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becca81
06-28-2005, 02:49 PM
As I'm sure we're all aware, we have some people (priZZ, GoTerps, metallica, Incubu5, and many others) on the boards that take awesome photos. They consistently are clear and very "natural-looking."

What are your secrets? How do you get your Ts into position? Do you use their regular setups or do you have special setups that you use just for pictures? What kind of lighting do you use? Anything special or just the regular flash on the camera? Special lens?

I'm not just asking this to the members listed above - but to anyone who can offer any tips/tricks that they've discovered.

Psoulocybe
06-28-2005, 03:02 PM
Though I don't have many tarantula pictures up becca, i can give you some pointers.

First... for lighting... which is the most important aspect of equipment.... NONE!!!! You want natural light. Even the best stand alone flashes don't stand up to good ol' ma nature.

If you have to shoot indoors or at night, or in a dimly light area... do not use your on camera flash. they are all junk. Set up 2 or 3 different types of lights to get a full spectrum at different angles. it's really just experimenting... that's the artistic part of photography.

Experimentation is all that'll help. One mans technique will not always work for another... whether it be because of hardware differences or just stylistic differences.

Windchaser
06-28-2005, 03:02 PM
I believe the trick is good lighting and proper exposure. Also, a decent camera helps, but lighting and exposure will play a bigger role in whether the picture is high quality or not. I have been experimenting with different lighting at home. One of the things I have added to my arsenal is a ring flash. This type of flash which mounts to the lens is very handy for close in macro work. I am still learning how to use it effectively, but this has been improving my photos. BTW, I use a Sony F717 5 Megapixel digital camera.

The other thing that helps is to take LOTS of pictures. Most professional photographers will tell you that for every good picture they get, they tossed dozens away. Fortunately, this approach is more feasible with digital cameras, since you aren't payig for each picture.

metallica
06-28-2005, 03:03 PM
http://www.arachnoboards.com/ab/showpost.php?p=294213&postcount=1

now i don't use the forrest setup any more, i just take my spiders to the forrest. real daylight and great backgrounds.

how you light your subject is a personal choice. i myself find Prizz pics too "hard" lighted. could be the tubelight he uses, or the photoshop filter. again this is a pure personal thing..... i do think he makes fine pictures!!

hope this helps

Lorgakor
06-28-2005, 04:04 PM
Awesome post Metallica! That will help me alot! Thanks for posting this question Becca, it is one that I have been wanting to know about too. :clap: :)

metallica
06-28-2005, 04:09 PM
Awesome post Metallica! That will help me alot! Thanks for posting this question Becca, it is one that I have been wanting to know about too. :clap: :)

and with one search you would have had the answer allready long ago..... :wall:

GoTerps
06-28-2005, 04:11 PM
I've yet to find the time, or have the interest, to get into the "natural" background thing... most of my pics are in the enclosure, on corkbark, or on my hand (most hate, but me like :) ).

I think my pics turn out pretty well for using a 5 year old camera (Olympus C-3000, 3.2mp). I would like to start trying external lighting, but alas.

What works for me to get clear, crisp pictures is turning on the manual focus, and I turn it all the way to it's closest setting, which on my camera is 20mm. I then take a bunch of pictures (moving the camera slightly closer and further away) of which only a few turn out nicely. The only photoshop filter I use on the pics is the "hue", b/c every shot my camera takes is off in one direction.

Lorgakor
06-28-2005, 05:08 PM
and with one search you would have had the answer allready long ago..... :wall:

Yeah, if I had been actively looking, which I haven't. It is just recently I have been wanting to do more with my photos, so I hadn't gotten around to looking yet. But sorry I offended you by not finding your post sooner. :rolleyes:

metallica
06-28-2005, 05:40 PM
it was not to you personal, perhaps more to becca.

becca81
06-28-2005, 06:19 PM
it was not to you personal, perhaps more to becca.

Gee, thanks. ;)

For the record, I almost always attempt a search before asking this type of question. However, when I did search I found about 2 or 3 other threads, only one of which was a bit helpful but contained what I considered to be information that was a bit outdated in terms of equipment. I did not find your thread in the search, probably because of the terms that I used.

All of the specific questions that I was curious about are not necessarily addressed in the other threads that I located and several of the people who posted are not currently active on the boards, which makes questioning their original posts/topics/information a bit difficult.

