IMPORTANT NOTICE: NEW SITE!
I have a real website now rather than a blog. Though I will keep this one open for a while, I will no longer keep this one up. My new site, "USA Spiders" is not fully completed but getting close. I made sure to get the Michigan page finished first. :o) Please use
USA Spiders in the future and if you find any problems with the site, please let me know so I can fix them.




Spiders verified to be here in Michigan are listed on the left sidebar. On the right sidebar, are the spiders of which pictures have been sent in to me.

The BROWN RECLUSE SPIDER! - Rick Vetter, the worlds top expert on the Brown recluse has published a book on the infamous Brown recluse spider. Learn the truth behind the worlds most misunderstood spider. (BUY IT HERE!)

My Disclaimer
My Knowledge and Why I am Not an Expert

Spider Questions and IDENTIFICATION Requests
My EMAIL can be found in the above link. I am always happy to help identify a spider, but please do us both a favor and read this before emailing me. Thanks.

Describing your Spider ..... Photographing your Spider

Your Fear of Spiders
........... Spiders in your Home?


FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT.....

Beyond Spider Dome - Where two spiders enter and one comes out.

Spiders and Drugs - Documentary video about the effects different drugs have on spiders.

Play with a computerized spider
- (flash)

Spider Diagram. - Basic anatomy of a spider.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Photographing Your Spiders

In the warmer months, I receive several emails every day with pictures of spiders attached, asking me to identify the spiders. Not only do I NOT mind answering these emails, I am always glad for them as I am always looking for new pictures that are of good quality. Unfortunately the pictures of real quality are far and few between, so I thought I would write an article that may help people get better pictures.

Now believe me, I understand that not everyone has a good camera. If all you own is a phone with a low level camera, and you cant get a clear picture of the spider, that is fine. If you want a spider identified and cannot find it for yourself on Michigan Spiders, then any picture is more helpful than no picture. The very worst that will come from a bad quality picture is that I wont be able to give you a good identification and will only give you a guess.

#1) rule in sending me a picture of a spider - Please send it as an attachment in a JPEG or BMP format. If I can open the picture as an attachment, I have the opportunity of zooming in and seeing more detail that I cannot get when it is pasted in the body of the email. Plus, if it is a good clear picture and you paste it in the body, I may not be able to copy and save it with enough quality to use on my site or book.

#2) Lighting - No I am not going to get all techical on you here. I am no photographer myself. One thing I have learned is that there are different types of light. The very best for taking pictures is real daylight light. Pictures taken in real daylight will often come out clearer than any other lighting. The next best is florescent lighting and the worst seems to be from standard light bulbs. I have found that with florescent lighting, my pictures even with a cheep low quality camera will be much more clear and detailed than with standard bulbs. Standard lighting (known in the film industry as "yellow" light) gives a picture a very grainy quality.

#3) Be Calm - I know you may be scared of spiders and this will make you a little more shaky. It will tend to make you afraid to get too close. Keep in mind that most spiders do not jump and will not launch themselves at you or your camera. The Jumping spiders we have in Michigan are not dangerous. The only spider you need to genuinely fear in Michigan is the Black Widow. If it is not a Widow, you do not need to be afraid of it. If it is a Widow, it still wont jump at you, so just dont touch it. But if you can calm your fears long enough to get a closer picture without shaking the camera, you will get a much higher quality picture.

#4) If you are using a real camera and not a simple phone camera, there is a good chance you have the Macro option. It will have a symbol of a flower. A tulip I think? This function allows you to focus on an object that is much closer to the camera. I am talking even less than an inch away. It will limit your zooming function but still allow you a much closer up shot of a spider than you would get without it. This is awesome for helping you get a picture of a spider's eye pattern and that is awesome for helping me identify the spider.

#5) Use a Quarter - If you can get a picture of the spider on or next to a quarter, it helps others who see it have a good idea how big your spider is. You can use other items as well, like a ruler, a bottle cap and so on. As long as it is something that is always one size and people are familiar with it. That is why I like to use quarters if I think of it. Everyone is very familiar with the size of a quarter. This will not help me identify it much, but it will come in handy for the viewers if I should use your picture in my site or book.

As I mentioned. I am no professional photographer. There may be some tips others can give that I am not aware of. If you have anything to add that will be of help to others (especially the novice), please add to this in the comment section.


18 comments:

  1. How do I email you a picture. Of a Spider. I just found one I've never seen in michigan. Email me at dtmrealestate@gmail.com amd I will send a picture. Thanks. Doug

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes how do we email you for identification? My email is sarahbuehler31@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. We live on a lake and it seems like now that it's spring time we r having alot of spiders come out. we prob kill between 8 -10 a day...is this harmful to us?!

    ReplyDelete
  4. In the middle column, near the top of every page is a section about identifying spiders and spider questions that has my email address. When I am done here, I will update that and move it to a place more obvious.

    Whether or not it is harmful to you depends on several things. Are you killing them with spray? If so, it may be harmful to breathe it in too much. Do you enjoy it too much? Is it possibly a gate way to bigger things? Could you move to puppies next and someday to people? Then yes, I would say its dangerous. If you are afraid they may take the killings personal and cause an uprising against you, then I wouldnt worry to much. Most spiders dont work well together. If there was an uprising, it would likely turn into an all out "every spider for itself brawl". Many of them would die and then that brawl would likely turn into an old fashioned hockey game and the danger would then just be plain entertaining.

    Okay, I will just say I am sorry right now. In a weird sense of humor tonight.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have a spider that was in my kitchen and I have been online for hours trying to convince myself its not a brown recluse could you help me.

    ReplyDelete
  6. My land lord recently put wood chip mulch around my deck amd took out a large bush.. wolf spiders jumping spiders and yellow sac spiders are a common thing in and around my house.. and I've seen a couple false widows in the basement.

    When I was young I used to go to the field/woods and catch all kimds of spiders then surf the web to Iidentify them. This one 1 tho is eluding me. I have a picture but can't seem to find a place to email you. Can you shoot me a mail at boxxerz85@gmail.com and ill send you the picture? It has short legs a large but wich is pointy. Its yellow and orange amd looks like it has a face on its but

    ReplyDelete
  7. Have a cool pic of a spider i saw while trout fishing. Was about the size of a big wolf spider, but of a type i've never seen before. I dont have a comp. Just a smart phone. I can text pictures but thats all I know how to do. My phone number is 616-334-6605 if you contact me i will text message it to you.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I found a black spider with a blue hourglass on its back in my flower garden on a lake. A week later I saw another at my house in the city. I took pictures but they are on my computer that was struck by lightning and are no longer retrievable. Its body shape was similar to a male black widow. Have you ever seen one with a blue hourglass?


    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello Sir I had a strange day yesterday by catching 80% sure a brown recluse.Then just before dark a spider the size of a 50 cent pc was walking through a neighborhood store that made my wife some how teleport her ass as far away as possiible.This thing has a mix of oarnge,reddish,brown abdomen with a design on that looks like a shrink would ask what u see,which we're white.craziest of all blackn white striped legs.Plz send ur email I can't attach.NEVERFORGET2PRAY@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Found a little guy named Winston. Pretty sure he's a wolf spider. But I don't know. I'm also a photographer and I'm getting some good shots tomorrow before I let him go. What's your email?

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete