2017 Macro Highlights

31 December 2017

2017 Summary

Given that I’ve been trudging the local forests regularly for years, one would have thought that I’ve seen all there is to see. The amazing thing about macro photography is that despite re-visiting the same old sites in Singapore, we (my friends and I) still find new species and scenes that surprise us. Here’s 2017 and the micro-scenes that kept us going.

New Blog Address and Online Store

The blog has moved to www.nickybay.com. The old URL sgmacro.blogspot.com is still valid and will redirect to the new domain. I have also set up a new merchandise shop called MacroDojo featuring many bug and spider themed products. If you have not already seen them, check out the new 2018 huntsman spider and jumping spider calendars!

Epic 2018 Spider Calendars

I have also commissioned the manufacture of a new version of the previously out-of-production FotoPro DMM-903. It is now known as FotoPro DMM-903s with sturdier joints and better friction properties. Those who had used the older version would have experienced the frustration of the joints breaking when out in the field. While the new version is not indestructible, it has survived over a year under my abuse without any broken joints. Over half of the stock has been reserved or sold. Order yours before it is sold out!

FotoPro DMM-903s Macro Dual Flash Arms

Yes, I’m hand-holding 4 flashes now. With back-lighting, sometimes I’m holding 5 flashes myself. May write more about it in another post, but you can find more details in my Macro Equipment page.

Thank You

Many of these photographs would not have been possible without the mighty radars of my friends who go into the forests with me every week. Thanks to Chris, Melvyn, Victor, David, Seawei and James for graciously sharing all their finds!

2017 is also the full year with my newborn, and thanks to my understanding wife, I still managed to do quite a lot of night shoots. Some friends even asked for a template of the VISA application that I used. (many of you would know what the VISA application was for)

    Huntsman spider (Heteropoda davidbowie) - DSC_8113
  1. Huntsman spider (Heteropoda davidbowie)

    One of my bigger experiments in 2017 is in the relay system that I’ve built with a $10 cctv lens. Super DOF, crazy perspective, but difficult to use. I will post more about the relay system very soon. Subscribe to the mailing list to be notified when it is posted. Heteropoda davidbowie is an ideal subject for this setup as the lens has to be really close to the subject (1cm or less) for such perspectives.

  2. Leafhopper nymph (Cicadellidae) - DSC_8498
  3. Leafhopper nymph (Cicadellidae)

    Found a colourful leafhopper nymph which turned out to be an excellent subject for back-lighting!

  4. Dragonfly moulting (Anisoptera) - DSC_8573
  5. Dragonfly moulting (Anisoptera)

    We were lucky to find this dragonfly at night in its first moments as an adult. It was still pumping its wings out really slowly.

  6. Bark scorpion (Lychas scutilus) - DSC_8348
  7. Bark scorpion (Lychas scutilus)

    Common scene of a bark scorpion with babies riding on her back, but this had a toddler comically positioned above the mother’s eyes.

  8. Derbid planthoppers (Derbidae) - DSC_9107
  9. Derbid planthoppers (Derbidae)

    Vibrant pair of derbids in Singapore colours. =D

  10. Snail eggs with embryos (Gastropoda) - DSC_8813
  11. Snail eggs with embryos (Gastropoda)

    Snail eggs were still a common sight here. I like to reveal the details within the eggs with back-lighting. Read more about the snail embryos in: Ever Wondered What Snail Embryos Looked Like?.

  12. Tree stump orb weaver (Poltys sp.) - DSC_9085
  13. Tree stump orb weaver (Poltys sp.)

    An incredibly lucky find with the tree stump orb weaver in its final moulting moments before it climbs back up to resume its job in pretending to be a stump.

  14. Orb weaver spider (Cyrtarachne sp.) - DSC_9128
  15. Orb weaver spider (Cyrtarachne nagasakiensis)

    This spider is not particularly rare if you know where to look. First time shooting both the male and female together!

  16. Cylindrical bark beetle (Hyberis araneiformis) - DSC_9372
  17. Cylindrical bark beetle (Hyberis araneiformis)

    A cryptic beetle with many tufts of hairs on its elytra!

