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My first minor successes with Photoshop...

Jeff Donovan

New member
I was trying to photograph a small spider on my ceiling the other day and the original print came out like this:

Uncorrected spider

I knew it was overexposed, but the picture still looked pretty sharp so I wanted to try to save it. I used Rawshooter Essentials to correct the exposure then ported it as a .tiff over to Photoshop, where I zoomed in a bit and cropped it fairly close. This was the result:

Cropped Spider

I like the fact that you can make out his mandibles!

This little guy was about the size of a fingernail, perhaps even smaller.

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I always assume that pictures are NOT for critique but for help in getting to a final print. A critique, per se, is not sufficient to post a picture. OPF is seriousley commited to the great struggle to go from concept to fine print.

Insects are a challenge, yes. However, with the first steps to getting a good print, you found a vision, your subject and then captured it. Further you rescued the overexposed image. A great start!

The challenge is to get the spider on its natural darker background so there is sufficent contrast with the spider's, almost, translucent frame.

The next task is to use more of the resolving power of the camera to be devoted to that spider, so as to get detail to be able to enlarge to print.

With the Lumix FZ-30, look for supplental lenses to increase the size of the spider in the frame. A tripod is usually essential, unless it is a very bright day. For real accurate work, a stage on the tripod ,which allows the camera to move in an out ever so slightly, using a micrometer screw adjustment, gets the plane of focus where you want it.

Now you need a background. One nedds to stalk spiders so to speak!

Approach from different angles so that there will be a different background.

Return at later times in the day, when the sun is gold and the shadows are long. That will define the features of the spider beautifully.

Of ccourse, you could use fill flash at any time from one side, to get this dimensionality ot else surprise the spider at night with the flash.

The main thing is that you are a hunter, and must get to know the spider's world like God knows his world. Then you get to have choices.

If you merely wait in the kitchen for that spider to swing down the bright wall, you might have much more trouble.

However, you have taken the first step. You have a vision and a desire. Now think about how it is to be expressed. Google "spider picture" to get inspiration images etc.
If one merely takes a picture of a spider just to say my camera can take a picture of a spider, that doesn't say much yet. If it is part of a commitment to get a picture of a spider for which you will then need shared help on getting a stunning print, then, THAT, is really worthwhile.

Good luck,


Jeff Donovan

New member
Thanks, Asher I've been working on doing just this.

For the record, I have no problem with folks critiquing anything I post here. I have always been keen on getting constructive criticism from wherever I can and do not take it as an affront.