Chasing Rays Blog

European Garden Spider Macro Photography

European Garden Spider Macro Photography

So… archnaphobes should probably not bother opening this post, as my latest model – patient as she was – was a European Garden Spider, or Cross Spider, Araneus diadematus. To give her her due, whilst she does look quite intimidating, in fact her bite is mild and harmless to human.

That said, I still wouldn’t touch her.
"To give her her due, whilst she does look quite intimidating, in fact her bite is mild and harmless to human. That said, I still wouldn’t touch her…."

I had been watching her spin her web on the outside of my patio door window. The problem was that she was just not willing to turn around, so I was always looking at her from ‘underneath’, so to speak.

I decided to bide my time. For several weeks, as it turned out.

And then came the opportunity. Whatever it was this day, she had decided it would be better to face towards the window, and to show off the beautiful markings that give this species their common name.

Macro lens was grabbed, and to make up for the poor light on her that was the inevitable result of her facing away from the sun, I set up my flash off-camera via a wired trigger.

The sun was, though, behind her, setting her off with a delicate rim light that you can see in some of the photos in my mini-gallery, below. The front lighting, position about three feet to camera right, provided the lighting on her top, and gave the delicate light cast the bottom right of her abdomen.

Even though I used quite a large depth of field at f/11, the background was so far behind her and my macro lens so close (I’d guess less than 10 cm), that it just blended out to almost pure colour and a lovely bokeh.

Furthermore, because of her position, I could choose my garage brick wall (the reddish patches), a large bush nearby (the green patches), a patch of sky above the bush (the near white patches) or any combination thereof merely by repositioning my lens by a few centimetres in any given direction.

Well, I appreciate not all of you may like these images, but I hope at least you appreciate the technique.

All the best,

,
Chasing Rays Photography.

 

Mini-Gallery

 

Hardware Used

   

About the Author

Mark Watkins

Mark WatkinsI've been a photographer since 2006 and a computer fanatic since 1995. I hope to share my passion for photography with you through the products and services I offer through my website. See me on Google+ | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedInView all posts by Mark Watkins →

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