Experimental shoots with my Ts

Haemus

Arachnosquire
Joined
Feb 11, 2016
Messages
128
I love photography and I love tarantulas so like George in Seinfeld says, its only natural to combine the two :)

It started with my sister, who's vacationing in Iceland. She claimed it was impossible to shoot her L. parahybana because it was so skittish. Since I'm caring for her T, I took up her challenge and brought my DSLR/tripod from the studio and figured that was enough to get a good shot.
DSC_2358.jpg
Not so good lol. At least not good enough. My ISO was much too high for my liking and my aperature way too low. Definitely had to get them into the studio.

My first attempt had some mixed results. I used a 500W strobe with a beauty dish as my modifier, positioned 2ft above the subject. For a portrait or a small product this should be more than enough light...At least that's what I thought. Here's a shot of my B. Smithi under that lighting.
Studio Session-013.jpg
Pretty good. Nice detail. However the lighting has too much contrast for what I'm aiming for. The shadows are too sharp and the darks are too dark. I wanted more light wrap to my subject. And I still wasn't able to max out my aperature. If I wanted to, I would have to slow my shutterspeed or increase ISO. Under studio conditions, this isn't acceptable.

This time around I upped the ante with a more standard product photography setup. I switched to a stronger 1000W strobe with a 6x4 softbox outside of a 5x5x5 lightbox instead. I would use a setup like this for something like a glossy soccer ball. Here are the results.
Studio Session-029.jpg Studio Session-032.jpg Studio Session-038.jpg Studio Session-043.jpg Studio Session-046.jpg Studio Session-047.jpg
Especially with the B. smithi, one can see the lighting is more even and the shadows are a lot less pronounced. Unlike my first shot of the smithi, the light is soft enough to see the substrate under it. This is more what I was trying to achieve.
Studio Session-052.jpg
And the whole gang, including my sister's on top :)

DSC_1989.jpg
Here's my lighting setup for the enclosure group. I shot the individual enclosures inside a 5ft lightbox (essentially a large white box with one open side) on the ground using the same light. This helped keep my enclosure edges completely white and prevent escapees from getting too far.

From this point I'm going to try shooting on black and grey backgrounds, as well as trying more dynamic lighting. Any comments or criticisms are greatly appreciated!
 

BobBarley

Arachnoprince
Joined
Sep 16, 2015
Messages
1,480
Nice to read about the "science" side of t photography. Me, I just set mine under a bright LED light and snap photos with my iPad lol. If your interested take a look at the link in my signature. My pics can't even compare to yours though. Awesome setup!
 

Haemus

Arachnosquire
Joined
Feb 11, 2016
Messages
128
Nice to read about the "science" side of t photography. Me, I just set mine under a bright LED light and snap photos with my iPad lol. If your interested take a look at the link in my signature. My pics can't even compare to yours though. Awesome setup!
Thanks! ipads/iphones take wicked pictures these days. Many of my instagram shots are from my phone as well :)
 

Haemus

Arachnosquire
Joined
Feb 11, 2016
Messages
128
My sister liked the shots I took of her L. parahybana while she was vacationing so I thought I'd share here too. Loved how voracious of an eater it was and how aggressively it took down prey. She picked up this one in May as a 0.5" sling and was afraid it would drown in those bottle caps. Now at over 2" it tackles the water dish whenever it is filled...kinda wish I didn't have to give it back to her lol
Studio Session-024.jpg Studio Session-025.jpg Studio Session-028.jpg

My G. pulchra isn't very photogenic. Spends almost all its time in the basement and only comes up for food...Much like me when I was a kid lol
Studio Session-050.jpg
 

Haemus

Arachnosquire
Joined
Feb 11, 2016
Messages
128
My B. smithi molted two weeks ago and I thought it would be a good opportunity to try my hand at video. Shot it with my Nikon D4 body with a micro Nikkor 105mm. Video settings were 1920 x 1080 at 30fps, camera settings were a blistering 12800 iso at F7.1.

reference shot:
DSC_4819.jpg

video of the attack:
video of her victory dance:

Definitely going to give this another go. I want to integrate more light to lower that insanely high ISO while maintaining a high F#, as 7.1 isn't high enough. Also going to try shooting at 1280 resolution so I can get 60fps. As usual, any criticisms or comments are greatly appreciated :)
 
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