Spider

I was walking through the tall grass and bushes around Inks Lake trying to find a good photo and carefully watching the ground for cottonmouth or copperhead snakes when I looked up and saw a big spider. I have seen these things around since I was a kid and they’re kind of big and creepy looking and I am glad that I didn’t run into her web. Looking online, I found that these are called Black and Yellow Garden spiders and found that they’re common across North America, and they are not venomous at all.

I decided to get the 70-200mm lens and see if I could get any close up photos of the spider. First I had to go around the other side of the web to get a top down look at her. I tried shooting through the crotch of a tree as I thought that it might frame the spider a bit. And at this point the spider was backlit by the setting sun.

Black and yellow garden spider at Inks Lake State Park Texas
Nikon D750 + Sigma 70-200mm, f/2.8; 140mm, f/8, 1/50, ISO400

I was shooting at f/8 to try to get a little texture on the tree bark in the foreground. That left the shutter speed at 1/50s which is pretty low for hand-holding 140mm, but I had the vibration reduction enabled and it turned out pretty sharp.

Next, I crept around to the side a bit to try to get a bit of her profile in the last rays of the sun before it set behind the hill. I did see her bounce her web a few times and I read that sometimes they do this when larger animals are near so that they will see it and not run into the web, I guess.

Black and yellow garden spider at Inks Lake State Park Texas
Nikon D750 + Sigma 70-200mm, f/2.8; 200mm, f/2.8, 1/250, ISO400

Here I opened up the aperture to the widest setting to get as fast a shutter speed as I could. This also had the effect of blurring out the background well so that the spider and web stand out nicely (compare to the first photo taken at f/8). I was also trying to avoid getting the spider inside the minimum focus distance of the lens which is listed as 140cm.

Black and yellow garden spider at Inks Lake State Park Texas
Nikon D750 + Sigma 70-200mm, f/2.8; 200mm, f/2.8, 1/200, ISO800

The light was fading fast and I needed to get moving and find a place to set up for a landscape shot and I was a bit concerned about snakes, so I moved on and left the spider to catch some insects.

Hope you enjoyed the spider. Leave a comment if you like.

11 thoughts on “Spider

    1. I didn’t think about ticks. They may not be a problem this far west in Texas. When I lived in east Texas and up around Tulsa OK, there were tick problems. I have not seen one on my dogs since I have lived around Austin. Fleas and chiggers are a problem though. Last spring when I took the cactus flower pictures I got a lot of chigger bites and they took week or so to heal.

      Liked by 1 person

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