When I do find a good thread (such at the one you linked to and another that I found) I always save it for future reference.

Anyways - you mentioned that now you "take your spiders to the forest" instead of using the forest setup. How do the spiders react to being outside in that setting? How do you deal with spiders that are more nervous / jumpy / fast? Do you have someone that assists you in case of a problem or do you do it alone?

ChrisNCT
06-28-2005, 08:53 PM
Hello,

FYI: I take decent pictures using my Canon EOS Digital. I can't get really good macro shots yet but as soon as I can get the macrolight and macro lens...I'll be all set!

I normally use flourescent lights for my lighting. I zoom all the way up on the macro setting which will give me a focus distnace of about 4" from the object. But as mentioned before about the macro lens..... it will focus manually down to under 1" from the subject being photographed.

T.Raab
06-29-2005, 01:44 AM
HI Becca,

i use normal enclose and external setups - it depends how the enclose look like and if i will be able to make pictures without and "unnatural" things like plastic walls, ect.

One very important thing is light! A good light source is the alpha and omega for good photograph. I bought for this reason a special photo-lamp with "coldlight" (in German: Kaltlicht = means the light is not hot and you can to very near with the lamp) and natural color temperature.

The other important thing is the equipment - a good cam with a good macro is needful. I use the SONY DSC-F717 wich is one of the best semi-professional cams and very good for macro shots (the cam has the biggest lens aperture of 2.0 !!!).

Last but not least, you have to WANT make good photos and you have to take you time for them. I see here on arachnoboards thousand times bad and blur pictures with spiders on hands (where the focus is on the hand and not on the spider) - and many ppl say "OMG - what a great picture". For me those pictures arent worse to show and not worse to save! - Nobody is perfect but you can try to make a pic wich is as perfect as you think - and remember: Post only pictures that you would want to see from others !!! (Or do you want to see blur, dark and cuttet pics ?)

just my 2 cents....

metallica
06-29-2005, 02:02 AM
Anyways - you mentioned that now you "take your spiders to the forest" instead of using the forest setup. How do the spiders react to being outside in that setting? How do you deal with spiders that are more nervous / jumpy / fast? Do you have someone that assists you in case of a problem or do you do it alone?

i don't have spiders that are vervous / jumpy. and speed is relative. in a small tank spiders look a lot faster then they are. once out in a wide open space they are easy to follow. i make all my pics alone.

Eddy

FryLock
06-29-2005, 06:37 AM
i don't have spiders that are vervous / jumpy. and speed is relative. in a small tank spiders look a lot faster then they are. once out in a wide open space they are easy to follow. i make all my pics alone.

H.villosella sling in the woods :confused: not the best idea looking back :(

Till
06-29-2005, 08:29 AM
I myself only own a Nikon Coolpix 4600. But even with this very cheap cam, bright daylight (a flash is not really bad, but it kinda gives you some new colours ;)), a cheap tripod (~10 Euros), an external tank especially for photographing, and using the self-auto-release of your cam (=no jiggling) good photos are not far away!

My brother, on the other hand, owns a Nikon D70. With this cam, 2 external flashes a tripod and a Macro-Objective it is kind of...well...amazing :D

I don't like that the small cameras are missing the "Tiefenunschärfe" (german)
I didn't find any translation for "Tiefenunschärfe", but it has to be something along the lines of "depth-sharpness" or "depth-unsharpness".

PinkLady
06-29-2005, 09:08 AM
Wolfy and I use a Fugifilm A200 finepix digital camera. We have a couple of different settings on it and there are pc programs that you can use that can clear up the picture from it being not too quite in focus. We also make sure our lighting is just so. We find that as long as it isn't too bright that usually works out well. We always use the home they live in also. We're not quite ready to take some of the lil meanies out..lol We've taken a couple over to the park for pics in the early evening and that's worked out well. I don't think the people at the park liked our choice of pets to bring over for a walk but oh well..lol

Psoulocybe
06-29-2005, 09:51 AM
T. Raab, please cut the sony fanboi crap.

That camera is pretty nice... but it is not THE OMG HOly F#ing GRAIL of cameras.

Equipment means almost nothing Becca.


I'm really not kidding.

Especially for what you're talking about.

