Rye Harbour Nature Reserve 30 August 2014

We went to Rye Harbour Nature Reserve last weekend. We thought the weather would be bright and somewhat overcast, allowing for good photography opportunities. What we got was more Seattle Winter Overcast, with a healthy dose of Incessant Wind. Nothing but crappy dull lighting – but at least it wasn’t raining. I had hoped to do macro but even the shrubbiest shrubs low to the ground were bouncing back and forth.

The whole trip (it’s about an hours drive) was salvaged by the totally chance discovery of this amazing spider hiding in a dead bush. We had just started down the trail to the beach when I stopped to look closer at this dead bush. I was wanted to know why it was dead so early in the year, and if I could recognize the flower. I leaned over to take a closer look and found this beautiful little lady – about 4cm from toe to toe – hanging on while the bush bobbed to and fro in the wind.

EDIT: I have been informed that the spider is Araneus quadratus aka 4 Spotted Orb Weaver.

I put my 500D magnifier on and handheld the 70-200 while I held the stem with my other hand. I had to contort myself, resting the plate of the lens on my knee while I stretched around to get the downward angle. Totally worth it. I have no idea what type of spider it is; I think it may be a green orb spider, but the photos I’ve seen indicate a different eye arrangement. Nevertheless, I’ve joined the British Arachnological Society to learn more about it and the other spiders around here.

I also made some abstract blurs, which I’d read about in a recent Outdoor Photography. The article made a compelling argument for the square format, and I think it does work well for this type of shot. Unfortunately, the water on the southern coast of Britain can be described as “boring”, “murky” and “sewage-like” so while I’m not a huge fan of the palette, I do like the structures and textures.

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