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I'm a Cairns, far north Queensland, Australia professional photographer specialising in travel, editorial and environmental portraiture.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Of big hairy spiders and blending

Now this is what I call a fun job! Not holding the pipette, photographing the spider. :)

This is another image done as a series for James Cook University here in Cairns to help them promote the amazing research their staff and students undertake. Here David Wilson is milking this pretty ferocious looking funnel web spider.

David and his colleague Norelle Daly are trying to find a way to cure breast cancer using this very toxic venom.

Photographically I thought I would have to be really quick to help freeze the motion of the spider. I needn't have worried as these guys hold that pose for upwards of half an hour - giving me plenty of time to try different set-ups. This is actually a blend of two images because I couldn't get enough depth of field with my 200mm telephoto lens.

The first shot is focused on the spider (which rendered David out of focus), and the second shot is focussed on David (which causes the spider to go blurry). The two images are then blended together in post-production to create a single image.

There are two flashes at work here. One through a see-through umbrella lighting David and the spider, and one in the background to stop the rest of the room going pitch black.

I love my job! Can you tell?

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