While doing laundry the other day my wife spotted this horrendous looking spider. She told me to check it out, so naturally I brought the camera with me. Sure enough, this spider was monstrous, one thing Missouri has compared to where we lived in California are bugs and several different types. We were used to the city type house flies and occasional ants, but one thing we need to get used to out here in Missouri are the hellaciously large bugs, to include this spider.
I looked this spider up and found it to be a Black and Yellow Argiope. While it is very large and creepy looking, it is not harmful to humans. It is actually great to have in the garden as it feeds off of pesky insects.
I brought the single raw into Photomatix Pro and did a minor HDR adjustment. Look at how well the web showed up in the HDR version as opposed to the original exposure. I love the detail that the HDR tonemapping process extracts from just about any photo. With a little further post work, I threw a cracked glass texture on it , a vignette, and topped it off with a little bit more grunge.