Quick pic from not today

flash photo in late twilight of green heron Butorides virescens showing reflections from spiders' eyes
This one I came across again while sorting, and decided that I needed to feature it in a brief post. Back at the end of June, I was still (mostly unsuccessfully) stalking the green heron (Butorides virescens) brood around the neighborhood pond, and this one paused on the shoreline to do a little evening fishing. It was late twilight, thus very poor light, and I popped the on-camera flash just to see if I could capture anything, but the distance was too great for the cute little capacitors that are used for such things, and I have the Custom Functions set to push the shutter speed to 1/200 second with a flash*, which made things look a lot darker than they actually were. Nevertheless, I got an oblique reflection from the heron’s eye.

And something else. A lot of something elses. Revealed by the very narrow reflection angle between the flash head and the lens, I captured the eyes of numerous spiders in the immediate vicinity, which reflect, if anything, even better than birds’ eyes despite being a tiny fraction of the size. Yes, there are easily that many spiders around, especially this time of year at the pond’s edge; most of them are probably very young fishing spiders. We’ll have a better look a little later on.

* Canon’s E-TTL flash system will automatically try to balance the flash with an ambient exposure, to provide a more natural-looking image, but this means in low light you can easily have a motion-blurred frame from a very slow shutter speed, with a similarly exposed flash image overlaid, which is of no use to me at least, so I override that setting to use the flash as primary illumination. Which occasionally works as seen here.

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