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Spiny-backed Orb Weaver

Image # 1D2_04794

Crane Point Nature Trail


Canon 100/f2.8 Macro

ISO 400, f/16, 1/250 second

Manual Exposure, MR-24EX at +2/3 EV, 550EX at 1/2 Manual Power



This is apparently a fairly common spider in the southeast, but somehow, I had never come across one. They are fairly small, and the distinctive spines were really quite fascinating. The technical challenges here were significant, as the conditions were extremely windy, making focusing on this little devil quite a challenge. In addition, I needed flash to have adequate shutter speed and aperture, but ambient light was very low, which would have produced a black background, which I didn't want. So I finally figured out how to put the MR-24EX in Master mode, to remote trigger a 550EX flash, which I had my wife hold and point toward the background. This still didn't work quite right, until I put the 550EX into manual output mode, and by going with 1/2 Power, obtained satisfactory light on the background.

(The Crane Point Nature Trail is near Marathon Key, and we made a stop there en route to Key West, where we spent a few days relaxing.)