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Animals ShowcaseArgiope aurantia, Black and Yellow Garden Spider

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Charles Haacker
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Argiope aurantia, Black and Yellow Garden Spider

Post by Charles Haacker » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:47 am

Recently Steve met a lovely tarantula, and Duck was photographing tarantulas. My son the arachnophobe found this lovely lady Argiope guarding his bicycle by the back door in an area adjacent to a sunny field. I was struck by the zigzag of silk, known as a stabilimentum, behind her. I thought it was web repair until I looked her up.

These common spiders are quite large and very beautiful. Wikipedia says: Yellow garden spiders often build webs in areas adjacent to open sunny fields where they stay concealed and protected from the wind. The spider can also be found along the eaves of houses and outbuildings or in any tall vegetation where they can securely stretch a web. Female Argiope aurantia spiders tend to be somewhat local, often staying in one place throughout much of their lifetime.

The web of the yellow garden spider is distinctive: a circular shape up to 2 feet (60 cm) in diameter, with a dense zigzag of silk, known as a stabilimentum, in the center. The purpose of the stabilimentum is disputed. It is possible that it acts as camouflage for the spider lurking in the web's center, but it may also attract insect prey, or even warn birds of the presence of the otherwise difficult-to-see web. Only those spiders that are active during the day construct stabilimenta in their webs.


She was from my viewpoint in a terrible position, backed into a tight corner no more than a foot off the ground and I don't bend so good no more, but I managed by putting my beloved Sony RX-10 on my old Leitz tabletop tripod with a ball head, dragged a chair out, placed the camera on the tabletop tripod the ground with the bendy screen out so I could see what I was doing. The Sony does a pretty good job of getting in close without supplemental lenses, but I couldn't get too close or I'd foul her web and send her scrambling into hiding. The focal length was about 67 mm (equivalent), 1/80 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1000. I didn't have much room for maneuver but I rather liked the leading lines formed by the mortar in the bricks. This has been minimally cropped. Try her large. She's nice and shaaaaarp. :D
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Post by Duck » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:56 am

Awesome shot, considering the aerobics you had to undergo.
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Charles Haacker
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Post by Charles Haacker » Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:03 am

Duck wrote:Awesome shot, considering the aerobics you had to undergo.

Thanks, Duck. She challenged me because she was so pretty. :)
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Post by Duck » Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:12 am

Charles Haacker wrote:Thanks, Duck. She challenged me because she was so pretty. :)

Yeah, the same thing happens to me every time a pretty girl walks by and I do a double take... a crick in the neck. :rofl:
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Post by minniev » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:37 pm

Charles Haacker wrote:Recently Steve met a lovely tarantula, and Duck was photographing tarantulas. My son the arachnophobe found this lovely lady Argiope guarding his bicycle by the back door in an area adjacent to a sunny field. I was struck by the zigzag of silk, known as a stabilimentum, behind her. I thought it was web repair until I looked her up.

These common spiders are quite large and very beautiful. Wikipedia says: Yellow garden spiders often build webs in areas adjacent to open sunny fields where they stay concealed and protected from the wind. The spider can also be found along the eaves of houses and outbuildings or in any tall vegetation where they can securely stretch a web. Female Argiope aurantia spiders tend to be somewhat local, often staying in one place throughout much of their lifetime.

The web of the yellow garden spider is distinctive: a circular shape up to 2 feet (60 cm) in diameter, with a dense zigzag of silk, known as a stabilimentum, in the center. The purpose of the stabilimentum is disputed. It is possible that it acts as camouflage for the spider lurking in the web's center, but it may also attract insect prey, or even warn birds of the presence of the otherwise difficult-to-see web. Only those spiders that are active during the day construct stabilimenta in their webs.


