Neither Cooked Nor RAW (Orbweaver, Araneidae)

large orbweaver spider missing one of its forelegs feeds on an insect
A late night snack for this orbweaver spider.

This photo is an old one, so old it comes from the days when I was foolish enough to shoot in JPEG only mode. I was at a local community event waiting for some friends to pack up, when I wandered around the corner of a pizza place and saw this beauty cleaning up near a light (but not in it so much as I’ll explain). It was only until I started preparing this post that I realized she was missing one — definitely her left foreleg — and maybe another one or two legs. I don’t think it was a problem though; she was a big girl who could handle herself.

I don’t remember the situation exactly, but I was at one of those inevitable human gatherings where people plan to photograph other people, not bugs, and naturally I brought the corresponding gear.  It was so long ago I don’t remember clearly what I did, except to (1) reverse the lens I had been using, and (2) was unable to adequately light the subject because my own error and/or the poor lighting conditions. I’m not sure I even had a reverse lens adapter for the lens (meaning I would have just held it up backwards to the camera body). Whatever I did, I ended up with three or four severely underexposed shots, before I felt I needed to return to my friends.

I probably never thought I’d redeem any of the photos, and my first reaction seeing the .JPG extension after so many years was to become very doubtful about making anything worth sharing. And yet here we are; I was pleasantly surprised. I wouldn’t call it a really good result or anything, and the washed-out colors are probably the strongest tell of the stretched limits from editing a .JPG photo, but not bad, if also a little micro-grizzly.


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