From a photographer’s perspective, this image is an interesting one. You can see how blown out it is around the edges. And yet the centre is properly exposed.
This Orb Weaver was in the shade. I photographed this in the middle of the day, so shooting in the shade was the correct thing to do. What I didn’t expect was the strong midday sunlight to get bounced off the mirrored glass.
In the end it created an interesting effect.I did process the image to bring out the colour and contrast of the spider. You can see my blurred reflection as well.
It contains the richest biodiversity in China and “may be the most biologically diverse temperate region on earth.” Red pandas and smooth-coated otters (both threatened species) are found here. In Horstman’s words, “everything (insect-wise) is bigger, brighter, more abundant and more bizarre than elsewhere.”
Although he takes fantastic photos of all sorts of insects, today we’re focusing on Horstman’s caterpillar photos. Some of these creatures look utterly alien, some appear to be little more than a smooth blob of jelly and others, such as the slug caterpillars, feature arrats of formidable spines capable of issuing terribly painful stings.
“You don’t acclimatize to the sting – they ALWAYS hurt. The worst incident was early in my stay in China when I stood up under a tree and an entire hatching of stinging slug caterpillars on the underside of a leaf contacted the back of my neck. The instantaneous sensation almost caused me to blackout, but the swelling, redness and burning persisted for a good week.”
You can’t see the caterpillar in the bottom photo because it’s hiding in a tiny pagoda that it built using bits of leave and silk. this is the work of a Bagworm caterpillar. They build these amazing little structures to hide themselves while they’re eating. So shhh, let’s not disturb its meal.
You can follow John Horstman right here onf Tumblr at sinobug. To check out his complete portfolio, and we highly recommend that you do, head over to his endlessly fascinating Flickr account.
Visit Wired to learn more about Horstman’s photography adventures in the wilds of south-western China.