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Backlit Boris by Gene Walls

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This is a large Common Brown spider (Neoscona crucifera). I call him Boris (after the old 60’s song by The Who). As he was patiently tending his web, I took a second shot of him from the back side. The backlighting and trees in the bokeh-blurred background added a colorful glow around the “adorable” creature and his well crafted web.

This macro photo was captured on September 10th, 2011 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. It was taken with a Canon EOS 10D through a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro prime lens. The shutter speed was 1/8th sec at f/8. The camera’s ISO was set to 100. A Manfrotto tripod and “pistol grip” head were also used.

Please “click” on the image to see the Larger View.

Your comments are always welcome! Constructive criticism is appreciated.

© 2011 Gene Walls

All copyright and reproduction rights are retained by the artist. Artwork may not be reproduced or altered by any process without the express written permission of the artist. A copyright watermark is embedded within the image to guarantee successful prosecution, in the event of any violation.

FEATURED in “The World As We See It”

Hello, My name is Gene. I live in the Susquehanna river valley (West Branch), in the mountains of north central Pennsylvania. I strive to produce photographic images that are simply “true” to the subject, usually with minimal post processing. If something is beautiful or interesting enough to deserve a viewer’s attention, it justifies being captured just as it is …or as close to reality as possible.

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  • Larry Trupp
    Larry Truppover 3 years ago

    Nice capture…love the detail Gene

  • Thank you very kindly, Larry!

    Best regards,


    – Gene Walls

  • Ray Clarke
    Ray Clarkeover 3 years ago

  • Thanks, Ray!

    Best regards,


    – Gene Walls

  • CanyonWind
  • I really appreciate this kind honor, Pop’s! Thank you very much for Featuring my work!

    Most Gratefully,


    – Gene Walls

  • artwhiz47
    artwhiz47over 3 years ago

    Well, Boris, you certainly do tickle my fancy! Love this guy & his environmentally sound bokeh, eh? These common garden variety spideys make me think of one (or perhaps generations of them) that built webs season after season between two barberry bushes outside the bay window in the house of my childhood in Lewiston. We called him/her ‘Uncle Chichimus’ after a wild puppet show that ran on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation from 1952. I thank my mother for the fact that I am able to look at your photo with great appreciation & not a single frisson ~ it wasn’t until my sister & I were well into our teens & far less impressionable that we learned about our mother’s arachnophobia… that as we watched the various Uncle Chichimuses at work or just hanging there, she was behind us, mouthing all the right things, e.g. ’isn’t that interesting?!’ ‘Look at the beautiful web; what a lot of work!’ Etcetera. And all the while, her eyes were tightly shut, & her teeth were nearly clenched!
    And speaking of clenched teeth ~ I have to ask how you fared in the latest round of floods. The Susquehanna certainly did a job on Binghamton!

  • Thank you very much for your kind words and vivid account of you childhood “Uncle Chichimus” memories, Sheila. This is the third or fourth generation “Boris” in my portfolio.

    Regarding the floods:

    We’re doing pretty well here in Williamsport, with just a slightly flooded basement at our rental property. The Susquehanna River was well contained by our city’s levies, but the local creeks caused horrendous damage in a flash flood. Several of our friends were forced to run for their lives. A very good friend lost an entire wing of her home and her guest house is gone. She lives right beside Loyalsock Creek. A portion of RT-87 along the Loyalsock was totally destroyed and an important new bridge was washed away. A railroad bridge was also badly damaged.

    Another close friend was trapped at the car dealership where he works. A helicopter spotted the people there and they escaped just before the entire lot, garage and showroom disappeared under Muncy Creek’s brown water. He got home in time to evacuate his family from their house along Lycoming Creek. Every tributary in our area hit record levels and left a lot of damage in their wake.

    Fortunately, no lives were lost here, but the destruction will take a very long time and a lot of money before everything can be made right again.



    – Gene Walls

  • Raider6569
    Raider6569over 3 years ago

    Yes, spiders can be great subjects with their myriad details to display. Love the boken effect and the way the web came out. Sorry to hear about all the flooding in your town. It is such beautiful country along the Susquehanna.

  • Thank you very much, Dave! I had to get into a very odd position to get the bokeh and the web to look right …but it was worth a bit of discomfort, though.

    Our branch of the Susquehanna (West Branch) didn’t get it nearly as bad as the main branch did. The photos I’ve seen from Binghamton, NY are extremely troubling. We had our worst problems with flash flooding of the creeks that feed the river. Many homes, roads and bridges were severely damaged or a totally loss. Our beautiful area has a lot of ugly scars that need to be healed right now.

    Kindest regards,


    – Gene Walls

  • Debbie Robbins
    Debbie Robbinsabout 3 years ago

    YIKES!!! what a fantastic capture Gene!!!! Larger is def scarier!!! lol :))))

  • Thanks! I shot this 10 days ago, and he’s still there …but his web is full of bugs now.

    Kindest regards,


    – Gene Walls

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