Posted on 26 Comments

A blow to the spiders

Christmas came this year and dealt a heavy blow to the spider population in my house.  You see, I have somewhat of a live-and-let-live policy when it comes to tiny critters, especially if they look relatively harmless, and the teeny tiny spiders that I sometimes see among the plants in the front window have never bothered me.

See how little they are?

Well, yesterday I was trying out my new Super Macro Lens Converter, and I was looking for tiny things to photograph.  Enter innocuous spider.

I was hoping for a ladybug, but at this time of year a tiny spider would have to do.  What would be the harm?

(I’ll show you – and I hope you’re not eating right now)

OMG.  I had no idea they were that fuzzy! And creepy! And ewwwwwww!


They look worse than the big spiders!

I am seriously rethinking my spider policy.  Kill-on-sight is sounding like a much better plan right about now…


So sorry. Would you prefer to rest your eyes on something sweeter?


Is that better? This is an extreme close-up of a tree-shaped cookie press cookie with rainbow nonpareils on it.

Creepy spiders aside, this macro converter (a Raynox DCR 250) is a seriously cool toy. I snap it onto my advanced point-and-shoot, extend the lens to telephoto position, and voila! I’ve got access to incredibly teeny tiny things.  It’s like sticking a magnifying glass to the front of your lens.  The depth of field with this thing is incredibly narrow, and I love it – super narrow dof is something my friends with DSLRs seem to be able to get very easily, but I’ve often had to do some post-processing tweaking to get the look I wanted for my own photos.  This thing is just super cool.

It’s a great option for those of us who have cameras with fixed lenses.

It took me a while to figure out how to use it.  For instance, even though you are zoomed out at maximum, you’re not supposed to be focusing on something far away.  You actually need to be within a foot or so of your subject.  It took me a day and a half to figure that one out.

This is a key on my turn-of-the-20th-century Underwood typewriter.  I actually zoomed back out a bit, otherwise the entire frame would have been taken up with just the word “SHIFT.”

When taking this kind of shot, a tabletop tripod comes in handy, because you need a very steady hand when dealing with such a small area of sharp focus.  I have a crummy tabletop tripod I’ve been using, but it’s more trouble than it’s worth, and I have my eye on this nifty Gorillapod.

I have renewed enthusiasm for a 2011 365 project.  I’m almost certain I will be going with an “up close and personal” theme, and spend the year getting to know the little details of everyday life.   Not all of the close-ups will be as extreme as these, but I think they’ll all be fun. (and no more spiders!)



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Posted on 26 Comments

26 thoughts on “A blow to the spiders

  1. Ugh, yeah, some things don’t bear closer examination. I’m done looking at all kinds of bugs for a long time–2010 was a buggy year. Shudder. Nell got a spider bite right before the holidays that kinda freaked me out (it’s fine now).

    1. Never had a spider bite here – I imagine it could be freaky! Glad all is well now. And for my part, I have probably learned my lesson about zooming in too far on the creepy crawlies. Maybe.

  2. Aww, still only teeny tiny things though. I vote to keep that live and let live policy unless you get any the actual size it is on my screen right now!

    1. Yeah, I think I agree. As long as I can’t see how creepy and fuzzy it is, I can probably let it go 🙂

  3. I thought the spider was kinda cute – given that he’s a small one. We also let the spiders live (mostly) and currently have lots of Daddy long legs sharing our home. I think you’re going to have lots of fun with your new lens and look forward to seeing what you capture.


    1. We have lots of Daddy Long Legs, too. I’ve never been bothered by them, either. But then I’ve never taken a macro shot of one… Probably shouldn’t if I want to remain blissfully unbothered!

  4. I love the shot of the spider. I agree with Libby that it is kind of cute. Let the little ones live. they eat the bad bugs. I had one of those flexible tripods and hated it. Of course that was a few years back so maybe they are better now.

    1. I’m rethinking my stance on the spiders. As long as I can’t see with the naked eye how horrifying they really are, they’re probably safe in my house. Turns out my brother got me one of those flexible tripods for Christmas – so far I’m loving it! Maybe you had one that wasn’t the right size for your camera? They come in three weights. Mine is the perfect weight, until I add the external flash. Then I’m pushing it a little bit.

  5. Super awesome!

    I had 3 really really awful spider bites this year and that picture… it made me vomit a little in my mouth. It’s pretty neat, yet absolutely skeevy.(the picture, not the vomit)

    1. “Neat but skeevy” pretty much sums it up for me, too. Sorry for your vomitous reaction 😉

  6. Must be the Christmas of Macro. I got a macro lens for my camera (which is a dslr). Still fidgeting with it but having a blast. I am sure the bugs are gonna get stalked around our place when we get home too…

    1. Been having fun with yours yet? I went crazy photographing my antique typewriter last night. And when the flowers start blooming around here? watch out!!

      1. I’ve taken a few pictures – not many worth putting online yet! – but I admit I got the lens mostly for boring work reasons so this week the contents of my shop are getting reshot once the kidlet is back in class.

        Will go take some lovely frosty branch pictures with it before they melt so I can put them in the Frames of Random Artwork in the living room.

        1. I love the “frames of random artwork” idea. I need some of those!

  7. Whoa, baby. That spider is horrifying up close! Those are some amazing images. Very cool.

    1. Isn’t it?? And yet, the more I look at it, the cooler I think it is. Probably because it’s still only 2mm wide. I’m sure it would be a different story if it were 2 inches!!

  8. OMG the spider photo freaked me out and I live in Australia, land of killer spiders. That has made ME rethink my ‘ah those ones won’t kill me’ policy. Til now I’ve let them live amongst the family… not so sure now! 😉

    1. Yeah, I think I’m pretty lucky not to run into big hairy killers around here. That would really freak me out. I’ve come to terms with these little guys now that there’s a week or so between me and that image 😀

  9. WOW, I totally love this micro close up thing you got going on. I wonder where I can get something like this for my camera. Not Best Buy – I’ve sworn off that store for good! But it’s where I got the camera. Perhaps a camera store???? Yes, I will try that. Anyways, I am in awe of this new project you got goin on. Keep it up chicki!

    1. Hey, thanks! You know, I am using this snap-on macro conversion lens that attaches to the front of any camera lens that is between 52mm and 67mm. If you’ve got a DSLR or one of those “prosumer” cameras like I have, it would work for you. It’s so much fun to play with – yesterday I went crazy photographing a half-dead daisy!

  10. May I use your Shift Key photo for a message about “shift”? (I promise to give you credit for the image).

  11. I’ve been using your Shift Key photo as my desktop for over a year, and I’m still in love with it.

  12. Save for the creepy spider, great post! Your “shift” photo is clearly a hit. I was hoping to use as well. I will link appropriately and pls send me a msg if you don’t want it used. It’s a fantastic shot!

    1. It’s fine 🙂 Enjoy!

  13. […] Spider Image by lisaclarke Taken with my new macro conversion lens. I was happier before I knew how ugly this teeny tiny spider really was… […]

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