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Papilio's photo thread

Discussion in 'Tarantula Pictures' started by papilio, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. papilio

    papilio Arachnoprince Arachnosupporter

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    The magnificent rufilata! by _papilio, on Flickr




    Hi all! :)

    I was finally talked into tossing some of my photos up here on AB. I've been posting them on flickr for about the past 6 months ... but this is a much tougher crowd!

    Nearly all of these photos have been taken since late Summer when I got my current camera, a Nikon D7000. The lens I use primarily for Ts is a Tokina AT-X PRO 100mm F2.8 D Macro, which I've found to be a fantastic performer. Most of the photos (not including the following one, for reasons explained there) are fairly high resolution, so if you'd like the best view of a particular photo I'd suggest that you click through to flickr, then click on the blue link immediately beneath the image to open the 1920px png which I uploaded. Unfortunately it takes an image that large to begin to display the detail visible on the full-res images.

    Just this past week I've begun experimenting with an improvised 18mm wide-angle macro, as I've always been keen to get that somewhat fisheye effect which is typical of most point and shoots in macro mode -- I think that it gives a far more dynamic feeling to the image than is possible with a long-focus macro. This lens is actually just a cheap Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR kit lens combined with a Nikon PK-11a extension tube, adding a mere 8mm between the body and the lens. I found that this allows the lens, at the 18mm point in its zoom range, to focus as close as a cm rather than its normal 12 inches or so. For a more detailed description please see the notes below this image by clicking through to its flickr page ...




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    Are you my mother? by _papilio, on Flickr




    By modifying the aperture tab on the Nikkor, I'm now able to use this lens at about f/8 rather than the f/32 to which it snapped during the initial tests, and my first photo shoot with this lens turned out as well as I could have hoped ... I really love the feel of the perspective it gives! I'll begin this thread by posting some from that session, photos of a very friendly 2.5-inch GBB. It kept climbing up onto the lens! :)

    I used key back-lighting for these images, provided by an 8" by 10" diffuser on a stationary optically triggered slave, with the strobe on the camera bracket at its lowest setting just to provide some soft fill.




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    Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens 2.5-inch juvie, wide-angle by _papilio, on Flickr




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    Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens 2.5-inch juvie, wide-angle by _papilio, on Flickr




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    Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens 2.5-inch juvie, wide-angle by _papilio, on Flickr




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    Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens 2.5-inch juvie, wide-angle by _papilio, on Flickr




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    I need a hug! by _papilio, on Flickr




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    Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens 2.5-inch juvie, wide-angle by _papilio, on Flickr




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    Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens 2.5-inch juvie, wide-angle by _papilio, on Flickr




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    Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens 2.5-inch juvie, wide-angle by _papilio, on Flickr




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    Chromatopelma cyaneopubescens 2.5-inch juvie, wide-angle by _papilio, on Flickr




    ... as they say on eBay, Thanks for looking! :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
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  2. mcluskyisms

    mcluskyisms Arachnoangel

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    EPIC!!!

    Awesome shots, I shall be keeping an eye on this thread. :)
     
  3. papilio

    papilio Arachnoprince Arachnosupporter

    Thanks mcluskyisms!! Very kind! :)
     
  4. Protectyaaaneck

    Protectyaaaneck Arachnoking Arachnosupporter

    Wow, really nice shots man! Keep it up. :D
     
  5. matt82

    matt82 Arachnoknight

    You've picked a few quality shots to start of there Michael, that rufilata pic is fantastic :clap: Incredible sling/juvi GBB pics too.
    Looking forward to seeing the updates on this thread, a few diversipies shots wouldn't go amiss!
     
  6. jbm150

    jbm150 Arachnoprince

    Don't stop there, must post MORE!
     
  7. papilio

    papilio Arachnoprince Arachnosupporter

    Thanks a lot Jason! :)

    Big congrats on your L. nigerrimum!! I got Vitaliy's last three, 2M, 1F ... sadly at about 2.5" lost the female in a bad molt. But the fantastic photos of your F are what inspired me to get them, beautiful work!! :)

    Thanks a bunch Matt! :D The rufilata is one of my faves, had it made into a poster-size print.

    You're right, I should probably put a few of the diversipes up soon -- I'm thinking I'll post by species rather than just dumping everything here at once. ;)

    LOL Jeff, thanks! :) There are plenty more where they came from.

    Sorry to see about your H.mac ... hate to sound here as if all my Ts die, but I lost a gorgeous P. tigrinawesseli juvie to DKS a few months ago, whatever that is I hate it!!
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
  8. papilio

    papilio Arachnoprince Arachnosupporter

    A. diversipes and P. ornata

    Here are some small slings ...



    A. diversipes, 1-inch and smaller.

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    JAG pose by _papilio, on Flickr




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    diversipes mohawk by _papilio, on Flickr




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    Avicularia diversipes sling, 0.75-inch, soft light by _papilio, on Flickr




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    Avicularia diversipes sling, 0.75-inch, soft light by _papilio, on Flickr

    Full-res detail crop.




