Looking for spiders

By Brendan Moyle 04/08/2014

Winter isn’t the optimal time to be looking for creepy-crawlies in New Zealand.  Even though expectations were low, I still wanted to try fine-tuning my nocturnal photography macro-rig.  The problem seems to be finding some way to mount the small video light I have, along the central axis of the macro lens.  This time I used rubber bands to attach it to the front of my flash.  It worked, sort of.  The video light is necessary to locate the spider and focus in on its eyes.  For some reason, the light doesn’t bother them much.

I spurned the local snail population- and the curious neighbourhood cats- in favour of something more creepy-crawly.  I got lucky- a male Cambridgea foliata obliged.  For these shots I’m under the spider, looking up at it.

Fortunately they’re a relatively large species so this makes it easier to find the eyes in the dark.  For the second shot I adjusted the lighting from the flashes, and tried to get a close up of the carapace.

Sadly no more attempts were possible.  I knocked one of the myriad of warning threads these spiders have in the dark, and it dashed for safety.

A version of this blog appeared earlier on my Zenfolio website