Take your photographic chances: Warning – spiders!

I have said before that it always pays to carry a camera, or at least be near one.

Recently I came across this ball of baby garden spiders (areaneus diadematus).  They weren’t quite in the garden though, as they were on the drive by the studio.  The tiny spiderlings (nice word), emerge from the egg sac and then stick together until mature enough to go their separate ways.

I quickly got my camera and thought about the the best way to photograph them.  They were quite hard to photograph because they had laid threads all over the area they were in.  One touch on one of the threads and the ball would disperse.  It took about 30 minutes to reassemble.

"Garden Spider ball" by Derek Gale

I used a Sigma EX 50mm macro lens, and 2 flash units.  They were in a bit of a dark area so there wasn’t much light.  The 2 flashes gave enough light to let me use a small lens aperture to give a reasonable depth of field.  There was no chance to use the focus stacking technique from my last post as they were moving around too much.  I did, of course, need to lie on the ground to take the shot.  I wonder what my neighbours thought…

"Garden Spider ball: dispersed" by Derek Gale

Here’s what they looked like after I touched one of the threads; a wriggling mass of cute little spiders.

I said about always carrying a camera, and to take your photographic chances.  They spiders were only there for 2 more days, and now they’ve gone.  If I had waited, or not got rapid access to a camera, I would have missed a great bit of animal behaviour.

Corporate PhotographerJune 11, 2012 - 9:57 am

Amazing spider shots and love the ball image

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