In my last post about photographing arthropods on Deas Island (More macro photography in the field: bug hunting with a camera on Deas Island) I wrote that I had more spider photos I was saving for another post. Well, this is that post!
I don’t have anything much to say about the technical aspects of taking these pictures—I discussed the equipment and technique I was using in my previous post. I will just add that I have discovered that I really like photographing spiders! Part of the reason is that they are pretty darn interesting critters—both in behaviour and appearance. Plus of course many species are ambush predators that sit in one place and wait for prey to come along (sit-and-wait predators). The nice thing about that is they also tend to sit and wait for photographers to come along too! Even better, they aren’t secretive about feeding, which makes for interesting pictures. Best of all, all of the spiders in these photos were lurking in the bushes at about the level of my chest. I was able to photograph them without getting down on the ground. My knees really appreciated it…
The spider pictured directly below is a sheetweb spider (sub-family Linyphiinae), viewed from above (F22 @ 1/60 sec). These are common on Deas Island, each sitting upside-down and surrounded by its web.
Below is another sheetweb spider, viewed from the side (F11 @ 1/60 sec).. It is a bit blurry in places as I was shooting the spider through its web (and any objects caught in it).
Below is one last picture of a sheetweb spider, viewed from the front and showing its quite impressive set of fangs (the chelicerae).
These last photos are of a very ambitious long-jawed orb weaver spider (Metellina sp.) feeding on a snipe fly (Rhagio tringarius). It’s unfortunate that I cut off part of the fly’s wing in this picture—I didn’t notice while I was shooting (oops!)—but it is still a nice shot. The last image below is the same spider and fly, just closer.
The technical stuff:
Camera: Olympus E-620 digital SLR
Lens: Zuiko 35mm macro
Sheetweb spider side view: manual exposure (F11 @ 1/60 sec)
All others: manual exposure (F22 @ 1/60 sec)
Lighting: Olympus RF-11 ring flash (manual; 1/8-1/2 power)