A Rainy Day With Creepy Crawlies

Out of my comfort zone today in more ways than one.

My father in law John runs a website dedicated to the spiders of Tasmania and has even written a book on the subject called "Webs" and that gets him in contact with many other lovers of wild things like Patrick, who's property we visited today. Hanging around with him to "take some pics" usually involves more than a little suppressed fear of these eight legged wonders of the insect world. It's funny how the more you learn the less you fear. There is a lesson in that I am sure, but that does not help when you feel something tickling your leg (usually a spike of grass, but not always!). Some of these Orb spiders are about the size of a 10 cent coin. The odd green speckled web is a Russian Tent spider and the skinny guy is the male of the species shown centre bottom and centre left. John managed to bag a few shots of some spiders even he had not seen in the wild before. All this was in one large back garden and there was a lot more! Getting there was a bit over an hour, but our trip home ended up being well over two hours due to some amazing torrential rain, road accidents and detours. Quite a day.

My technique is nothing special for this type of work as I deliberately turned my back on true macro work awhile ago, but I managed to cobble together a workable system. The camera was the EM5 as usual, the lens, the 12-40 standard zoom at about f9.5-13 without any other augmentation except some cropping and the standard clip on flash set at about -1 exposure comp. Ok for record shots, but not very creative. John has a very clever set up involving home made ring flashes.