Saturday, September 24, 2011

On Shooting Orb Weavers

The easiest way to find a spider is to follow its web.

Most nocturnal spiders I see are those from the orb weaver family. And the right time to look for one is at about 5 to 6 in the evening. They'd be starting to weave their webs and wouldn't really mind a photographer pointing his camera. But when it finished building its web, most spiders either hide nearby or sit in the center in a tight ball; either way, you'd have a hard time finding an angle for a shot. So the best time to shoot an orb weaver is when it is building its web.

This particular spider I found made its web on our gate. I watched it start moving from one place to another to establish the anchor points of its silky net. And I watched it hastily weave through those points, leaving a thin silk thread to form the orb web. It took me a while before I realized I had to shoot it. It was hard to track as it was moving at a frantic pace. What I learned about shooting orb weavers was that if I held my camera parallel to the web and steadied myself so that the web would be in my depth of field, I could shoot the spider while it moved without having to track it. I don't usually shoot on top of my subjects but I had to if I wanted any output with this one.

orb weavers (1 of 1)

orb weavers (2 of 2)

Oh, I forgot to mention that this is the first time I shot with a strobe during the twilight hours. I think I'll continue shooting more during this time of day. Though I really like ambient light and shooting during the golden hours, this is probably a good time to catch new species of arachnids and nocturnal insects. I'll probably do it again tomorrow if the weather permits.

1 comment:

  1. nice story..
    ..nagrainbow2 gud ang web..