  18. Darkling beetle (Cryphaeus gazella) - DSC_9364
  19. Darkling beetle (Cryphaeus gazella)

    Devil’s twin horns found on a tenebrionid. Very small beetle!

  20. Orb weaver spider (Cyrtarachne sp.) - DSC_9213
  21. Orb weaver spider (Cyrtarachne sp.)

    Ultraviolet fluorescence on a black morph of possibly Cyrtarachne nagasakiensis.

  22. Termite with pseudoscorpions (Pseudoscorpionida) - DSC_9269
  23. Termite with Pseudoscorpions (Pseudoscorpionida)

    We found a winged termite taken down by a team of pseudoscorpions, what a sight!

  24. Four-lined tree frog (Polypedates leucomystax) - DSC_9832
  25. Four-lined tree frog (Polypedates leucomystax)

    Took my relay lens setup for a spin, and took several interesting perspectives at a little green patch in eastern Singapore.

  26. Golden orb weaver (Nephila pilipes) - DSC_9820
  27. Golden orb weaver (Nephila pilipes)

    One of my favorite shots of the year! A cicada flew into the web of this juvenile Nephila pilipes and was perfectly positioned for me to attempt this shot with my relay lens setup. This photo was also featured in an interview with the Entomological Society of America.

  28. Long-necked longhorn beetle (Gnoma sp.) - ESC_0259
  29. Long-necked longhorn beetle (Gnoma sp.)

    The long necked longhorn beetle reminded me of the Kayan tribes from Thailand where the women lengthen their necks using brass coils. Very skittish beetle, I did not manage to get more shots before it flew away.

  30. Comb-footed spider (Theridiidae) - ESC_0135
  31. Comb-footed spider (Theridiidae)

    A peculiar looking theridiid, which I have yet to place a genus to.

  32. Stink bug nymph (Pentatomidae) - ESC_0183
  33. Stink bug nymph (Pentatomidae)

    Interesting looking stink bug nymph with contrasty colours.

  34. Flour moth's hair pencil (Pyralidae) - DSC_9974x
  35. Flour moth’s hair pencil (Pyralidae)

    I posted this on Twitter to see if anyone could recognise it. These are pheramone-releasing organs by a male flour moth.

  36. Wagler's pit viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri) - ESC_0336
  37. Wagler’s pit viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri)

    Another perspective from my relay lens system. The lens was about 1cm away from the viper’s head.

  38. Jumping spider (Salticidae) - DSC_0554
  39. Jumping spider (Salticidae)

    This salticid has exceptionally long and iridescent chelicerae!

  40. Trilobite beetle (Platerodrilus ngi) - DSC_1616
  41. Trilobite beetle (Platerodrilus ngi)

    The relay lens system makes small things look big. Here’s a giant trilobite beetle! For more trilobite beetles, read Trilobite Beetles: “Prehistoric” Creatures of our Forests.

  42. Lacewing hatchlings (Chrysopidae) - DSC_1293
  43. Lacewing hatchlings (Chrysopidae)

    This scene is super rare. I don’t think there’s any other photo on the internet (other than my friends) with 5 lacewing larva hatching at the same time! There were actually more in the background but I could only get 5 of them in a single plane of focus.

  44. Stink bug nymph (Pentatomidae) - DSC_1668
  45. Stink bug nymph (Pentatomidae)

    A charming little stink bug nymph. Check out the spiny fringes! For more stink bug and shield bugs, click on Pentatomoidea Checklist: Shield Bugs & Stink Bugs.

  46. Hackled orb weaver (Philoponella sp.) - DSC_2113
  47. Hackled orb weaver (Philoponella sp.)

    This is a seemingly inconspicuous spider, but a first for me. The common Philoponella in Singapore sports a bright red body, but this could be a dark brown morph.

  48. Moth-like planthopper (Ricaniidae) - DSC_2001
  49. Moth-like planthopper (Ricaniidae)

    Precious moment of a moth-like planthopper freshly emerged as an adult. A back-lit setup allowed the wing veins to be highlighted before they turned dark.

