After my recent trip to Houston, I was treated to a clear day of flying back across the great American West. To survey these wide open spaces, flying at 35,000 feet gives a good overview. I hope you enjoy the pictures!
Sometimes the light of a cloudy day is beautiful for photography, making features soft and creamy, eliminating harsh shadows, and enhancing colours. But this is a bright cloudy day we are talking about, not a gloomy, dark and depressing day like we tend to get around Vancouver this time of year. On a day like that, the photographer can only do one thing: eat Cheetos and veg out.
But wait! There is something you can do to get nice defined images of wildlife despite the terrible conditions and your way-too-old, way-too-noisy Canon sensor. Of course! Supplemental light!
I tested out throwing some hard light from trigger-controlled flashguns on a few species at Stanley Park this Saturday, and I am pretty pleased with the results!
Overall, I like this method of shooting, but would prefer natural light. For a gloomy day, when all I would get otherwise is a noisy mess, this is a good thing to try. With an actual lighting assistant, I am sure it could be even more fun.
We have been basking in warm, moist air here on the West Coast, while the rest of the country is freezing in Arctic outflows. This “Pineapple Express” has brought a lot of rain over the past week, but that is now letting up. Yesterday was calm and foggy, and a bit eerie in its warmth. I was in Victoria, so I went walkabout to see what I could see.
This weekend, I did not have much time to go out and shoot, so I got my photography in by taking some shots of a Phidippus
johnsoni female we are keeping in the apartment. In some of these shots, I was trying to mix hard and soft light to show the hairs of teh spider more clearly, but with the activity of the spider, it became a bit of a free-for-all regarding lighting.
Update: I am not sure if this is Phidippus johnsoni. It may well be P. borealis.
For the very last post of Arachtober, I thought I would take some shots of the Halloweeniest spider on the west coast, Dysdera crocata. These orange and red beauties are specialist predators of terrestrial isopods (pillbugs) and have fangs equal to the task of envenomating these armoured prey.
October is a month for spiders, being the time when many of the species which have grown large on summer’s bounty are settling down to lay eggs, or looking for overwintering sites. For spider photographers, it is like golden hour all month! If you search flickr for “Arachtober” you will find the photographic bounty that macrophotographers have amassed.
This Arachtober, I have not really been applying myself to spider photography, although I have made some dedicated efforts to secure shots of black widow defenses (for Catherine’s invited talk at last weekend’s ESBC conference), or Steatoda males and females, for my friend Chloe Gerak’s award-winning talk at the same conference.
Anyway, here are some shots and thoughts about my Arachtober.
The Rubber Boa I wrote about yesterday was just the icing on the cake of my recent trip to Naramata.