Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Insect/Arachnid Relocation Program (IARP)

Being as this is far from the first instance this has happened, I have decided to create a "program". I simply love human's reaction to particular instances when even one of the innumerable other residents of our "spaces" make his or herself known. Instances such as a deer eating "our" gardens, a tiny jumping spider crawling up our kitchen walls, ladybugs dive-bombing our screen doors, and so forth. I proudly adhere to the old maxim, "They were here first!" So rather than squish them, shoo them, or in most cases hastily ward them off, I like to observe what they are doing. Are they building something? Going somewhere in particular (towards warmth, light, food, etc)? Or, are they just simply hangin' out!? As a photographer, I take it a step further and tend to want to document the little guys, if for nothing more than just to see them through the lens, with more detail.

This morning, I did just that. Today is my day off. Being out of school and now working a full time job which I do not personally have to "take home with me" I have found increasing contentment mentally. Last night, a visitor was discovered, or perhaps even a resident. Either way, he was deemed unwelcome by my parents. My dad put him in a jar and gave him to me. (Allow me to assume, since I have a limited knowledge of arachnids, this is a male spider)

The program works quite simply. The individual is selected for relocation. He/She is photographically documented. The individual is then carefully introduced into a new, larger, more "natural" environment (A.K.A. the yard).

Above is the inaugural candidate for the program. Being as specific spider identification is hard to find based on the sheer number of species discovered (not to mention UNdiscovered). From other images I have found, I believe it is a type of crab-spider Thomisidae family of the Araneae order (wikipedia's crab spider). I will update as I discover more information.

All images were made using the Vivitar Series 1 90mm f/2.5.

Since this blog is all about information I realized a quick image of how I made this shot might be a fine conclusion to this post. I got home tonight from being out and about and my dad asked me what I was doing with the leaves downstairs. I am not sure what you may have thought when first looking at these images or even if you considered it at all. I always find myself asking the question of how the shot was made when I see an image. Consequently, I thought I would include it. This was not made outside, as hopefully it appears it was, but in my "mini-studio". I recently moved out of my apartment and in with the rents in hopes that should I take a job outside the city I currently reside in, I can easily move without having been locked into an apartment contract. Well, I have been searching for several months now and continue to do so but have to get a job for the time being. That said, my ability to set up shoots is limited and thus I try to make everything as low maintenance and manageable as I can. Enter the mini-studio haha.

Ok, so it's a light tent...big woop. It is a few square frames made from PVC, some with white shower curtain stretched over them, and all with velcro wraps at the corners so that I can just stick 'em together as I see fit. With the addition of some foamcore and plexi, I have all I need. Strobist: White Lightning 1200 monolight (was given to me by a very gracious photographer looking for a good home for his equipment), Nikon SB-600 and SB-800 (which I picked up for a steal at $100 on craigslist!). The SB-600 was the most expensive thing!

Is it odd that I have the majority of my money invested in my glass and a skeleton crew when it comes to studio gear? I think not! We all have our priorities. Yesterday I was in a local camera store browsing when I asked to see a Kiron 80-200mm zoom (asking $30). It was in very nice condition and it honestly just peaked my interest. The associate asked what I would be using it on and I said a D700. He furrowed his brow at me, hesitantly mocking, "You're going to use that on a D700?" To which I replied, "Sure, why not!" This may however all simply be a result of the poor, condescending service I often encounter when I shop the local camera shops. That is an entirely different post all its own. For now, I will stick to the positives!

I hope to put up some DIY photo gear projects soon since that's another one of my personal favorites!


  1. Sticking to the positives ... psh. You're photographing captive spiders! Ha, just kidding, man. It's more fun to catch and release than to kill.

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  3. These are quite lovely, and that mini-studio setup you got going on ain't too shabby. Sometimes you have to be innovative with what you've got (especially photographers who can't afford all the expensive equipment).