  50. Caterpillars - DSC_2073
  51. Caterpillars

    Interesting scene of 3 caterpillars nibbling at the tip of a broken stalk.

  52. Huntsman spider (Thelcticopis sp.) vs Cross spider (Argiope sp.) - DSC_2368
  53. Huntsman spider (Thelcticopis sp.) vs Cross spider (Argiope sp.)

    A tense moment between 2 predators. Away from its web, the Argiope would not have stood a chance against the Thelcticopis. Luckily for her, she managed to jump away before the huntsman could strike.

  54. Crab spider (cf. Alcimochthes sp.) - DSC_2409
  55. Crab spider (cf. Alcimochthes sp.)

    Looks like a dull easter egg. Crab spiders from this genus have a very short, overhanging abdomen.

  56. Green lacewing laying egg (Chrysopidae) - DSC_2294
  57. Green lacewing laying egg (Chrysopidae)

    Seems like normal shot of a lacewing, but look closer and you would see that it is laying an egg at the tip of the stalk!

  58. Crevice weaver spider (Pritha sp.) - DSC_2804
  59. Crevice weaver spider (Pritha sp.)

    A new spider family for me! These spiders build their homes in crevices, or on walls of abandoned urban buildings.

  60. Trashline orb weaver (Cyclosa sp.) - DSC_3029
  61. Trashline orb weaver (Cyclosa sp.)

    I might already have photographed this species, but this has a different colour morph.

  62. Ant (Strumigenys cf. godeffroyi) - DSC_2891
  63. Ant (Strumigenys cf. godeffroyi)

    Handsome and queer looking ant. Found lots of them on wooden railings.

  64. Tarantula (Theraphosidae) - DSC_3077
  65. Tarantula (Theraphosidae)

    Using the relay system again. Managed to get the entire tarantula in focus from this angle.

  66. Lace sheet weaver (Psechrus sp.) - DSC_3911b
  67. Lace sheet weaver (Psechrus sp.)

    First time photographing a Psechrus holding onto her egg sac! This genus of spiders tend to build complex lace sheet webs around the base of trees, and sometimes on low-lying foliage.

  68. Mantis parasitic wasp (Podagrion sp.) - DSC_4101
  69. Mantis parasitic wasp (Podagrion sp.)

    Have photographed the mantis parasitic wasp several times, but still a gorgeous creature!

  70. Juvenile orb weaver (Araneidae) - DSC_4073x
  71. Juvenile orb weaver (Araneidae)

    Possibly a juvenile Gasteracantha but this is just a wild guess. I imagined seeing a face or skull of sorts in this picture.

  72. Cedar beetle (Callirhipidae) - DSC_4009
  73. Cedar beetle (Callirhipidae)

    The WIFI signal should be stronger with this cedar beetle with the amazing fanned antennae!

  74. Jumping spider (Pancorius sp.) - DSC_3836x
  75. Jumping spider (Pancorius sp.)

    100% crop of a large Pancorius, complete with my finger trying to stabalise the leaf that it was on.

  76. Periscope orb-weaver (Araneidae) - DSC_4756
  77. Periscope orb-weaver (Araneidae)

    An intriguing orb weaver with periscopic eyes. This is a mature female and we’ve recorded this twice in Singapore this year. Looks like a cross between Poltys and Eriovixia, or it could belong to one of the super old Epeira records.

  78. Jumping spider (Epeus sp.) - DSC_5664
  79. Jumping spider (Epeus sp.)

    Not a fantastic photo, but somehow this male Epeus was pretty well-liked.

  80. Tube web spider (Segestriidae) - DSC_5709
  81. Tube web spider (Segestriidae)

    Segestriids are 6-eyed, and live in narrow tubes on tree bark. There seems to be only one location with known records of this and sure enough, I found at least 3 specimens on the same tree.

