<< Previous Next >>

Spider Portrait

Spider Portrait
Photo Information
Copyright: Alain Thibodeau (Athila) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 335 W: 239 N: 493] (1982)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2000
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon F3, Olympus 38mm f/2.8 bellows lens, Ektachrome
Exposure: 1/60 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2005-10-27 10:28
Viewed: 5849
Points: 47
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Common spider

I can’t tell you the name of this spider, but I can tell you I found it in the basement at home.

Here again it’s a high magnification macro made with dedicated equipment. For magnification of about 5x you need to put a lot of distance between your lens and the film. The longer the focal length of your lens the longer the extension should be. In fact the magnification ratio corresponds to this simplified equation:

Magnification ratio = Extension ÷ focal length

Since I used a 38mm macro lens and wanted a 5x magnification ratio, the I needed and extension of :

5x = ? ÷ 38mm

where ? = 190 mm

To get such a high extension, I used and extension bellows that looks like an accordion. Most macro bellows are about 200 mm long.

Take a look at my own WorkShop, I put a picture of the equipment setup.

Technical data:

Camera : Nikon F3
Accessory-1 : Olympus Auto Bellows
Accessory-2 : Double cable release
Lens : Olympus 38mm f2.8 bellows lens
F/stop : Not recorded
Shutter speed : 1/60 sec (synch speed_
Tripod: Manfroto
Filter: None
Meter : Minolta Flash Meter III
Flash : Braun F-34 (2 units)
Film : Ektachrome
Flatbed Scanner: Epson 4180

dew77, wishnugaruda, sAner, liquidsunshine, red45, marhowie, cecilia, TAZ, alexbf, scottevers7, lglandon, gerhardt, touristdidi, firelord, AdrianW has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To AdrianW: Thank youAthila 1 07-03 08:08
To Fisher: True diffused light would be better.Athila 1 11-14 21:53
To lglandon: Réponse: Distance de l'objectifAthila 2 10-30 05:20
To lglandon: Réponses techniquesAthila 2 10-30 05:18
To red45: Ultra macro doesn't mean better picutre!Athila 2 10-28 09:31
To liquidsunshine: Not such a big setup once you know whatAthila 1 10-27 19:26
To wishnugaruda: 8 eyesAthila 1 10-27 12:25
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2005-10-27 10:36]

Hello Alain!
Wonderful portrait;).Eyes are amazing.I liked Dof,details,lighting,DOF and framing a lot.TFS...:-)

Hello Alain,
this is a perfect shot. How many eyes do spiders have? Also a lot of hairs, I can see every detail, sharpness is excellent.
Very good job, thanks to you
Sabine - wishnugaruda

Excellent clarity of detail and good use of DoF in this macro shot. Well taken and thanks for sharing Alain.

Excellent close up Alain,
What a set up to get this shot, that must take a while to set up.
Great detail, sharpness and colours. A very good explanation of how you achieved this shot too.
Thanks for posting.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-10-27 16:56]
  • [+]

Excellent work Alain. Real gem. Ultramacro at its best. I also like your workshop very much - very informative.

Well done Alain,great extreme close up shot...
With great detail and colour...

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2005-10-27 22:21]

Une monstrueuse photo, la prise de vue est parfaite et la netteté bonne.

Félicitations !

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2005-10-27 23:26]

A stunning macro, Alain. Not a creature I would want to come face to face with. Good thing I am a tad bigger (I hope!). Very sharp details and well exposed. Excellent POV. Well done and TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2005-10-28 1:39]

Le moins qu'on puisse dire c'est que cette macro est impressionnante tout comme cette araignée avec ses yeux qui nous fixent, Brrrrrrr... Compliments Alain et merci

Nice macro !

I still hate spiders.....

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2005-10-28 6:10]

Good macro Athila. Very frightning!! The details on the eyes are very sharp. Well done & TFS!


Hi Alain,
This is a very good reminder of the good old times when there was no macro-lenses, I still remember the hard work to get decent macros with bellows and manual flashes, it's a lot easier these days.
Well composed, good details and the DOF is good too.
Very well done.

  • Good 
  • alexbf (61)
  • [2005-10-28 8:07]

Superbe photo macro. Dégoutant ;) mais très net et effrayant!


Hi Alain,
A super macro shot. It is amazing what these guys look like at 5-6x. Superb detail in this shot! Great note on how this is done.

Superbe Alain! et merci pour l'explication et le WS.
2 questions:
1) Pourquoi un Double cable release? il y a un système pour fermer le diaphragme par ce cable ?
2) Comment as tu fais pour pas qu'elle se sauve ... a quelle distance de l'objectif était l'araignée ?
TFS, Laurent

  • Great 
  • puciu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 16] (2631)
  • [2005-10-29 16:49]

Solidne powiêkszenie, ¶wietnie wysz³y oczy i w³oski. Fajny portret. ciekawy zestaw sprzetu.

Amazing magnification, Alian. Ultra thin DOF, :)

The sedtup and equipment in the WS I find very interesting. Very well done. Love this.

Hi Alin!
Great Portrait, beautiful face and beautifull eyes.
I like this great macro,

bonjour alain
tout d'abord merci,en voyant cette photo il est vrai que j'ai encore du boulot,je n'ai pas encore tout compris dans photoshop mais cela viendra.en attendant tres beau portrait de cette araignée.elle en fait froid dans le dos.

Too much, too scary, WOW!!! What a shot!

Bonjour Alain,

Excellent shot and well done on the composition.
My only nit is the lighting, though you did well, I think it could have been diffused. I find it somewhat harsh, not natural.
Excellent work, beautiful.


Amazing macro and your equipment is even more amazing! Great DOF, perfect exposure!


Vraiment impressionnant à ce grossissement! Très net et, compte tenu du grossissement, la PDC est excellente. Bravo! Je vais prendre le temps de parcourir ta galerie à la recherche d'autres perles.

  • Great 
  • Adam73 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 208 W: 5 N: 522] (2253)
  • [2006-06-14 13:45]

Awesome POV, very sharp and just all around crazy picture. Most poeple are terrified of spiders and a close up of one such as this explains why. I think spiders as small as they are are very scary seeing them like this just enforces it. I love the DOF the blurry legs looks like there coming right out at you. Very cool picture.

Excellent macro! I wish I could give you some points for your Workshop on this one, it's fascinating. Unlike most other extreme macros on TN, this one is completely free of Chromatic Aberrations - which is interesting. Focus/exposure are spot on too! To be honest the lighting doesn't worry me too much here - there aren't any particularly problematic shadows, so that's a non-issue IMO. Have you tried z-stacking yet? CombineZ5 looks fascinating to me, and might help for future shots - although it's tricky to do with live subjects... Perhaps you could give it a go! Anyway, excellent work as ever :D

Calibration Check