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While photographing this fairly ordinary yellow daffodil, a tiny eight-legged critter came crawling up over the top petal and began to pose for the camera. There she sat, just lookingat me as if to lay claim to the flower!

“Charlotte’s Daffodil” (Daffodil with Spider), Nikon D300, 105mm F/2.8G Macro, F/11, 1/160s, +0.3EV, ISO 640, Built-in Front Curtain TTL Flash, Silver Efex Pro ‘Overexpose EV +1’ Filter w/Vignette

And Boom! just likethat, the image instantly became more interesting!

I decided to convert to b&w to eliminate some distracting elements as well as further enhance the nice contrast between flower and spider. The soft vignette simply provides the perfect finishing touch. 

Thank you, tiny visitor! 🙂

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39 Comments

  1. OMG what a great shot, Tracy. All that white broken up by the little spider. Really nice.

    • Thanks, Dave! And you know, when I was a kid I was terrified of spiders! How ironic is that?

  2. It looks like a painting – beautiful!

  3. what do they call this? high key photography? (THEY being people who know more about photography than i do.) it’s really well done – that one moment of contrast in the happy flower picture. even better that the only contrast is a horrible, creepy spider creeping down to destroy everything and be creepy (i don’t like spiders, can you tell?)

    it almost looks like a fantasy, like the whole scene is computer generated. very cool.

    • Thank you, Stephen! LOL! You crack me up with your in-depth analysis! Yes, I guess ‘they’ would deem this high-key, very astute of you!

      I also like the stamens of the flower that sort of mimic the spiders legs. But that’s just me. 🙂

      You scared of one teeny-tiny spider? That’s really, well, sad. 😉

      • i have (gluttonously) come back for more of this pic, and will (indulgently) contribute more “in-depth” (ha) analysis.

        i was thinking about it at some point during the day (first clue to knowing it is a phenomenal shot), and upon looking at it again it told an entire narrative to me (second clue). you are absolutely right that the stamens evoke the spider’s legs. for me, this changes the entire story of the shot. it makes the impotent stamens look like a reaching, carnivorous mouth, just waiting for the spider to creep close enough. it turns the photo on its head for me – now the flower is the aggressor and the spider is the victim in some delicious, white-gothic, tim burtonesque upheaval.

        (third clue that i love a photo: babbling about it for 700 characters.)

        all this is a way of saying: outrageously cool shot!!

        and yes, i’m scared of the spider. sue me!

      • WOW – what a secondary analysis! and MORE wonderful comments – thanks! 🙂

        I actually see the image in three ways:

        (1) Spider in aggressive stance, protecting HER flower from ME, the intruder, ready to leap at any moment if I dare to get closer.

        (2) Spider in shy, cautious stance, peering into the center of the flower and wondering if that ‘thing’ is another spider just waiting to attack!

        (3) Spider and flower stamens are engaged in some sort of hypnotic, romantic dance. A love that cannot be explained. Sigh.

        I do find it intriguing that one image can evoke so much commentary. Was simply meant to be! 🙂

  4. Posing for the camera, or mooning?! LOL
    The light tones are soo beautiful here, and you got so much detail in the flower.
    I would have loved this even more without the spider (because I do NOT like spiders!)

    • Well, she’d be mooning whomever is behind her ‘cuz she is facing me. 🙂

      Thank you, Michaela! Yes, I suppose some (like you) would prefer ‘sans spider’, but for me, that little speck of dark just adds soooo much interest. I’m weird that way – ha! 🙂

  5. Awww how perfect that miss arachnid came to pose for you. It’s very lovely.

    • Thanks, Amber! (and unlike YOU, I prefer my arachnids to be teeny-tiny and not fricken’ HUGE and sittin’ on my shoulder!) 😉

  6. That is just crazy AWESOME! This has moved to the top of my favorite list. I love the pillowly softness of the daffodil and the Overexpose on the spider is spectacular.

    As always, very well done!