  82. Crevice weaver spider (Pritha sp.) - DSC_5791
  83. Crevice weaver spider (Pritha sp.)

    Extremely lucky to find a pair of these crevice weavers. Urban dwellers but they seem to only appear in run-down locations, unlike oecobiids and pholcids which can thrive in the cleanest of corners.

  84. Spider wasp (Auplopus sp.) - DSC_5816
  85. Spider wasp (Auplopus sp.)

    An intense scene with a vividly coloured spider wasp. The wasp had severed the legs of the huntsman spider and kept it alive so that she can lay her egg into the spider. The young would feed on the spider slowly when hatched, leaving the vital organs to the last to ensure freshness of its food!

  86. Orb weaver spider (Araneus sp.) - DSC_6151
  87. Orb weaver spider (Araneus sp.)

    This is a rare araneid with striking folium-like markings on its abdomen. I’ve only seen 2 variants of it so far.

  88. Bioluminescent fungi (Mycena illuminans) - DSC_6172
  89. Bioluminescent fungi (Mycena illuminans)

    I’ve not been chasing these glowing mushrooms for quite a while, and only had one shot this year. 😉

  90. Lace sheet spider (Psechrus sp.) - DSC_5267
  91. Lace sheet spider (Psechrus sp.)

    Uncommon close-up of a Psechrus from peninsular Malaysia.

  92. Crab spider (Thomisidae) - DSC_5374
  93. Crab spider (Thomisidae)

    Unidentified crab spider, also from peninsular Malaysia.

  94. Bark horned mantis (Ceratocrania sp.) - DSC_7019
  95. Bark horned mantis (Ceratocrania sp.)

    Found upon arrival at Borneo Bootcamp 2017. It was waiting for us at the railings while we unpacked our bags. Read more about Borneo Bootcamp Day 1.

  96. Moth - DSC_7139
  97. Moth

    Close up of a moth that landed on Tom when we retired to our cabins.

  98. Huntsman spider (Heteropoda davidbowie) - DSC_7075
  99. Huntsman spider (Heteropoda davidbowie)

    Also found on the first night of Borneo Bootcamp, this enigmatic spider was named after the late rock star David Bowie for the red painted stripes on his face.

  100. Treehoppers (Centrotypus shelfordi) - DSC_7287
  101. Treehoppers (Centrotypus shelfordi)

    We found this gorgeous group of treehopper nymphs at the botanic gardens. Super cute! For more treehoppers, check out Membracidae Checklist: Treehoppers.

  102. Giant shield bug (Pygoplatys lancifer) - DSC_7044
  103. Giant shield bug nymph (Tessaratomidae)

    Tawau did not disappoint in its diversity of giant shield bugs. View more here: Pentatomoidea Checklist: Shield Bugs & Stink Bugs.

  104. Dead leaf grasshopper nymph (Caelifera) - DSC_7252
  105. Dead leaf grasshopper nymph (Caelifera)

    Looks like a fish with weird blue and purple colours!

  106. Jumping spider (Hyllus sp.) - DSC_7462
  107. Jumping spider (Hyllus sp.)

    A giant Hyllus which looked close to H. giganteus but is quite distinctly different. Yet to identify this species!

  108. Spiny orb weaver (Gasteracantha sp.) - DSC_5133_uv
  109. Spiny orb weaver (Gasteracantha sp.)

    Found a Gasteracantha with brilliant fluorescing rings around each muscular depression. This image was also featured on the cover of the annual GBIF Science Review.

  110. Stag beetle (Prosopocoilus flavidus) - DSC_7174
  111. Stag beetle (Prosopocoilus flavidus)

    An adorable little stag beetle that we found at our doorstep in the morning. Must’ve been attracted by the lights! This and more were documented in Borneo Bootcamp Day 2.

  112. Lantern bug (Pyrops whiteheadi) - DSC_8020
  113. Lantern bug (Pyrops whiteheadi)

    I had already taken many shots of this lantern bug, so this year I had to try something different to make the snout look extra big!

  114. Giant shield bug (Pygoplatys sp.) - DSC_7995
  115. Giant shield bug (Pygoplatys sp.)

    Precious scene of a moulting giant shield bug with delicate back-lighting.