Now, the macro conversation, is a little.... different....

You can't produce decent macro shots w/o a SLR with a nice 100mm


becca, I paid about $175 for my camera.

check out http://psoulocybe.com and see what an untrained shmuck can do with a cheap camera....

Blows all the elitest responces right out of this thread.

Till, this german word.... are you talking about something that controlls the depth of field?

That is controlled by your F-stop (aperature)

You can google and find about a bazillion sites that will explain how using different aperature settings can change your depth of field.

metallica
06-29-2005, 10:09 AM
Now, the macro conversation, is a little.... different....

You can't produce decent macro shots w/o a SLR with a nice 100mm


i don't have a SLR .... just my 3 yr old finepix 6900 zoom... looks like a good macro to me:
http://www.arachnoboards.com/ab/attachment.php?attachmentid=40864&stc=1

Windchaser
06-29-2005, 10:16 AM
T. Raab, please cut the sony fanboi crap.

That camera is pretty nice... but it is not THE OMG HOly F#ing GRAIL of cameras.

Equipment means almost nothing Becca.


I'm really not kidding.

Especially for what you're talking about.

While I generally agree with you here, equipment does make a difference. You will never get a decent, or even a good, macro shot from something like a cell phone camera. Granted, you don't need a whole host of expensive equipment to take a good picture. The person behind the camera is the most important piece of "equipment." But, it does help to at least have something more than a disposable camera, cell phone camera or a really cheap point-and-shoot. This is especially true for macro work. With macro photography you really need a camera that allows you to manually set the aperture as well as a decent lens. Besides lighting, the other critical component of photography is the quality of the lens. With all that said, there are a number of fairly inexpensive ($200 to $450) digital cameras on the market that will allow someone to get good results.


Now, the macro conversation, is a little.... different....

You can't produce decent macro shots w/o a SLR with a nice 100mm


becca, I paid about $175 for my camera.

check out http://psoulocybe.com and see what an untrained shmuck can do with a cheap camera.....

Blows all the elitest responces right out of this thread.

You have some nice shots posted.


Till, this german word.... are you talking about something that controlls the depth of field?

That is controlled by your F-stop (aperature)

You can google and find about a bazillion sites that will explain how using different aperature settings can change your depth of field.

Yep, DOF can make a big difference in a macro shot. Just take a look at Metallica's picture above.

becca81
06-29-2005, 10:18 AM
My biggest concern so far has been the lens that I use (and secondly the lighting). I had a Sony Mavica CD1000 SLR that I loved - but in a moment of hormonal stupidity during my last pregnancy I sold it and bought a Sony Cybershot (aka - piece of crap). The lens is small and the "macro mode" is a joke.

I'd like to find a lens that will pick up enough light even in lower-light settings without having to use the flash as much (or just use an external light source).

I also think I we have some lights in the garage that were used in a furniture store display that may help with the light issue.

Till
06-29-2005, 10:21 AM
Yes, Depth of Field is exactly what i meant!

Crotalus
06-29-2005, 10:25 AM
Patience and loads of luck...

/Lelle

Aviculariinae
06-29-2005, 10:44 AM
Patience and loads of luck...

/Lelle

So True.. I have the shaky hand syndrome,so i can,t take a decent picture to dave my life,but sometimes i get lucky!

GoTerps
06-29-2005, 10:51 AM
So True.. I have the shaky hand syndrome,so i can,t take a decent picture to dave my life,but sometimes i get lucky!

Hehe, my pictures come out better after I've had a few beers :)

Psoulocybe
06-29-2005, 11:01 AM
Metallica, while being in focus, there are a lot of problems with that shot.

The color is awful and it's very noisy. When talking macro photography, poor equipment shows.

Aviculariinae
06-29-2005, 11:04 AM
Hi,

Metallica, while being in focus, there are a lot of problems with that shot.

The color is awful and it's very noisy. When talking macro photography, poor equipment shows.

While this is true,he has still captured the point in the picture that he wanted,not the surroundings. :-)

Psoulocybe
06-29-2005, 11:37 AM
yeah... a couple beers can help sometimes. I wish I could do that before I go to the pistol range ;)

priZZ
06-29-2005, 12:32 PM
So True.. I have the shaky hand syndrome,so i can,t take a decent picture to dave my life,but sometimes i get lucky!

