Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Long spindly legs converge on the compact body of a harvestman, also known as a "daddy longlegs" spider. Technically, the harvestman is not a spider due to the lack of discernible segments on its body. It does not spin a web, has no venom and only has two eyes, located on a small dark "turret" on its back, which you can see between the first two legs closest to the camera. The harvestman is a hunter and scavenger, using two small forelegs, seen above held close to its body, to grasp prey and stuff it into its mouth.
This guy was chilling on a leaf under a leaf. It took some doing to move the covering leaf aside and get the lens in position to get a nice portrait of this critter from somewhat of a side angle.
I keep both eyes open when moving the lens into position to shoot small subjects. As I slowly move in on the subject, the left eye helps me navigate the camera to keep the subject in the center of the lens (and to make sure the subject hasn't run or flown off before I get there), the right eye keeps tabs on the image forming in the viewfinder until I begin to discern a dark spot appearing in the haze, which is (hopefully) the subject. Then I close my left eye and concentrate on getting the blurry spot in focus.
Needless to say, you have to not mind putting your face within six inches of a spider or other creepy crawler to get these kinds of pictures.
Photograph © 2009 James Jordan.