I saw an interesting tip in Photography Magazine. They suggested putting a piece of craft paper behind a flower to brighten up the picture. When I saw that I thought it was a pretty cool idea, but figured it would be a bit challenging to hold a piece of paper behind a bird. ;-)
But I had forgotten about spiders. Spiders are surprisingly difficult to photograph. It takes a background and a flash. Take this photo for example:
Coming home from work today, I saw this huge golden orb spider just off the driveway. I quickly grabbed my camera and ran outside to get some shots. (We've had lots of rain lately, and I've had some pretty intense days at work, so I haven't felt much like getting out to take pictures). Anyway, can you see the spider in this picture? I'm only a couple of feet away from this guy and he's really big (or she, probably). Even as close as I am, the camera doesn't want to focus on such a thin creature and all you get is that big blur in the middle.
So add a little flash and some background. Now you can see the spider.
Of course, the spider could also see Marc's hand, and wasn't too excited about this big thing coming after it. He/She scooted up the web out of reach, and therefore, out of sight.
It's amazing to look out across our yard and see these huge webs strung between the trees. They can catch all sorts of flying bugs -- I don't doubt they are well fed! I worry about our humming birds. Get a couple of hummers squabbling over territory and not looking where they are going and suddenly they end up as lunch for one of these mega-spiders. Fortunately, we haven't discovered any hummers in the webs.
Another spider set up shop just a few feet from the one above. This one used our tractor shed as the supporting structure for it's web. Now you get a really clear picture of these spiders. This one is smaller than the one above.