Hey! That's why You need to buy a tripod! ;)

Spider-man 2
06-29-2005, 12:49 PM
Practice...practice....practice! Good macro won't make you a good photographer, neither will great macro. Same with drawing, sports, instruments, and so on.

Understanding and ultilizing compostion, color, and design wouldn't hurt either. ;) Right, Aidan? hehe

metallica
06-29-2005, 01:36 PM
Metallica, while being in focus, there are a lot of problems with that shot.

The color is awful and it's very noisy. When talking macro photography, poor equipment shows.


then please show me a good macro you made.

Windchaser
06-29-2005, 01:40 PM
Metallica, while being in focus, there are a lot of problems with that shot.

The color is awful and it's very noisy. When talking macro photography, poor equipment shows.

Don't forget that you are most likely not seeing the original full resolution image. I suspect that it was resized and the compressed more aggressively for posting on the internet.

Windchaser
06-29-2005, 01:41 PM
My biggest concern so far has been the lens that I use (and secondly the lighting). I had a Sony Mavica CD1000 SLR that I loved - but in a moment of hormonal stupidity during my last pregnancy I sold it and bought a Sony Cybershot (aka - piece of crap). The lens is small and the "macro mode" is a joke.

I'd like to find a lens that will pick up enough light even in lower-light settings without having to use the flash as much (or just use an external light source).

I also think I we have some lights in the garage that were used in a furniture store display that may help with the light issue.

Without going into a DSLR, I would suggest that you look at the Canon S2 IS or the Sony H1. There are a couple of other cameras that compare with these two but I don't know the specifics.

danread
06-30-2005, 04:10 AM
If you want a good value digital camera i can highly recommend the Olympus C-5050z, it should be quite cheap on ebay now that it no longer in production. It's a great camera, and has a really good macro, one of the best in it's class. The latest model in the series is the Olympus c-8080, which by all accounts is even better. You can see some of the photos i've taken with the c-5050 here (http://photobucket.com/albums/y247/DanRead/#). Most of these were taken with natural light, but i've recently bought an external flash that i've been having a lot of fun with.

Cheers,

shogun804
06-30-2005, 06:29 AM
i feel i take good pictures for what type of camera i have, lighting i never worry about it, what ever happened to using a flash??

T.Raab
06-30-2005, 08:37 AM
T. Raab, please cut the sony fanboi crap.
That camera is pretty nice... but it is not THE OMG HOly F#ing GRAIL of cameras.


Hi,

i didnt say that it is the holy grail or something in this way. But you can ask all those who are photographing with the F717 that its a really good cam and one of the best Semi-Prof-Cams. If you dont think so - its ok. I would ever buy this one. (the optic from Zeiss is really fantastic) :D

Next step would be a D-SLR with a good Macro-objectiv with a complete price of about 1.500€ (about 1.900 US$) and my Sony did "only" cost 400€ (about 550 US$). So there is much difference in the price but the Sony has the pic-quality of a DSLR for less money. ;)

Psoulocybe
06-30-2005, 08:54 AM
ok... no.... $1900 is a little ridiculous.


You can pick up a used D20 w/ a couple lenses for under $1000 US

Metallica, I don't do macro. I don't have the equipment... the closest I can show to give you an idea what a cheap fuji does w/ a macro shot is this:

http://psoulocybe.com/components/com_mambospgm/spgm/gal/Floral/yellowflower.png

BTW, I cannot think of one time I have heard someone recomend a sony as a semi-pro camera on any of the photography sites I frequent.

Canon S2 IS is a great recomendation... I've been tempted to pick one of those up for my mom.

danread
06-30-2005, 09:00 AM
Metallica, I don't do macro. I don't have the equipment...