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    Deep Throat! Avicularia diversipes sling, 0.75-inch by _papilio, on Flickr




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    Avicularia diversipes sling on velvet, 0.5-inch by _papilio, on Flickr




    And a P. ornata, 1-inch. These look best in the 'Original' view.

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    Sri Lankan Blue! 0.75-inch by _papilio, on Flickr




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    Poecilotheria ornata 1-inch sling by _papilio, on Flickr

    5 stacked images.

    The detail on this one is quite fine, 'Original' view highly recommended!




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    Face shot, Poecilotheria ornata 1-inch sling. by _papilio, on Flickr

    8 stacked images.




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    Poecilotheria ornata 1-inch sling by _papilio, on Flickr




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    Fringed Ornamental by _papilio, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
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  9. crawltech

    crawltech Arachnoprince

    Awsome pics!......like a bunch of neon lights!...very style-ish!
     
  10. Storm76

    Storm76 Arachnoemperor Active Member

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    *gasp* What equipment do you use?!
     
  11. papilio

    papilio Arachnoprince Arachnosupporter

    The camera is a Nikon D7000 ... IMO pure magnesium-bodied magic! ;) The lens I've been using most is a Tokina AT-X PRO 100mm F2.8 D Macro, which is about half the cost of the equivalent Nikkor, according to the reviews just as sharp, though I've noticed some very subtle color problems. It's extremely well-built, and Tokina was started by a group of ex-Nikon optical designers. The GBB photo shoot was my first use of an improvised 18mm macro lens (a modified Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR kit lens), providing quite dynamic wide-angle images. For extreme close-ups (only one posted here so far, the diversipes chelicerae), I attach a Raynox dcr250 micro lens to the front end of the Tokina macro.

    And I use a couple of inexpensive Yongnuo YN560 strobes with LumiQuest diffusers, designed similarly to a 'beauty dish' in order to minimize the diffuser's hot spot..

    I process the RAW images with Nikon Capture NX2, save as tiffs and post-process with Corel PaintShop Pro X4 (a remarkably capable alternative to PS, at not much more than a tenth the cost).

    Thank you crawltech! :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
  12. Storm76

    Storm76 Arachnoemperor Active Member

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    That's quite THE equipment you have there, man! Sounds like you're into photography already for some time, since I can't imagine you got the cam and the lenses only to make pictures of your T's?

    However, you're doing an AWESOME job! It's amazing to see the high-detailed macro shots there...keep it up and "feed" us more, please :D
     
  13. papilio

    papilio Arachnoprince Arachnosupporter

    Thank you Storm76!

    I have a lot of fun with my toys! :) Actually I've only been into photography for a couple of years since I began taking photos of the Ts, but it's so fun and challenging (especially chasing the little slings around with the lens lol), and I got hooked on it. I know it's a bit hard to justify everything just to photograph my collection, but oh well, I love doing it!! :D
     
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  14. papilio

    papilio Arachnoprince Arachnosupporter

    P. bara slings and P. subfusca highland juvies

    Yeah mcluskyisms, sometimes I'm powered by boredom too! ;) So I might as well get a few more photos posted ...




    Some of my P. bara slings, now approaching 2 inches.

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    Poecilotheria bara sling, 2nd instar 0.75-inch, setae_detail crop, Remastered by _papilio, on Flickr

    9 stacked images.




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    Poecilotheria bara 1.5-inch sling by _papilio, on Flickr

    6 stacked images




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    Poecilotheria bara 1.5-inch sling by _papilio, on Flickr

    7 stacked images.




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    ... I hate getting up this early by _papilio, on Flickr




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    Poecilotheria bara 1.5-inch sling, back-lit by _papilio, on Flickr




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    Rug surfing by _papilio, on Flickr




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    Leg setae detail, v.2 by _papilio, on Flickr

    Most of these P. bara slings were back-lit ... I love how it makes the hairs blaze with color. Look at those tiny translucent blue hairs!
    This image is a full-res crop taken from the image 2 back.




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    Poecilotheria bara 1.5-inch sling, back-lit by _papilio, on Flickr

    5 stacked images




    And some of the P. subfusca highland juvies.

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    Poecilotheria subfusca (highland) sub-adult female, Ivory Ornamental by _papilio, on Flickr

    I suggest the 'Original' view on this one too!




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    Subfusca in HDR by _papilio, on Flickr

    6 stacked images




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    Poecilotheria subfusca (highland) juvie, 4.5-inch. Ivory Ornamental by _papilio, on Flickr

    This beautiful T looks 3D in the 'Original' !




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    Poecilotheria subfusca (highland) juvie, 4.5-inch. Ivory Ornamental by _papilio, on Flickr




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    Poecilotheria subfusca highland, 5-inch male by _papilio, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
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  15. advan

    advan Nikonian Staff Member

    Very nice Michael! I'm glad you started a thread here. I love the A. diversipes sling side carapace shot! It's insane!
     
  16. papilio

    papilio Arachnoprince Arachnosupporter

    Thanks Chad! :) That's one of my fave A. diversipes images ... don't really know how I managed to get it, and sure I couldn't again if the lives of myself and everyone I knew depended on it!
     
