photographing wildlife



One of the things I learned in the online Digital Photography School, is that when you take a photo of an insect, it is best to focus on its eyes. I'm proud of this photo of a Daddy Long Legs spider. It's the first time I've even seen the eyes of this species. Luckily it cooperated and looked straight into the lens.

The reason it's on the white background is that this spider lives in our bath. It's a puzzle to me. I would have thought it's an arid place to live. Not much chance of catching supper, I would thought. Other spiders I have known have chosen dark corners to live in. I think they were more sensible.

Maybe this one is cognitively challenged, maybe not. We rarely use the bath, so it's unlikely to be drowned. On the other hand, the white bath is not the safest if you're thinking of camouflage. 

I think it thinks it's our pet. I'm getting fond of it. If I happen to catch a fly I'll give it to the spider. Unfortunately for the spider, I catch flies even less often than I use the bath.


This photo of a praying mantis was taken by my friend Jill. It was in her garden. I don't think Jill has been to Digital Photography School, but she intuitively photographed the eyes. I love this photo. It reminds me of a surprised alien. Not that I've ever seen a surprised alien, but over the years I've consumed a lot of sci fi, so I have an idea what a surprised alien might look like.


This shot is of a Giant Banjo Frog (Limnodynastes interioris), taken by Kris Bell. Kris is one of my very favourite wildlife photographers. Jill and I could be classed as enthusiastic amateur wildlife photographers. Kris is the real deal. He always captures the eyes of the critters he photographs.

Very knowledgeable, Kris works at Deakin University in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences.

He found the frog near Savernake, New South Wales. It's rare in Victoria, but it's Victoria's largest frog. It spends most of its hidden underground, emerging only after rain to feed and spawn. It must have taken careful planning and perseverance to get this wonderful shot.

Comments

  1. I'm pretty impressed by your spider pic. I'll remember to direct my photo to the eyes the next chance I get to photograph a creature in the garden. A hawk landed atop one of our bird feeder poles early this evening but my camera wasn't at hand and he took off as soon as he spotted me.

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    1. I've practically given up trying to take bird shots. It's a mystery how people manage take such superb pics of birds. Maybe I should start recording them. That might be easier. I have lightened the spider pic to highlight the eyes more.

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  2. I really love all of the photos. Colour me impressed. I have a fondness for critters and they can be very hard to photograph well.

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    1. Thank you! (I wonder what colour impressed is. Maybe purple?)

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  3. Catmint, I know to photograph the wildlife is to be very patience. These photos are amazing, especially I love a praying mantis!
    Have a nice new week!

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    1. so pleased you loved these photos too, Nadezda.

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  4. Beautiful photos. I wish I could take photos like this.

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    1. Hi Thel, I find it very hard to master the technical part of photography, to get the camera to see how I see. Sometimes it feels like a power struggle, who's in charge, me or the camera! (or the critter I'm trying to photograph)

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  5. both the mantis and the frog have got that catchlight reflecting back. The eyes bring the creature to life.

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    1. thanks for this, Diana. When I read this comment I thought I could make the eyes on the spider more prominent, so I lightened the photo. I think it's better now.

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  6. Very cool. A little creepy, ha! I manage to drag lots of little insects into the house when I cut flowers for an arrangement, and my shoe squashes them. Or I give them the swim test in the toilet, and they always fail it. I'm impressed for your tolerance of the spider in the bathtub, but I guess a nice pair of eyes can often win a girl over!

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    1. thanks for the laugh, VW - so funny! I'm certainly much more hospitable than you in relation to our 8 legged friends.

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  7. After I read this post yesterday I went in the garden with my camera. There was a beautiful butterfly. I remembered your advice and tried to focus on the eyes. It was so difficult! Those eyes are tiny! Your photo of the Daddy Long Legs spider is a piece of art.

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    1. Thank you for the compliment, Denise. It is hard with such tiny eyes. You manage to take great pics of birds with their eyes, and I'm hopeless because for me they always fly away.

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  8. Awesome images--yours and your friends'--all of them! Good tip about making sure to focus on the eyes of the creatures. I hope to see more "friends" in the garden soon as we're breaking out of the cold weather. Today, rabbits, squirrels, and many birds were chasing each other around the garden. ;-)

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    1. It must be wonderful to have such contrast between the seasons. The critters really have something to celebrate.

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  9. The frog is a stunning creature indeed and a new species for me. I would love to see it, but I suspect that I have little chance of doing so.

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    1. Ditto for me when I look at your blog ... sigh ... one life is just not enough.

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  10. I like taking pictures of wild nature and, of course, animals. To tell them the truth I never looked at them, now I will try. Your photos of the spider are great, and the rest I like. * Nice that you came to me and invite you to continue visiting. Regards.

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    1. regards to you, Giga. See you soon ...

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  11. Great picture of the spider, Myra is the bath fan in our house, you would hear her scream from down under. The praying mantis picture from your friend Jill does indeed look like a surprised alien, creepy.

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    1. I had a bath today. Had to move 2 spiders into a glass, then let them back when the water was out. Not like Myra!

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  12. Amazing images! I don't know that I have deliberately focused on insect eyes before; now I have something to aim at. If that spider was in my bath, I think I would carefully catch him and put him outside!

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    1. I am still surprised they're there. I imagine it would be very boring living in a bath! But I enjoy watching them, so I wouldn't put them outside.

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  13. Great spider photo! They like baths here, too. I wonder if they drop in via web (not the world wide one) and then can't get out again.

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    1. I never thought of that - maybe I should relocate them? If they were on the world wide web, now that would be creepy!

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