You don't do macro, but you are willing to sit here and criticise other peoples macro photos, and fire off opinions on what cameras are good or not without having owned a camera with a good macro? hmmm :?

bugsnstuff
06-30-2005, 09:04 AM
i use my trusty fujifilm S3000 for web and family 'snaps', it has a good zoom and a macro adequate for my purposes.

dont forget that:
1. most pictures are cropped and resized down to around 800x600, or less, for internet use, they are also compressed to shrink the filesize, so most pics seen on here are not the quality of the original.
2. most users are only going to use the ob flash, now this is all but useless for macro photography as most of the light misses the subject, so a brightly lit area is needed to be honest, natural light being much more pleasing as the NATURAL colours are displayed rather than excessive blue from flourescent and yellow from incandescant.

in my opinion pic a brand with good optics ( i have seen pictures from an old Olympus C-1400 XL that would blow away the majority of high mp cams of today ) and don't let those cameras with a low price tag and high mp tempt you.

oh, and lastly, dont forget that even professional photographers take hundreds of shots for a handful of excellent ones, so dont be suprised if you only have a couple of 'excellent' pics out of 50 or so, thats what digital is for, delete the not so good ones and try try again :D


click here for a sample image of mine (http://www.geocities.com/bugsnstuff66/pictures/steve008.jpg)

Raqua
06-30-2005, 09:17 AM
Equipment means almost nothing Becca.


When talking macro photography, poor equipment shows.

Am I the only one who noticed some crap here ??

I also own DSC717 and for that price it is great cam. I bought it almost 3 years ago and in that time it was quite superior to other cameras in it's category. Getting a better one would make me buy DSLR and double my expenses. Today all cameras are cheaper, even DSLR's, but I still don't feel like I really need to switch to those. It is a decent camera and I'm sure you would not make a better macro with yours than me ...
So you are really the one that should cut that ..... T.Raab wrote that it is a good cam and he has some great pics to support that on his website. I didn't like those on your web as much ..

T.Raab
06-30-2005, 09:30 AM
ok... no.... $1900 is a little ridiculous.
You can pick up a used D20 w/ a couple lenses for under $1000 US

Hi,

i didnt talk of used cams ! - I've talked from new one. BTW: I'm going to use the german prices for comparison and for a DSLR you have to pay here in germany about 1.000 EUR (the Canon 20D begins new with about 1.200 EUR [click me (http://www.idealo.de/preisvergleich/OffersOfProduct/241003.html)]) and a good Macro is also very costly.

Btw. I did all my photos without any Macrolense. A good macrolens (f.e. Canon 250D or Canon 500D) cost "only" 80 EUR instead of a good Macro-objectiv (f.e. Sigma EX 180mm 3.5 APO HSM IF Makro S [click me (http://www.idealo.de/preisvergleich/OffersOfProduct/297275_-ex-180mm-3-5-apo-hsm-if-makro-s-sigma.html)]) about 650 EUR.

So if you add those two DSLR components you get a price of about 1.850 EUR (this is 2.230 US$ [rate of today (30.06.05): 0,83])

Is this ridiculous ??? (My 1.900 is a median and not so ridiculous as you think).

just my 2 cents ....

Psoulocybe
06-30-2005, 09:32 AM
sure... i was chastizing him.

whatever.

anyway.... i didn't think it's a decent example of a good photo. if you can't take criticizm... i really don't give a *#@4.

i used to do a lot of macro work w/ my old D20. The camera went belly up so I don't have anything tarantula related to show from it's glory days.

my point of jumping in this thread was so that people wouldn't be throwing biased opinions of gear at becca.

she asked a series of questions which have been answered a number of differnt ways.. and thats good.

seconds... take quotes out of context like that Raqua, very nice.

I'm bowing out now since this will just become a flame war, but becca, seiously consider hitting up a photography site like fredmiranda.com

there are a ton of great deals on used equipment and great reviews from professionals.

Lateralus
06-30-2005, 11:31 AM
Now, the macro conversation, is a little.... different....

You can't produce decent macro shots w/o a SLR with a nice 100mm

Hey Psoulocybe, firstly, doesn't this count as an elitist statement too?

Secondly, are you insinuating that if I handed my camera to someone without the necessary experience with Slrs, he or she would be able to take the same standard of photographs as mine? :?


I don't do macro. I don't have the equipment... the closest I can show to give you an idea what a cheap fuji does w/ a macro shot is this

As stated you don't do macro shots nor do you have the equipment. With that being said, I am assuming that you have almost no experience with macro photography and are basing your conjecture on pure hearsay.

With that being said, how can you make such a sweeping statement such as the former?

[Edit] I was replying and did not see your other post (http://www.arachnoboards.com/ab/showpost.php?p=477497&postcount=41) so please ignore what I said here.


Metallica, while being in focus, there are a lot of problems with that shot.

