Spiders Like Me

close up portrait of hairy phidippus audax jumping spider

A very hairy Phidippus audax jumping spider.

Or spiders that resemble me. In the hair department. Hey, bugs and bug lovers gotta keep warm. This Bold Jumping Spider was shot late last January. One “winter” jumper already spotted but instead of the usual bay window location, I’ve caught it wandering high up on the walls, near the ceiling, which is not the greatest spot for photography. I don’t have the heart (or is it heartlessness?) to displace it for a shoot at the moment; winter is hard enough, right?

A quick processing note: I used some masking to alleviate the deep shadows at the right of the jumping spider’s eyes, which were the result of the flash head position. I probably could have gone further, but I liked to keep it subtle yet not (almost) pitch black. You may be saying, it’s pretty dark there, Mike! True; my distinction is probably hard to tell without seeing the original, but I wouldn’t steer you wrong. In addition there are some practical factors guiding my choice there. Usually brightening up the shadows introduces noise, which isn’t necessarily prohibitive in and of itself, but a photo with patchy graininess is another story. Smoothing it out while keeping an overall natural appearance can be tough.

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