  17. papilio

    papilio Arachnoprince Arachnosupporter

    P. regalis

    After a dozen A. versicolors took my sling virginity, my next to raise were six P. regalises, housed communally. Almost from the start one was strikingly larger than the others, and is the one which I kept ... now a magnificent female at 8+ inches. As she was the largest juvie I handled her quite a bit, and even now she is incredibly mellow ... I don't recall once having seen her make a quick move other than when feeding, and even then she's quite leisurely.

    Several months ago I began another commune of six slings, just so that I could get a photo document of their growth.

    In my experience the perfect beginner Pokie, and I still have to say one of the prettiest.




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    Poecilotheria regalis adult female, 9-inch by _papilio, on Flickr




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    Frosty Poecilotheria regalis sling, 1.5-inch legspan by _papilio, on Flickr

    16 stacked images




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    Poecilotheria regalis sling, 2-inch legspan by _papilio, on Flickr




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    Approach of the Regalis! Adult female, 9-inch legspan. by _papilio, on Flickr

    16 stacked images




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    Poecilotheria regalis sling hangout. by _papilio, on Flickr

    4 stacked images




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    Poecilotheria regalis sling, 2-inch legspan by _papilio, on Flickr




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    Poecilotheria regalis, adult female, 9-inch legspan by _papilio, on Flickr

    8 stacked images




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    Poecilotheria regalis adult female, 9-inch by _papilio, on Flickr
     
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  18. Protectyaaaneck

    Protectyaaaneck Arachnoking Arachnosupporter

    Oooh boy, that's a pretty girl! Very nice shots. Is it easy to stack photos? :)
     
  19. mcluskyisms

    mcluskyisms Arachnoangel

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    Loving these images, the contrast between photography, art and angles are fantastic! Well done!!!
     
  20. papilio

    papilio Arachnoprince Arachnosupporter

    Thank you mckluskyisms!! Honestly, that's super-good to hear ... on flickr my photos are considered somewhat 'impressionistic', and I wasn't sure my particular style would fly here on AB. With all the tight macros and close cropping (most of which are yet to come), for the most part they're not really what would normally be considered specimen shots.

    So I'm sincerely gratified that you're enjoying them!

    Yeah Jason, she's quite the sweetheart! :D Though I'm working at it, my collection's still rather pedestrian, and she's the one which makes all visitors gasp. I was really falling in love with my female juvie P. tigrinawesseli, she was so beautiful and I considered her my second fave, but I lost her to DKS. (I now have 4 slings from Pat, which he was offering at a great deal of course, and at just under 2 inches now I see that three are females.)


    Just give stacking a try for yourself! It's a blast and absolutely incredible to watch the software render a clear image out of the stack of predominantly out-of-focus images. I just can't get myself to put up with all of the diffraction at f/16 or higher when shooting macros -- even f/8 is starting to get obviously soft. So stacking is a Godsend for me. But then I'm something of an amateur optical designer, so I'm probably a bit anal about less than tack-sharp images. ;)

    I'd suggest getting the fully-functional demo of Zerene Stacker, far and away the best software, and just start playing ... if you're like me you'll be amazed at the results you get right from the start, regardless of the fact that they'll not yet be perfect.

    Is it easy, yes and no. The software is a breeze, just a few clicks and it does all of the work, aligning images which are likely to vary all over the frames from image to image, and can even de-rotate to some extent. The only thing it generally can't handle as well, for obvious reasons I think, is if the angles from which the images happen to have been taken vary more than very slightly. But even there it often surprises.

    Though I was getting satisfying results before I did any reading on technique, you might want to start by going to http://macrostop.com/ and downloading their free PDF e-books -- in particular 'The Art of Focus Stacking'. I would only differ with the writing on one point, the author's demand for a stable platform ... not really an option when shooting our wildlife. I do eveything hand-held, unless (as with the regalis and most terrestrials ... of which I have very few) the T is something of a pet rock. Then I'll use a monopod and actually turn the focus ring slowly as I snap a stack. But more often its just random luck, normal hand-shake brings the focus to different planes on the subject, and then it's a matter of trying to find at least 6 or so fairly evenly spaced focal planes on the T while you're culling the images, and re-naming the files so that they're in order. Much easier and more likely to occur than that may sound.

    Anyway, this is where a lot of practice comes into the equation ... it's not unusual to snap the shutter several hundred times or more for just a few good stacks when I'm working with hyper little slings. But that's still only about a 15-20 minute photo shoot. And to me at least the results are (usually) quite satisfying, well worth the effort.

    Of course if the T is really stationary, a tripod and focus rail are wonderful. If you'd care to check it out sometime, http://www.flickr.com/photos/41721083@N03/6694571555 is a dead B. lat with which I used a rail and took a stack 32 images deep at f/5.6. The full-res image which you can view at the link there, though still falling short of what the equipment is capable of due to my less than good technique, has quite remarkable IQ I think.

    Sorry Jason, maybe way TMI, but if stacking suits your style I think you'll see where my enthusiasm for it comes from.


    And BTW, as you'll read in the above book, focus stacking is by no means useful only for macro shooters.
     
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