The color is awful and it's very noisy. When talking macro photography, poor equipment shows.

That is of course your prerogative, whatever happened to "a good / decent picture" being subjective?

Personally I do not like GoTerp's photographs; sorry bro! (I find the lighting too harsh, the details to be overly-sharp and the colours too saturated) This does not mean that it might not appeal to others, nor would it also mean that he doesn't take good photographs.

Since we are talking about the technicalities now, here's a photo I just took using my Nikon D70 with a Nikkor 60mm lens at 1600 iso, large aperture size with an inaccurate white balance setting and grossly compressed to illustrate my point:

http://img190.imageshack.us/img190/6729/picture104491go.jpg

Sure, it might not have the barrel distortion of Eddy's photo, but the colour is way off, the depth of field horrible and the noise levels awful.

Does that necessarily mean that I am using an El Cheapo compact? Besides, the colour and noise levels of Eddy's photograph can be easily rectified with Photoshop.


The point that I am trying to make is that at the end of the day; your perception of the standard of someone's photography (macro or not), is directly tied to what the photographer wishes to show and his or her skill level, with little basis placed on the standard and quality of the photographer’s equipment.

I could easily buy myself a 12 Mp Prosumer Compact, take a photo of a tarantula at full resolution, crop it down and tweak it in Adobe Photoshop, and still get “macro” results close to that of a Dslr.

While I do agree with you to a certain extent, about the standard of someone’s equipment not being directly linked to the standard of photography one can produce. I feel that you shouldn’t be so quick to alienate the macro capabilities of a decent compact, when used by someone with the necessary level of expertise.

Just my 0.02 cents. :)

Cheers,
Damien.

metallica
06-30-2005, 12:52 PM
Sure, it might not have the barrel distortion of Eddy's photo, but the colour is way off, the depth of field horrible and the noise levels awful.

Does that necessarily mean that I am using an El Cheapo compact? Besides, the colour and noise levels of Eddy's photograph can be easily rectified with Photoshop.

Damien.

Hi Damien,

correct, there was no filter on this pic, but look at the function of the photo... a clear shot of the claw of a T. straight from the cam, only resized, not croped. remember, this thing is only a mm long!

cacoseraph
06-30-2005, 01:02 PM
http://www.arachnoboards.com/ab/showpost.php?p=294213&postcount=1

now i don't use the forrest setup any more, i just take my spiders to the forrest. real daylight and great backgrounds.

how you light your subject is a personal choice. i myself find Prizz pics too "hard" lighted. could be the tubelight he uses, or the photoshop filter. again this is a pure personal thing..... i do think he makes fine pictures!!

hope this helps

i noticed you said to use a close up lens in your thread. i think i stumbled onto something similar to this. i just hold a large regular magnifying glass between the camera and the bug. i have gotten decent pics with a rubbish ~1.5MP digicam w/o a macro setting this way. also, this let me completely avoid using the digital zoom, which at least with cheap cameras, seems to hurt more than help. everything gets blurry fast if you shake, but for the money it's a good trick :)

Lateralus
06-30-2005, 01:08 PM
Hi Damien,

correct, there was no filter on this pic, but look at the function of the photo... a clear shot of the claw of a T. straight from the cam, only resized, not croped. remember, this thing is only a mm long!

Hi Eddy,

I perfectly understood what you meant. The comments I made asides from the lens barrel distortion were directed towards the picture I took.

The lens distortion I was referring to; can be clearly seen from the immediate edges of your picture, even the part that was in focus. This is a problem that plagues pictures taken with the lens found on most compacts especially in macro mode. :)

Cheers,
Damien.

GoTerps
06-30-2005, 01:51 PM
Personally I do not like GoTerp's photographs; sorry bro! (I find the lighting too harsh, the details to be overly-sharp and the colours too saturated) This does not mean that it might not appeal to others, nor would it also mean that he doesn't take good photographs

That's fine man! I'm no photographer, nor do I wish to be. I just like to show my spiders! It's the best I can do with a 5yr old cam that was only a couple hundred bucks 5yrs ago. I only use the built in flash, so lighting is usually to harsh. Although there are many spiders that I like the way a lot of flash looks on them.

I'm a spider keeper who takes some pictures, not a photographer who keeps spiders :)