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Big as Your Thumb

Big as Your Thumb
Photo Information
Copyright: John Plumb (JPlumb) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 618 W: 158 N: 896] (2904)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-03-09
Categories: Spiders
Camera: Nikon D200, AF-S VR Micro Nikkor 105mm 1:2.8G ED
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/80 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2008-05-12 19:38
Viewed: 3933
Points: 30
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I have to thank Murray Lines (mlines) for this shot. Back in March, Murray posted a shot of a Swamp Hen. I had never seen one of these and got directions at that time from Murray, about how to find my own. Luck wasnít with me (that day) when I went for the Swamp Hen but I did see this huge Garden Orb Weaver (Eriophora transmarina). It was in a huge web spun between a couple of trees. The web was a round wheel like affair, about a couple of meters wide and tall. The spider was about an inch long, about the size of the end of my thumb.

I would also like to thank Gethin Hill who (since posting) has provided the correct scientific name for this spider.

Iíve never been real crazy about spiders, and had no idea what type this was, but had to get the shot. As it turns out, these spiders are reluctant to bite, and their toxicity is said to be weak anyway. They typically build their strong vertical webs overnight, and remove them through the day (as they themselves are prey for some birds and wasps).

The female lays eggs in late summer to autumn. The eggs are encased in a fluffy silken cocoon, and attached to foliage. The lifespan is about 12 months, dieing soon after they lay their eggs.

Much of this from: http://www.usq.edu.au/spider/find/spiders/105.htm

The most difficult part of this shot was to catch the stopped motion with the web waving in the wind. Light was not great so depth of field was shallow, so I took quite a few shots before I had what I wanted. There is a side view in the workshop.

I follow a generic workflow now as outlined in my Bio.
Details and differences to this are as follows:
Shot taken at 105mm, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/80 sec (aperture priority)
Levels tweaked further by eye
Yellow Hue decreased by -15
Overlay layer not used
Saved at 97% quality for 295K

inked, eng55, maurydv, darwin, mlines, CeltickRanger, Adanac, MMM has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To mbasil: Fill FlashJPlumb 3 05-18 16:11
To inked: Thanks for IDJPlumb 1 05-12 23:43
To waylim: Depth of FieldJPlumb 1 05-12 23:38
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Critiques [Translate]

Greetings John,
Great shot of this eight legged thing. I must admitt it's not that easy to look at. I'm not really afraid of little bug but to look at it this size and this close-up, it still kind of give me a little shriver. not all of it's legs are focus, I wonder why.

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-05-12 21:36]

Hi John,
Outstanding shot of this Garden Orb Weaver with immaculate sharpness, colours and details. The silky web looks majestic against that lovely BG. Nice pose captured of this huge character with great lighting. Excellent POV and composition. Kudos.

  • Great 
  • inked Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 132 W: 0 N: 249] (771)
  • [2008-05-12 22:15]
  • [+]

hi John,
very nice shot of this spider.. these guys aren't out in the daytime too often, more active at night, which makes shots of them not too common.. they are really reflective when you try to get em with a flash, and often just end up a bright white spider with no detail. nicely done..
just a correction however.. i think you're right with your common name (garden orb) but you've got the wrong genus with the scientific name.. i believe its an Eriophora transmarina.
nice one and thanks for sharing..
just out of interest.. i remember reading a report about one of these guys that was studied.. she used to build her web over a driveway that would get broken when the owners of the house came home each day.. rather than moving web locations though, she was observed to raise the web and then lower it again afterwards. amazing!

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2008-05-12 22:59]

Hi John,

The exposure,colors and details are great in this capture,although in my opinion it misses some dof,but I guess you would have needed some extra fillfash,tfs


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  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2008-05-13 0:56]

Hi John,
Lovely close up.POV,exposure nad BG are wonderful.
Thanks for posting.

Splendida macro, ottimi POV e composizione, buona nitidezza, molto belli i colori, bellissimi BG e luce. Grazie e complimenti. Ciao Maurizio

Hi John
Very nice capture and composition with superb detail
tfs jon

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  • mlines Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 556 W: 26 N: 668] (3116)
  • [2008-05-13 14:23]

Hi John, With some imagination it could be as big as your palm, but luckily it is smaller! Pleased you found the wilderness area so near the Sydney city area. It is less well known so provides a place to get away from the crowds. This is a good clear spider macro, with details like hair and fine silk clearly visible. TFS. Murray.

hello John

superb shot of this spider, fine POV and very fine DOF with the spider web,
wonderful background, great sharpness and details of the spider, TFS


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  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-05-13 14:57]

Hi John,
Beautiful image my friend, I like the web being nicely visible. I think I prefer the workshop image myself but that is only a personal thing, I like the angle you took it at very much. Thanks for the fantastic images John, Have a great day.

Hello John,
Fine details have been captured in your furry friend!
I like inclusion of the web, and the background colour enhances the subject well...
Iíd like to take this opportunity to thank you for support and advice during my time here!
It has been great and I have learned a lot through the many fine presentations in TrekNature!
Pablo -

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2008-05-14 9:47]

Hi John
Nice closed up.Good POV and nice de4tail.I like that vertical format.Your image is sharp and the colors are nixce and natural.
TFS Michel

Very dramatic John. Great subject and the lighting really shows the web. I'm not sure about your photography philosophy, but one option would have been a flash fill (like Howard i.e., marhowie).
P.S. I see you're a Canuck temporarily in Oz. In July we're headed to spend a year in Wollongong. Looking forward to a change of scenery and some great opportunities for some Aussie critters and landscapes.

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-05-15 23:09]

Hi John

Greetings from A Dhabi

A great macro with superb colour and excellent detail. Well observed and captured.


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  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-06-17 21:27]

Hello John

A lovely capture of this big as your thumb spider.
The details are very good.
nicely done on the pov and dof.

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