  116. Rhinoceros beetle (Chalcosoma moellenkampi) - DSC_7787ig
  117. Rhinoceros beetle (Chalcosoma moellenkampi)

    One of my most popular photos this year was this giant rhinoceros beetle. It was shot in the morning of Borneo Bootcamp Day 3.

  118. Giant shield bug nymph (Tessaratomidae) - DSC_8030
  119. Giant shield bug nymph (Tessaratomidae)

    Found a nice giant shield bug nymph for back-lighting demonstration.

  120. Dead leaf grasshopper (Caelifera) - DSC_8024
  121. Dead leaf grasshopper (Caelifera)

    The ultraviolet fluorescence on this dead-leaf grasshopper was very faint, but with proper exposure, it looked spellbinding!

  122. Darkling beetle (Plamius pici) - DSC_8047
  123. Darkling beetle (Plamius pici)

    A rare darkling beetle from Borneo. There are very few known records of this species in the world and we were lucky enough to photograph one.

  124. Tarantula (Theraphosidae) - DSC_8242
  125. Tarantula (Theraphosidae)

    Lurker of the night. An arboreal tarantula kept us really busy, photographing from every angle possible.

  126. Spiny comb-footed spider (Phoroncidia sp.) - DSC_8690
  127. Spiny comb-footed spider (Phoroncidia sp.)

    Interesting looking spiny comb-footed spider found in the foliage in Borneo.

  128. Velvet-ant-mimic checkered beetle (Tillicera sp.) - DSC_8522
  129. Velvet-ant-mimic checkered beetle (Tillicera sp.)

    This beetle had us fooled from afar. It was only after taking some shots that we realised that we are looking at some really amazing mimicry.

  130. Barklouse (Psocoptera) - DSC_8669
  131. Barklouse (Psocoptera)

    I would have liked to say that this barklouse had a weird moustache. =D

  132. Big-jawed spider (Leucauge sp.) - DSC_8616b
  133. Big-jawed spider (Leucauge sp.)

    I’ve always wanted to highlight the trichobothria of Leucauge and this was found in between two leaves, a perfect angle for me to place a light behind. This photo is also used on the back-cover of the upcoming Borneo Spiders: A Photographic Field Guide.

  134. Horned blue darkling beetle (Toxicum sp.) - DSC_9037
  135. Horned blue darkling beetle (Toxicum sp.)

    This blue darkling beetle had two upright horns on its head!

  136. Mossy stick insect (Phasmatodea) - DSC_9012
  137. Mossy stick insect (Phasmatodea)

    This highly cryptic mossy stick insect was illuminated with ultraviolet to reveal some unreal colours.

  138. Dragon snake (Xenodermus javanicus) - DSC_8721
  139. Dragon snake (Xenodermus javanicus)

    The rare dragon snake was spotted again at Borneo Bootcamp, this time by Paul Ng. I made many attempts with my relay system but the lighting was insufficient and could only manage this shot.

  140. Tarantula (Phormingochilus sp.) - DSC_0669
  141. Tarantula (Phormingochilus sp.)

    Cute tarantula foot. How not to love?

  142. Tarantula (Phormingochilus sp.) - DSC_0639
  143. Tarantula (Phormingochilus sp.)

    Here’s the tarantula from the foot above. Still cute. lol

  144. Moss mantis (Haania sp.) - DSC_9226
  145. Moss mantis (Haania sp.)

    One of the most amazing finds this year is an apparent parental behaviour on this moss mantis and its nymphs. Several were found standing on the body of the female, as if for protection. Found on the first night at Danum Valley in Borneo Bootcamp. This seems to be an undocumented behaviour and should be of interest to the mantid community.

  146. Moss mantis (Haania sp.) - DSC_9192b
  147. Moss mantis (Haania sp.)

    Dorsal view shows 4 young ones hanging around.

