2.8 macro and an aftermarket ring flash ! my settings were 1/200 shutter F11 and ISO 100 . the shots were indoor with a lamp for focus assistance , any help would be greatly appreciated .

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    You would likely have to edit the image with the likes of Photoshop, but we would really need to see a couple of shots to be certain.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    I like my computer more than my camera farmmax's Avatar
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    The one and only time I photographed a red back, he was a bit frozen and I was able to take him into the sunlight and place him how I liked. With plenty of light there was no problem in the red back showing up.

    Are you trying to photograph him in his natural habitat where it is naturally dark, or can you move him into a lighter place?

    I have a very bright head lamp which can zoom down to a spot if I need quick light into a dark place. The only problem is the LED lights are fairly blue, so you'll either have to create a custom white balance in your camera to counter act it, or shoot in raw, and adjust the colour in your program that processes raw files.

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    thanks for the reply's ameerat42 and farmmax , I moved the little fella inside under a lamp and was shooting in raw and once finished I am using lightroom 4 to edit all my shots ! it seems I have trouble bringing out detail with any critters that are dark black ! I would like to post some photos but am unsure the best way to go , if someone could direct me to a place in AP ill check it out and hopefully start posting some shots soon !
    sorry for the newby questions but im not very tech savy !

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Try a bit of sidelight, ie., not front on. That may help differentiate some texture.

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    Hi Graham,
    I always try to expose for the main subject so in the case of a black spider expose for it and over expose the back ground because you can always pull some details back from the over exposed area, aka expose to the right or ETTR
    Regards

    David

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    Fishy bricat's Avatar
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    This may help

    http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for..._forum_threads cheers Brian

    PS You more than likely will make mistakes but that is how you learn
    Cheers Brian.

    Canon 7D Kit lenses EFS 18-55 IS EFS 55-250 IS EF28-90 Canon EF 2xll Extender Sigma DG150-500 OS Speedlight 420EX. 580EX

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    thanks for the replys , ill try the sidelight idea ameerat42 and expose for the black area's davsv1 ! I was wondering what site would be best to post photo's so I can link AP and maybe get some on here ?

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    The devil - and a few imps - are in the detail of the Ts & Cs. Have a bit of a read of 'em, like Flickr, Photobucket. I don't use either, but F seems popular.

    Meantime, try a direct post here as an attachment.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Maybe post up some sample images of what the trouble is.

    Never done any images of a Redback, but if it's like many other black insects, a polariser may help.

    What I do for black subjects (with the caveat that I use Nikon's) I use spot meter(basically use spot metering 99.9% of all situations anyhow) .. and set -1.7Ev exposure compensation.

    if you don't set exposure compensation, the camera tries to make an exposure that renders the black subject grey(ie. slow shutter or a too high ISO, if auto ISO is used).
    Note that the -1.7Ev compensation can be variable too tho .. it depends on how black you want your black.

    As for lighting, I never worry about creating custom WB settings, as you can reset WB in PP anyhow. I find this method to be better when a single light type is the predominant illuminant.

    That is, even under those awful CFL globes, if the LED light(some of which are amazingly powerful!) is stronger, the whitebalance shouldn't be overly affected by the two different light sources.
    For White balance correction, I generally use the dropper/sample tools. They may be different from software to software, but all operate in about the same way.
    Anything white, grey or black is fine for a sample point.
    (it is when I use Nikon's software .. never tried it on black and grey in LR, but I guess it should work the same way).
    The only thing to watch for when using the grey point selection tool, is that in some situations the back body of a bug may not be just black and can contain some sparkles.
    That is, it may have a rainbow-ish effect and hence distort the grey point.
    Sometimes it can take a few attempts at different areas to achieve a WB that looks natural .. but this is easy-peasy .. point and click .. point and click.
    Note that highlights are a generally good area to point the WB dropper at.
    For eg. is you have a shot(with an LED light) and there is a bright highlight area that looks a bit blue, click on that. The bright highlight area should almost always render white.
    This is what the WB dropper does.
    You should also have the option to tweak the numerical values too if you want some extra finesse.

    The use of a polariser shouldn't be shrugged off either!
    If the Redback's black body is reflective and you use a bright light source for extra ambient brightness, you can get hot spots or highlight spots on the shiny black surface.
    That is, the highlights can be so overpowering, that it's reducing the ability to capture a reasonable exposure on the rest of the black surface.
    basically the scene becomes a high dynamic range one.
    Really bright light reflections and dark black overall surface.
    A polariser's primary purpose is that it can reduce reflections to almost zero.
    Again in the few times I've shot black beetles in bright sunlight, even tho the polariser reduces exposure by about 1-2stops, the manner in which it eliminates the suns reflection on a shiny black surface is worth the ability to capture the dynamic range properly.
    Idiot me tho .. I should have got a better quality CPL for my macro lens .. one that doesn't fall to bit when trying to remove it from the lens!
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


  11. #11
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    thanks for the detailed reply arthurking83 , im not very experienced at using the software tools you described in your post so im going to have to learn how to use them ! ill probably try exposing them brighter and see if that can bring out more detail until I can use the software ive got better and thanks ameerat42 for the links to the photo sites !

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