I hate spiders. In fact, I am afraid of spiders but I love photographing them.
I am a self confessed Arachnophobic. My arachnophobia is not so extreme that I end up having panic attacks, I don’t scream, cry or jump from moving cars.
No, I don’t exhibit any extreme behaviour. I just feel uneasy around spiders or environments I suspect habour these creatures.
Despite my general unease around spiders, I have a fascination with spiders. I think they are beautiful creatures to photograph but not to hold or any of that other shit. No, not me!
In fact, if these little things as much as move in front of my lens, I leg it. Trust me!
I think spiders are one of the easiest creatures to photograph because they tend to stay in one place – provided you don’t frighten them or disturb them.
I have photographed numerous spiders and they tend to love the camera. There are some that are camera shy or don’t like your big lens poking into their faces.
I think they are much easier to photograph compared to bees and butterflies and wasps. If you attempt to photograph bees and wasps, you have to be prepared to be stung otherwise you have no business trying to snap shots of them.
I also think spiders are one of the best means of getting into macro photography. They are more accommodating than other little insects like dragonflies, flies, butterflies and other insects because they tend to be less hyperactive and can settle in a place long enough to be photographed.
The other most poignant reason for me is because when I am photographing these creatures, the adrenaline kicks in. I guess I have the same feeling wildlife photographers in the bush have while photographing lions and cheetahs up close.
I have photographed many different kinds of spiders. Don’t ask me which because I don’t even know their names.
All I know is that I have photographed spiders having their lunch.
I have photographed spiders in the middle of a duel to the last.
I have photographed colourful spiders in exotic looking locations though this was never the case.
When you take a close-up or macro shot of a spider and the proper context is lost and depth of field kicks in, the place is altered and always looks more enticing than it actually is.
Some of these photos were taken next to a path between the houses or around the guttering of my home. These are only a few of hundreds of images I have captured.
Maybe one day, I will hold an exhibition of spiders only as my subject. Funny when I think about it because I hate these creepy crawlies but I can’t stop photographing them. I am yet to capture the perfect picture. I haven’t got it yet.
The sight of them sends shivers down my spine. No wonder why Hollywood has made a fortune using spiders or spider inspired movies to scare the shit out of people.
There is something about spiders that is both enticing and terrifying in equal measure which is why we love and hate them.
I think my fear of spider makes photographing spiders an exciting but challenging prospect and although I hate spiders,,, I love photographing them. I don’t think there is any other creature that I have photographed more than spiders.