Macro,  Wildlife

Just hanging – or waiting – around

In my Close-up and Macro Photography talk I have a few images of spiders.  They are fascinating creatures, and contrary to popular belief, most don’t actually hang around in orb webs.  Most spiders hunt for their prey using their excellent vision and very fast jumping or running ability.  Having said that, the stereotypical spider in the UK must be the Garden Spider.  They make lovely webs that are very effective at catching insects.

Here’s the biggest Garden Spider I’ve ever seen.  She’s a female, and is probably what’s called “gravid” – or full of eggs.  She’s caught a common wasp in her web and is finishing off what’s left.

I took this using my Olympus E-M5 Mk3 with the Olympus 60mm macro lens.  This set up allows me to use hand-held in-camera focus-stacking.  The camera takes five images, changing the focus a little bit between images, and then combines the sharpest parts to give an image with a good depth of field.  It’s a great bit of technology.

This other spider is a Flower Crab Spider, also a female.  She has a different approach to her prey; no webs for her.  She sits motionless on the flower until some unsuspecting insect flies in to feed, and then she pounces, injecting powerful venom to paralyse it.  They will catch bumble bees much larger than themselves.

This was also taken with in-camera focus-stacking.

Keep an eye open for our fascinating arachnids.