Jumping (Spider) in Space

Phidippus audax jumping spider dorsal view

The fall Phidippus audax spiders appeared for a bit, but I haven’t seen any in the past week or so. They seem to be most noticeable in mid-to-late spring and late summer and early fall in the northern Berkshires. Hopefully I will catch one or two more through the viewfinder before winter. (Though I have seen some wandering around the house in December.)

Jumping spiders are of course beloved for their big, beautiful eyes, but many have fascinating patterns on their backsides. The black and greys along with the white and orange-yellow accents of this P. audax caught my eye. That it was on a window, i.e. a flat, vertical surface, sort of led my eye to the dorsal view, too, truth be told; it’s hard to get much of an angle in that situation. Working with limited depth-of-field requires precise hand-eye coordination, but I find the “flat” shot, a little more sensitive. Is really more critical?  Probably not, but I find the out of focus parts are more accentuated when it is essentially on the same plane as the in-focus areas. A propos to the season, a good example of this might be shooting textures of leaves.

As for the spider, it is not really that flat; it’s more the window bringing the rigidity into the shot. The abdomen noticeably curves downward, which was a little disappointing because the “meat” of the pattern is there. I still like the shot, especially the way the glass and dirt on it looks like a space-scape.


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