Zebra Spider, 5:1, Heesch, Netherlands
I initially didn't want to share this image because it's quite soft. Technical exposure settings seemed correct, yet somehow it still ended up soft. It happens with extreme macro.
So I rebranded this failure by giving it a different post processing treatment, pretending this was my outcome all along ;)
Joking aside, I do want to share some food for thought on sharpness. I lost the video, but recently I saw a fascinating interview by a pro photographer interviewing some famous Hollywood camera man.
They were discussing a 30,000 USD cinematic lens. The photographer stated that it's quite ridiculous how this absurdly costly lens seemed about 10 times softer than the equivalent photography lens of equal focal distance.
The camera guy violently disagreed. He claimed that instead it is absurd how ridiculously sharp digital photography lenses are. And how their sharpness is not a real quality, or natural.
He supported his claim with the main point that vision (human vision) is analog, not digital. The extremely precise contrast as seen in digital still photography in no way matches how people actually see things. Whilst this can be a benefit (seeing more details on a photo that we otherwise could not see ourselves), artistically it is not natural or attractive. Both analog photography as well as videography in that sense better match what people expect to see.
Furthermore, there is such a thing as too much detail, or unneccessary detail. For example, on people's faces, seeing the tiniest of wrinkles may not be wanted, or relevant.
Back to digital photography, it's important to properly interpret his take on sharpness. It is not to be confused with incorrect focus or motion blur.
His idea is sometimes referred to as "soft focus" or "classic soft focus". This means the subject is correctly in focus, furthermore it isn't moved (motion blur), it's just that the rendering of the in-focus plane is soft.
My soft photo does not meet the criteria of "soft focus" as the reason for it being soft is motion blur. It's not an artistic choice, simply a technical failure.
For what it's worth, it doesn't change my take on trying to capture sharp details, yet I still found it an interesing discussion. The other weird thing I learned about the cinematic lenses he used is that they are all exactly the same size and weight, no matter the focal distance. For some reason this is important to them.
Anyway, hope this distracted you enough to not zoom in.
The zebra spider, ''Salticus scenicus'', is a common jumping spider. Like other jumping spiders, it does not build a web. It uses its four pairs of large eyes to locate prey and its jumping ability to pounce and capture it. Zebra spiders are often noted for their awareness of humans. Upon noticing someone observing them, they can be seen raising their head, and usually change behavior.