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One of the types of spiders that builds orbwebs, are not true orbweb spiders (Araneids). Their webs are often aligned horizontally rather than vertically. The spider also much larger jaws (chelicerae) than orbweb spiders. These spiders are the tetragnathids.

One of the most common of these spiders is the indigenous Leucauge dromedaria. This spider is native to both NZ and Australia, and I've been trying to get a photo I like of it for a while.

One of the problems is getting close enough as it sits in the web, to actually fill the frame. I use a microscope adapter on my macro lens to increase the magnification, but this also means I have to get much closer. So any spiders in a large web, usually run off as I hit a warning thread. While I can crop the image later instead, that can leave a photo too small to print.

The other problem is that the air has to be quite still. These spiders make their snares in more open or exposed settings and even a very gentle breeze can add a motion blur to the final image. So, you need a very still day to work with.

You also benefit from an overcast day. The problem is that this spider has a conspicuous silver abdomen. That makes it easy to cause highlight 'blowout' of detail.

So this is a non-cropped shot, taken on an overcast and very still day, in a spider that has made a relatively small web. The other detail I like has been the very light recent rain, that has left tiny droplets in the web.

"The Snare"

Click for larger image

The other thing about this shot is that everything is on manual settings. The exposure has been set manually. The flash has been set manually (one flash head directed at background at high power). And the focus was all done manually. It's a very 'old school' pic :)


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