A Macro Photo of a Jumping Spider nestled in Green Gras
Jumping spiders are fascinating and fun to photograph. They are naturally curious and not very shy. In fact you can often find them looking directly at the camera once they spot you. Their large front eyes give them an endearing, almost cute appearance, making them one of my favorite subjects for macro photography. Here are five essential things you can do to capture stunning close-ups of these charismatic arachnids.
1. You Can Find Their Hiding Spots
Jumping spiders can be found in various habitats, but they are commonly spotted in tall grass and on dry wood. Unlike many other spiders, jumping spiders do not build webs to catch prey. Instead, they are active hunters, moving around to find their food. This makes them more visible and accessible for photography. Look for them in sunny areas where they are likely to be hunting or basking.
2. You Can Entice Them with a Snack
​​​​​​​A jumping spider that is eating can make for a great photographic subject. In the past, I have swatted a fly or caught another small insect and placed it near a jumping spider, about 1-2 centimeters away. More often than not, the spider will quickly go for the free meal. Once they start eating, they tend to stay in one spot, allowing for ample time to adjust your camera settings and composition. This can be particularly useful for close-up shots and focus stacking techniques in macro photography.
A Close Up Macro Photo of a Jumping Spider eating an Insect
3. You Can Anticipate Their Movements
Jumping spiders have incredible eyesight, much like birds of prey. They often climb to high vantage points, such as the tip of a blade of grass, to scan their surroundings for prey. Knowing this behavior can help you anticipate where they are going, making it easier to position yourself for the perfect shot. This is especially helpful when attempting to get very close and photographing their large eyes at a 1:1 macro magnification.​​​​​​​
Close up Photo of a tiny black Jumping Spider climbing up a single blade of grass
4. You Can Bring Them Inside
If you find a jumping spider close to home, such as in your garden, they typically do not mind being relocated. Gently place them on some plants or a controlled surface inside your home, preferably in a well-lit area. Providing them with a small snack can help keep them in one spot, making it easier to photograph them in a more controlled environment. This method allows you to experiment with different lighting setups and backgrounds without worrying about the spider wandering off.
Close up macro portrait of a male jumpinspider sitting on a desk
5. You Can Use a Flash Diffuser
Because of their large, reflective eyes, a good macro flash diffuser is essential for photographing jumping spiders. A diffuser softens the light, reducing harsh shadows and creating pleasant reflections in the spider's eyes. This enhances the overall quality of your photos, making the spider's features stand out more vividly. I recommend using a DIY diffuser or purchasing one specifically designed for macro photography. You can find detailed instructions for making a DIY macro flash diffuser here.
By following these tips, you can improve your macro photography skills and capture stunning images of jumping spiders. Their curious nature and unique appearance make them a rewarding subject for any photographer interested in close-up and macro photography. Happy shooting!
macro photo of a tiny baby jumpin spider sitting on colorful pencils waving at the camera
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