Eight Eyed Wonder
Life with fangs
Spiders can be a little scary when your not expecting them - such as inside your shirt or blouse or crawling out of your bag after hiking. For me I am not all that put off by them. No, I don't let them crawl on me and no I don't handle them, it is for their safety and mine, no sense taking chances. I appreciate the spider from a distance and peer closer if they allow. Almost all adults know spiders have fangs and possible poison glands which they use in the process of feeding with some being so small they are mostly harmless to humans, others posses some powerful "juice". I don't fear the spider but I do respect it and give it room to itself. If you take a close look at this guy you soon understand why I am careful around this big Wolfe Spider. My camera lens has found a few of these and others which I like to share the experience with you in the below image gallery and story on where I found them.
The images here are taken while out looking for spiders to photograph, you do on occasion happen upon a fine specimen and get lucky, but it is to those who seek them are best rewarded with great spider images. If you are a new comer to the world of spider photography you should plan your outings. But before we begin.
Cautions and Warnings: NEVER touch or pick up any spider, Read that again out loud! It is for the spider's safety and yours and please be mindful when working around spiders, you never know if baby spiderlings are near, if so they may climb up you and your equipment - it has happened - remember you are in spider world with eight eyes watching at all times. Jumping spiders JUMP so be prepared for the one that lands on your face. Know your native spider species in the area you intend to visit, and especially poisonous species. DON'T lay your bags or equipment on the ground, I know this is may be hard not to do, trust me, I have had hitch hikers many times. Don't collect any spider from the wild, leave them in peace and where you see and photograph them.
Once you are past the Cautions and Warnings it is all downhill fun from here on out. Photographing Spiders or any small creature is demanding. Most don't understand that holding a 3 pound camera and lens perfectly still inches from the subject can be brutal on the arms and especially the back, especially the ground dwelling spiders in 90+ degree weather, in the end it is all worth it as you can see. The hardest spiders to photograph are the web based spiders for various reasons; wind blowing makes focusing very difficult, the web itself can get in the way of a clear shot, and sometimes where the spider decided to build his web plays a factor such as between bushes, making it difficult for access.
I ran across this female sometime in the early May under a piece of rusted sheet metal, I slowly pulled the sheet metal back and there she was guarding her egg sac. From experiecne, most Wolf spiders run off but in this case she just sat there giving me time to take a few shots.I suspect she is a related to the other wolf spiders in the area. Although I can not prove it, but I do believe these particular species who are found in this area are in fact related as I find most of them in this one area.
A few seconds latter I saw this wonderful Spring flower and was doing a close up when I discovered this fine gentlemen hiding in the pedals awaiting his next meal.
This leads to the question on what equipment should I use? In a general sense, I recommend as a very basic setup a close focusing camera lens with a flash. For the more dedicated, I recommend a Macro Lens with a remote flash, a tripod for those who have the patience and stamina to carry it.