She was from my viewpoint in a terrible position, backed into a tight corner no more than a foot off the ground and I don't bend so good no more, but I managed by putting my beloved Sony RX-10 on my old Leitz tabletop tripod with a ball head, dragged a chair out, placed the camera on the tabletop tripod the ground with the bendy screen out so I could see what I was doing. The Sony does a pretty good job of getting in close without supplemental lenses, but I couldn't get too close or I'd foul her web and send her scrambling into hiding. The focal length was about 67 mm (equivalent), 1/80 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1000. I didn't have much room for maneuver but I rather liked the leading lines formed by the mortar in the bricks. This has been minimally cropped. Try her large. She's nice and shaaaaarp. :D


A lovely lady in her classic pose, showing her best angle. And indeed a very sharp capture. Is that perhaps her husband's corpse hanging from her jaw?
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Post by Charles Haacker » Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:23 pm

minniev wrote:A lovely lady in her classic pose, showing her best angle. And indeed a very sharp capture. Is that perhaps her husband's corpse hanging from her jaw?

:D :S In all seriousness I don't think so. The Wikipedia article on these spiders says that they not only rebuild the center of the web every night, they also consume the used silk! Now, I don't know if that's what we're seeing here, but it could be. It's not known why they do that. It may help recharge the silk gland thingies or something. :|
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Post by ErichBrunner » Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:10 am

Charles Haacker wrote:Recently Steve met a lovely tarantula, and Duck was photographing tarantulas. My son the arachnophobe found this lovely lady Argiope guarding his bicycle by the back door in an area adjacent to a sunny field. I was struck by the zigzag of silk, known as a stabilimentum, behind her. I thought it was web repair until I looked her up.

These common spiders are quite large and very beautiful. Wikipedia says: Yellow garden spiders often build webs in areas adjacent to open sunny fields where they stay concealed and protected from the wind. The spider can also be found along the eaves of houses and outbuildings or in any tall vegetation where they can securely stretch a web. Female Argiope aurantia spiders tend to be somewhat local, often staying in one place throughout much of their lifetime.

The web of the yellow garden spider is distinctive: a circular shape up to 2 feet (60 cm) in diameter, with a dense zigzag of silk, known as a stabilimentum, in the center. The purpose of the stabilimentum is disputed. It is possible that it acts as camouflage for the spider lurking in the web's center, but it may also attract insect prey, or even warn birds of the presence of the otherwise difficult-to-see web. Only those spiders that are active during the day construct stabilimenta in their webs.


She was from my viewpoint in a terrible position, backed into a tight corner no more than a foot off the ground and I don't bend so good no more, but I managed by putting my beloved Sony RX-10 on my old Leitz tabletop tripod with a ball head, dragged a chair out, placed the camera on the tabletop tripod the ground with the bendy screen out so I could see what I was doing. The Sony does a pretty good job of getting in close without supplemental lenses, but I couldn't get too close or I'd foul her web and send her scrambling into hiding. The focal length was about 67 mm (equivalent), 1/80 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1000. I didn't have much room for maneuver but I rather liked the leading lines formed by the mortar in the bricks. This has been minimally cropped. Try her large. She's nice and shaaaaarp. :D


I find it tough to capture these guys. Bravo. The zigzag pattern really is pretty interesting. I appreciated your explanation.
erich

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Post by Charles Haacker » Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:23 pm

ErichBrunner wrote:I find it tough to capture these guys. Bravo. The zigzag pattern really is pretty interesting. I appreciated your explanation.
erich

Thanks, Erich! They are tough to capture! In this case she was down very low so the camera had to be on the ground, so thank goodness for "bendy" screens. With the screen horizontal it behaves exactly like the screen on your avatar TLR (I loved TLR's, had several). Thank goodness for good spot autofocus as well, and for the fact that she has built her web in a sheltered area. Even so, with very little DOF in that close the slightest breath of air was causing the web to flex in and out by micrometers. I actually made 3 exposures, and the other 2 were not as sharp. I did forget (again) to turn off the stabilization but at 1/80 sec I don't think it would have the affect of a longer exposure, so I think it was web flex. Anyway, this one is sharp enough to pass my sharp-freak muster. :D
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Post by St3v3M » Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:10 am

It has always amazed me that some of the most deadly things are the prettiest to look at. This is an excellent find! S-
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Post by davechinn » Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:23 am

A well captured image Chuck !!! Full of so much detail. Although, she is such a beauty and scary at the same time, leaves me wondering, "How can that be"? Then I think of Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, with the same thoughts. Either way Chuck, a struggle it may have been, it appears to have been worth it.
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