  148. Lantern bug (Saiva transversolineata) - DSC_9429
  149. Lantern Bug (Saiva transversolineata)

    With some very detailed tip-offs from a good friend of mine, we were able to locate a pair of these charming lantern bugs. Another one to my list! Check out the other lantern bugs in my collection: Fulgoridae Checklist: Lantern Bugs.

  150. Long-legged wandering spider (Acantheis sp.) - DSC_9912
  151. Long-legged wandering spider (Acantheis sp.)

    There were several different species of Acantheis in Danum Valley but I could only find this one!

  152. Harvestman (Opiliones) - DSC_9788
  153. Harvestman (Opiliones)

    Two years back, I made a very similar photo. I’m trying to recreate it again, and have included this photo into several merchandise including luggage covers and phone covers.

  154. Lace sheet spider (Psechrus sp.) - DSC_0583
  155. Lace sheet spider (Psechrus sp.)

    We found some large Psechrus as well. This had slightly different markings on its face.

  156. Bridal veil stinkhorn (Phallus sp.) - ESC_0238
  157. Bridal veil stinkhorn (Phallus sp.)

    On the last day in Danum Valley, we spent a lot of time with this bridal veil stinkhorn which had a butterfly happily posing for us. This mushroom attracts insects with a pungent smell and disperses its spores which stick to these insects.

  158. Orb weaver spider (Neoscona sp.) - ESC_0370
  159. Orb weaver spider (Neoscona sp.)

    I like photographing this green Neoscona from this angle. Makes it look more unique. 🙂

  160. Spiny orb weaver (Gasteracantha sp.) - ESC_0503
  161. Spiny orb weaver (Gasteracantha sp.)

    The long curved median spines on this Gasteracantha may cause others to mistake it for Macracantha, but it is actually G. clavigera.

  162. Broad-headed bark spider (Caerostris sp.) - ESC_0320
  163. Broad-headed bark spider (Caerostris sp.)

    Found just behind our dining hall in Danum Valley. Handsomely cryptic!

  164. Horn-eyed ghost crab (Ocypode ceratophthalmus) - DSC_6511
  165. Horn-eyed ghost crab (Ocypode ceratophthalmus)

    I did one intertidal trip to review the upcoming Laowa 24mm 2:1 Macro Lens, but did not get much nice shots. Instead, I used my usual setup to photograph a very cooperative ghost crab.

  166. Wagler's pit viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri) - DSC_1281
  167. Wagler’s pit viper (Tropidolaemus wagleri)

    I started running some introductory macro workshops with Nikon School Singapore, and photographed this pit viper after the field trip.

  168. Tent web spider (Cyrtophora exanthematica) - DSC_1678b
  169. Tent web spider (Cyrtophora exanthematica)

    This tent web spider is seldom documented, unlike the common red tent spider (Cyrtophora unicolor). I previously thought that this was only found in Pulau Ubin, and was pleasantly surprised to find a healthy colony in the central catchment area.

  170. Nursery web spider (Polyboea sp.) - DSC_1930b
  171. Nursery web spider (Polyboea sp.)

    Although this is a common spider, I’ve not gotten to photograph the characteristic eyes with its anterior lateral eyes partially covered by hairs. From far, this spider looks just like a common lynx spider.

  172. Bird dung spider (Pasilobus sp.) - DSC_2282
  173. Bird dung spider (Pasilobus sp.)

    No annual post is complete without a lump of shit. I’ve also documented my collection of dung spiders here: Shit Gets Real – 7 Dung Spiders and their Remarkable Mimicry.

  174. Caterpillar - DSC_2140
  175. Caterpillar

    So many primary colours. How not to love?

  176. Nursery web spider (Dendrolycosa sp.) - DSC_2851
  177. Nursery web spider (Dendrolycosa sp.)

    Not a very attractive spider, but first time I’ve gotten to document this genus in the mangroves of Singapore.

  178. Wandering spider (Ctenus sp.) - DSC_3051b
  179. Wandering spider (Ctenus sp.)

    Nothing special on this wandering spider, but always an easy subject for close-ups!