    • Hey, thanks Babe! That means alot to me! 🙂

      (I know I tell you beforehand about the shots I get and you are soooo good at listening and nodding but probably not really understanding why I am so damn excited so it is good when you do finally get to see what the heck I was going on and on about and you are sooooo right there with me… Love that about you! 🙂 )

  7. This shot is insanely good!!!! Your post processing skills simply amaze me (as well as your photography skills that is) I have been considering purchasing Silver Efex Pro for some time now and you’re fine examples are helping me to make up my mind. I LOVE this photo!

    • Thank you so very much, Carol! You are very sweet! 🙂

      I do have a few tricks that I use but my PS skills are nothing like some folks. Which is actually good because I hate to spend alot of time finishing an image. Oh, Silver Efex Pro (as well as Color Efex Pro and Nik Dfine) is an awesome product!

  8. What a great idea with that spider there in b&w very impressive and special. I will make a link to your blog on mine to show some people around here what you make, ok?

    • Thank you, truels! I so appreciate being added as a link, too! That’s awesome!! 🙂

  9. Very fine job made in cooperation with the critter. It brought a story into the photo, and you continued making it interesting by choosing the black and white tones. Good choice. I love these small surprises that sometimes happens when photographing.

    • Oh, I am so with you there, Birgitte! I’ve actually come to rely upon ‘these small surprises’ and find myself, at times, whispering a little, ‘c’mon now, gimme something’ when I am out shooting and nothing is happening! Also, I do have this inate ability to sometimes (I wish it was more often) catch that unexpected little event that a divine hand has put in front of me. Serendipity? You betcha and I love it! 🙂 Thanks so much!

      P.S. Oh, and thank you for appreciating the story – I really do try to make it interesting! 🙂

  10. I’m mixed on this one for different reasons. From a composition, detail & overal quality perspective, it’s awesome! My first impression was chills since the spider was right there, ready to defend that daffodil. I guess I’m closer to the camp of batteredleatherjournal. 🙂

    Nice!

    • Thanks, Sean!

      Yes, seems you and Stephen are seemingly alike here ….both hate spiders and both put alot of analysis into this! 🙂 (but, who knew there were so many male namby-pambys out there?? I mean, seriously guys, who, then, kills the spiders in your houses??) 😉

  11. Wow, that is a great shot. The tiny visitor certainly added to the photo. 🙂

  12. It looks like a b&w drawing. Interesting.

    • Interesting…good?

      When I teach photography, I have one class where I show students how ‘colors’ convert to b&w by photographing items of different colors on different backgrounds in the camera’s monotone or b&w color setting. It is always so enlightening to see how each color gets converted and how colors that seem so different, become very similar tones in b&w. Blue and yellow are such tones which is why the yellow of the flower and the blue of the sky both went fairly light when converted (also, the overexposure helped) while the orange of the flowers center and the brown of the spider went to (similar) darker tones. If, the background were, say, green, a completely different feeling would have resulted. I’d love to say the result was all planned, but of course, no, it was a more-than-pleasant surrpise that I ran with! 🙂

  13. Brilliant shot Tracy, the B&W really works well. Wow!

  14. It’s lovely, Tracy.

  15. An Itsy-Bitsy spider. Looks like you have another hit on your hands, Tracy. Very creative processing.

    • Ah, yes! I will have to remember that for a future image or post title. 🙂

      Thank you, Scott! Much appreciated!

  16. One for the portfolio. The spider is in a perfect spot, crop and bright B&W processing looks great.

    • Thanks! Seems to be the general concensus around these parts… 😉 You and I both know it is simply awesome when all the elements come together!

  17. VERY COOL! Even though I despise spiders!

    • Thanks, Jan! No worries as you seem to be in the majority around here! 😉

  18. This shot is PERFECT in black and white! And even though I hate spiders, I actually could warm up to this little guy because he (she?) makes this photo so much more interesting!! Fantastic!


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