Taking great photos of your Ts

Rigor Mortis

Arachnoknight
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Nov 7, 2018
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Hey friends, quick question. The most recent thread on this topic I could find was from about 2007 and technology has definitely changed since then!

I know a lot of users here have professional cameras and take stunning photographs that way, but I know that not all of you have one of those! I've seen some pretty good ones that I know weren't taken by a fancy camera. So how do you get really great photos of your spiders with a simple cell phone camera? I'd love to take better pics of my girls to show them off but my photos never end up coming out right. Is it all in the type of lighting, natural vs artificial? I have an iPhone 7 so not the newest and best but it's way better than what I used to have. Thanks in advance for any tips.
 

Albireo Wulfbooper

Arachnosquire
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Aug 1, 2019
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Lighting is definitely critical. There are also relatively inexpensive macro lens kits you can get for phones, ranging from $15 for the crappy ones (still better than nothing) to $200 for super fancy ones.

Soft natural lighting is usually best but there are pretty good daylight bulbs, even LEDs, that will do a nice job.
 

Hoxter

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Dec 29, 2018
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Good led lighting will help with bringing out those nice colors of your tarantulas. While taking mine, I always have my bright led desk light.
 

dangerforceidle

Arachnodemon
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As mentioned, lighting is pretty key. I have a modern Android phone, and the camera app defaults to HDR mode. I find this to work pretty well in inconsistent light situations, as it will take several photographs with different light settings, and merge them together.

Phone cameras have a fairly long minimum focal point, so make sure you aren't putting your phone too close to the subject -- if you do, the camera won't be able to focus and it'll be blurry. You'll want to shoot a bit further away and then crop the photo to frame the subject in a way you'd prefer. Can try playing with things like macro mode or portrait mode to try and simulate a narrower depth of field, but I normally leave it in the default mode with my phone. If I want to try and get fancy, I'll bust out the 'proper' camera.
 

Colorado Ts

Arachnobaron
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529AA63B-3C2B-46F9-B4C5-F73F9BC73353.jpeg
This is is fairly clear and shows the sling to advantage. For this image I used a mounted LED light and my cell phone.
 

Rigor Mortis

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Thank you for the advice, guys! I'll definitely be trying some different techniques out soon.
 

basin79

Arachnoemperor
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Editing. Even a free editing app like Snapseed will transform your pics.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
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To be honest @Rigor Mortis anyone using a cell phone (myself included) is never going to get a great photos compared to camera gear. A primary reason is the sensor size to name one. Doesn't mean you can't take nice shots to show a friend etc. But every cell phone pic I have only looks great on the phone. The moment I enlarge, the resolution is gone. Not so when I use my DSLR.

IF you want higher res images, invest in a camera, before investing in pricey macro lens for a cell phone.

Editing. Even a free editing app like Snapseed will transform your pics.
I have that app, not bad.
 

Colorado Ts

Arachnobaron
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So here is my lighting setup that I use for taking images of my Tarantulas.

A4B75B2B-D4B0-42C2-8DC0-2833D882AD92.jpeg

The ringstand supports a simple LED Light, and the flexible neck light has a 20lb magnetic base. So now I can arrange the enclosure, adjust the lighting...and take a few images using my cellphone.

I’m not going to get near the quality in my images as I would using my highend DSLR camera with my very nice selection of lenses. But I always have my cellphone with me.

And during this time at home, dealing with Coronavirus, I’m exploring those limitations and also playing at the strengths of this system.

21FB2ADE-EED1-4271-8AFF-6E214EA71B4A.jpeg

Phormictopus sp green gold carapace

9996A726-E1CD-463D-9DD4-ED7F862140B5.jpeg

Chromatopelma cyaneonpubescens

83B165B2-8E3F-4CAE-9333-0317A0E82BC1.jpeg

Acanthoscuria geniculata (3/4” sling moulting)

094C8A65-1115-4BA6-956A-793325EE76A2.jpeg

Lasiodora parahybana inside burrow feeding on roach

Nice little project using the camera on my cellphone.

I will say that Focusing has been a challenge, as the cellphone does not like focusing down into the enclosures. So I’m developing a technique to “Pull a Focus” and it seems to work. But it takes experience and attention to fine details, that are hard to appraise on the tiny screen of a cellphone.

Much easier to get great images with a DSLR
 
Last edited:

basin79

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@Rigor Mortis definitely play around with lighting plus editing. These are from my iPhone XS and taken through the side of the enclosure at night. Flash off with a small torch from above and like I typed edited.

5154AC3A-0A98-44CE-984F-ED731D58DA0E.jpeg 755D0793-9B18-4AB7-9684-D8F1F928AEC3.jpeg F48C860C-8DB1-4565-87A6-75D70D2EC50E.jpeg

Obviously you'd get better results in natural daylight and not shooting through the enclosure but you get the idea.

Just be realistic with your expectations. Even the brand new £1500 Samsung phone won't give you the results a £600 camera set up would.
 
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