  180. Daddy-long-legs spider (Pholcidae) - DSC_3210b
  181. Daddy-long-legs spider (Pholcidae)

    Explosion of pholcids! Some were still in its eggs, while most have already hatched and crawling all over mommy.

  182. Daddy-long-legs spider (Pholcidae) - DSC_4727
  183. Daddy-long-legs spider (Pholcidae)

    Another pholcid explosion. These are supposed to be very rare, but I was lucky enough to see two explosions within two months!

  184. Millipede (Diplopoda) - DSC_3321
  185. Millipede (Diplopoda)

    These millipedes are typically difficult to photograph under ultraviolet as they tend to move non-stop. Had the help of my friends to position the lights while I took countless shots!

  186. Sesame seed comb-footed spider (Phoroncidia sp.) - DSC_2248
  187. Sesame seed comb-footed spider (Phoroncidia sp.)

    Unexpected find! This queer looking spider looked like a little strawberry but I’m calling it the sesame-seed spider. Done. This mature male specimen also has a forward-protruding ocular region. Truly a bizarre boy!

  188. Huntsman spider (Gnathopalystes sp.) - DSC_2042b
  189. Huntsman spider (Gnathopalystes sp.)

    Cropped shot of a large huntsman spider. I posted this on Twitter asking why there were symmetrical streaks on its anterior lateral eyes. Nobody had convincing answers.

  190. Huntsman spider (Heteropoda davidbowie) - DSC_4747b
  191. Huntsman spider (Heteropoda davidbowie)

    Another David Bowie huntsman! Can’t get enough of them…

  192. Leaf rolling weevil (Involvulus sp.) - DSC_3040b
  193. Leaf rolling weevil (Involvulus sp.)

    Found a brilliant metallic blue leaf-rolling weevil, but it was really skittish and flew off after I took 2 shots.

  194. Orb weaver spider (Araneidae) - DSC_4446
  195. Orb weaver spider (Araneidae)

    Look closely at this spider. What do you see?

  196. Orb weaver spider (Araneidae) - DSC_4430
  197. Orb weaver spider (Araneidae)

    Yes that was the posterior. Here’s how it looks like from the front! Looks related to the periscopic orb weaver above!

  198. Broad-headed bark spider (Caerostris sp.) - DSC_3949d
  199. Broad-headed bark spider (Caerostris sp.)

    I finally got a set of StackShot by Cognisys. As this involves stacking MANY photos, I could only try it on spiders that would stay still enough throughout the stack. This spider is very much alive and not chilled, but due to its nature, it could sit very still on branches while I ran the automated stacking. This shot was photographed at 10x magnification with 91 frames. Chromatic aberration was significant, so I might have to experiment with different microscope objectives next time.

What’s Next in 2018?

2017 saw a lot of experimentation with wide-angle macro photography, especially with DIY setups such as the relay system, which I will write about very soon.

In 2018, I will be testing out a less complex relay system so things can get quite exciting. I will also be doing more tests with StackShot and attempting high magnification photography on live subjects — something very few people are attempting due to the difficulty involved.

2018 will also be the launch of my next book – Borneo Spiders: A Photographic Field Guide. We encountered a number of hiccups but things are shaping up really well!

Finally, I will be an instructor for BugShot Mozambique in May 2018 and leading a private expedition to Madagascar after that. Where am I going to find time to process all the photos??? =D

Have a happy new year everyone! Thank you for enduring my annual photo spam and staying till the last line. I hope to have more for you in 2018. 🙂




Hi my name is Nicky Bay. I am a macro photographer, instructor and book author, travelling the world to document the vast micro biodiversity that nature has to offer. Follow my updates and discover with me the incredible beauty and science behind our planet's micro creatures!

Copyright Notice

All images © 2008-2024 Nicky Bay unless stated otherwise. Reproduction of any content without permission is prohibited. Please read the Image Use Policy and contact [email protected] for licensing requests.

Mailing List

Like the content here? Get notified for new posts, stories, workshops and book launches! Your email will never be shared with others.

Like the content here? Get notified for new posts, stories, workshops and book launches! Your email will never be shared with others.