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03-16-2012, 01:31 PM   #1
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Could I blind a spider?

This must seem like an odd question, but the other day I was taking macro pictures of a spider, when it hit, could I unwantedly end up blinding the spider with a macro flash?
Not sure if this is the right place for this question, but it feels like a beginner question.

//Mikael

03-16-2012, 01:37 PM   #2
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I doubt it. It'd most likely just dazzle it for a moment, the same way it would you, if someone fired a flash off in your face. I wouldn't worry about it.
03-16-2012, 01:43 PM   #3
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Beginner question or not, I have asked myself the same several times. My best guess is that it does not harm spiders and insects and my reason for thinking so is that while these creatures are very responsive and make rapid escape movements with other threats (touch, heat, smoke) they don't seem to take notice of flash light at all.......but I am prepared to be told otherwise by others, who might know better.
03-16-2012, 02:07 PM - 1 Like   #4
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great question. People tend to end up with really weird ideas which have been passed down.
1. Animals including spiders don't worry much about electronic flash guns. The old flash bulb is a different story. Insect, spider and even snail eyes don't have an iris (or an aperture) In fact they have a lot in common with your camera censor each pixel having its own lens (if its lucky). So most of these eyes function in all types of light without our iris. I have been photographing nocturnal mammals for 35 years and the only things that ever get upset with the flash are people. My old pentax spotmatic F was a bit of a liability. My big rollie flash would light up the landscape and the possum wouldn't flinch. It had a very noisy film winder and often when I cocked the next frame , the possum would crap it's self thinking it was a moving branch.
2. While we are on the subject of small creatures - the following is the best way of keeping these small guys like insects and spiders alive
a/ never put holes in jars or containers for ventilation - that actually dries them out and and they die from dehydration. Extra CO2 puts them to sleep.
b/often best to store them in a fridge, this slows them down and you have a minute or so when you take them out and they warm up again
c/ butterflies are very delicate, don't leave them in a jar, fold them gently into an envelope where they can't flutter

03-16-2012, 02:13 PM   #5
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Just as a little side note, I own some really bright LED flashlights (1000 Lumens) and if I keep one of those lights about 4 inches from a spider after about 1-2 minutes the spider starts convulsing and then curls up and dies. Interesting stuff...

However, I don't think a quick flash of light will do any harm.
03-16-2012, 02:28 PM   #6
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You need to remember a camera flash is a very short duration, and the percentage of energy that the subjects eyes are exposed to is very low so I wouldn't worry about it. It is quite similar to lightning. LED lighting on the other hand would be like using a magnifying glass and the sun. It would over minutes put a lot of energy into a small subject. The absorbed heat probably kills the subjects
03-16-2012, 02:49 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
You need to remember a camera flash is a very short duration,
That's correct

QuoteOriginally posted by Ubuntu_user Quote
nches from a spider after about 1-2 minutes the spider starts convulsing and then curls up and dies.
Sorry - not nice - better to use the flash so there is little chance of harming them
03-16-2012, 02:52 PM   #8
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use a small piantbrush - When handling small animals like spiders use a small soft paint brush.

I have all kind of rigs and bits and pieces to get my photos. Often the problem is they run away when captured so you need a way they can't escape when you are indoors.

03-16-2012, 03:36 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
You need to remember a camera flash is a very short duration, and the percentage of energy that the subjects eyes are exposed to is very low so I wouldn't worry about it. It is quite similar to lightning. LED lighting on the other hand would be like using a magnifying glass and the sun. It would over minutes put a lot of energy into a small subject. The absorbed heat probably kills the subjects
Mhm...

QuoteOriginally posted by Bob from Aus Quote
Sorry - not nice - better to use the flash so there is little chance of harming them
I actually wasn't doing that to photograph the spider... I just happened to accidentally find that out when I tried it. But don't worry, I don't go around doing it to every spider I see... Although, if I didn't have much of a heart I probably would since I don't like spiders!
03-16-2012, 03:57 PM   #10
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Try calling a local zoo or related faculty. Be sure to tell us what you learn!
03-16-2012, 04:07 PM   #11
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Depends on your zoo. I have worked in a zoo for 10 years so I qualify.
03-17-2012, 07:45 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
The absorbed heat probably kills the subject
Nice thing about LED`s is that there is almost no wasted energy in form of heat!.
To the OP, just shoot your subject, then step on it to put it out of the misery.
03-17-2012, 08:08 PM   #13
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High output LEDs, like the 1000 Lumen CREE he's describing get very hot, quickly. If you held one of these close to a bug, I can fully see it cooking it.
03-18-2012, 09:13 AM   #14
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Original Poster
Thank you all for the many replies, quite happy to see I am not the only one pondering over this subject.
Gonna go with what Bob said, that seemed fair, so thank you
03-23-2012, 05:36 PM   #15
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I've read that one shouldn't flash a cat directly in its eyes, though. FWIW.
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