Journal Workshop

Borneo Bootcamp Tawau 2015 Day 3

26 June 2015

Borneo Bootcamp 2015: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4

Day 3 of the Borneo Boot Camp had us hiking up to the world’s tallest tropical tree, as well as posing for several group photos of the entire squad of macro shooters. We had to stop ourselves from shooting during the hike there or we’d probably cover less than 400m. The trail was only 900m away, but most of us didn’t expect an uphill climb and it took much longer than expected! Despite the shorter shooting time, we still had many significant and unique finds and just as many photos to show in this post!

    Before breakfast, we had a quick check on the light trap. It didn’t have much as the “street lights” were still shining brightly the night before, but there were still a few moths around for some pre-breakfast warm up shots!

    Moth - DSC_4679
  1. Moth

  2. Moth - DSC_4682
  3. Moth (Geometridae)

  4. Moth - DSC_4684
  5. Moth

  6. Moth - DSC_4685
  7. Moth

  8. Moth - DSC_4687
  9. Moth

  10. Moth - DSC_4688
  11. Moth

  12. Moth - DSC_4691
  13. Moth

    Anterior view was really cute with imaginary eyebrows and ears!

  14. Moth - DSC_4689
  15. Hawk Moth (Sphingidae)

    Complemented by a little stink bug in the corner.

  16. Moth - DSC_4695
  17. Moth

  18. Moth
  19. Moth ©2015 Tom Astle

    Majestic view of a moth with combed antennae by Tom

  20. Moth - DSC_4717
  21. Moth

    Dorsal view of the same moth

  22. Moth - DSC_4718
  23. Moth

    Found two of these pretty little fellas hiding under the light trap shade.

  24. March fly (Bibionidae) - DSC_4721
  25. March fly (Bibionidae)

    One of the families of flies with the eyes taking up bulk of the head.

  26. March fly (Bibionidae) - DSC_4724
  27. March fly (Bibionidae)

    Last shot on the light trap, and we were off to breakfast!

  28. IMG_20150626_071335
  29. Our Cabins

    Quick shot of our cabins in the morning, separated by a little pond. The water level seems to be lower at this time of the year!

  30. Stick insect (Phasmatodea) - DSC_4726
  31. Stick insect (Phasmatodea)

    Tiny and insignificant-looking stick insect, but it had itself covered with moss!

  32. Stick insect (Phasmatodea) - DSC_4729
  33. Stick insect (Phasmatodea)

    Dorsal view. Unfortunately I forgot to take a full body shot.

  34. Straight-snouted weevil (Brentidae) - DSC_4734
  35. Straight-snouted weevil (Brentidae)

    Highly reflective weevil but a very cooperative subject.

  36. Ladybird mimic leaf beetle (Chrysomelidae)
  37. Ladybird mimic leaf beetle (Chrysomelidae) ©2015 Tom Astle

    A fuzzy looking leaf beetle mimicking a ladybird shot by Tom!

  38. Flat-backed Millipede (Platyrhacidae) - DSC_4740
  39. Flat-backed Millipede (Platyrhacidae)

    We found a large flat-backed millipede that wouldn’t stop moving!

  40. Flat-backed Millipede (Platyrhacidae) - DSC_4747
  41. Flat-backed Millipede (Platyrhacidae)

    Upskirt view of the legs.

  42. Flat-backed Millipede (Platyrhacidae) - DSC_4769
  43. Flat-backed Millipede (Platyrhacidae)

    After everyone was done with this millipede, I had my gear setup for a wide-angle shot using the Venus 15mm macro lens. Took really long as the millipede moved everytime I had the composition set up!

  44. Stick insect (Phasmatodea) - DSC_4760
  45. Stick insect (Phasmatodea)

    A stick insect was found nearby, and I tried another wide-angle shot before changing back the lens.

  46. Mossy moth
  47. Mossy moth ©2015 Tom Astle

    Amazing camouflage of a mossy looking moth by Tom!

  48. Looking for bugs ©2015 Dorota Polaczek

    Dori caught us squinting hard for bugs.

  49. Tiger beetle (Cicindelinae)
  50. Tiger beetle (Cicindelinae) © Seawei Ying

    Seawei got a shot of this small but lovely tiger beetle.

  51. Jumping spider (Salticidae) - DSC_4777
  52. Jumping spider (Salticidae)

    A jumping spider with thick bushy eyebrows. 🙂

  53. Jumping spider (Salticidae) - DSC_4780
  54. Jumping spider (Salticidae)

    Classic portrait wit the spider looking straight into the camera.

  55. Jumping spider (Salticidae) - DSC_4786
  56. Jumping spider (Salticidae)

    Dorsal view, shows a slightly faded exterior.

  57. Story telling! ©2015 Dorota Polaczek

    Dennis sharing his adventures in the trails.

  58. Long horn orb weaver (Macracantha arcuata) - DSC_4787
  59. Long horn orb weaver (Macracantha arcuata)

    The long horn orb weaver was still around! And still ridiculously popular, I took a record shot and went on in the trail.

  60. Katydid (Tettigoniidae) - DSC_4789
  61. Katydid (Tettigoniidae)

    An inconspicuous katydid at first glance, but it had a vibrant yellow-green netted pattern

  62. Katydid (Tettigoniidae) - DSC_4794
  63. Katydid (Tettigoniidae)

    Closer view of the katydid

  64. Mantis (Mantodea)
  65. Mantis (Mantodea) ©2015 Tom Astle

    Bark mantis or moss mantis?

  66. Huntsman spider (Heteropoda sp.) - DSC_4816
  67. Huntsman spider (Heteropoda sp.)

    One of the many huntsman spiders roaming in the foliage, even in the day!

  68. Big-jawed jumping spider (Parabathippus sp.) - DSC_4817
  69. Big-jawed jumping spider (Parabathippus sp.)

    This big-jawed jumping spider had a distinct purple iridescence on the dorsal abdomen and legs.

  70. Big-jaw spider (Mesida sp.) - DSC_4820
  71. Big-jaw spider (Mesida sp.)

    This big-jaw spider had small golden patches on the abdomen, possibly attributed to guanine crystals.

  72. Big-jaw spider (Mesida sp.) - DSC_4827
  73. Big-jaw spider (Mesida sp.)

    Started lifting up its abdomen to balloon away!

  74. Weevil (Curculionidae) - DSC_4830
  75. Weevil (Curculionidae)

    An interesting looking black weevil flanked by red patches on each elytron.

  76. Weevil (Curculionidae) - DSC_4832
  77. Weevil (Curculionidae)

    Lateral view.

  78. Jumping spider (Salticidae) - DSC_4836
  79. Jumping spider (Salticidae)

    We found a tiny jumping spider that was consistently flipping its abdomen up. We only wished that it was a peacock spider instead.

  80. Jumping spider (Salticidae) - DSC_4845
  81. Jumping spider (Salticidae)

    It had a very curious look, always staring at us.

  82. Stick insect moulting (Phasmatodea)
  83. Stick insect moulting (Phasmatodea) ©2015 Tom Astle

    A delicate scene of a stick insect moulting, with a tiny red mite hooked onto its back.

  84. Lunch! ©2015 Dorota Polaczek

    This was how our meals looked like. It was buffet-style, so to be specific, this was what Dori had. 😉

  85. Our Gear! ©2015 Dorota Polaczek

    Our cameras usually took a separate table to have lunch on their own. Do you recognise any?

  86. DSC00287
  87. Marching out for the hike

    We gathered everyone by the suspension bridge for a group photo before embarking on a short hike up the hill, towards the world’s tallest tropical tree.

  88. Borneo Bootcamp Tawau 2015 - DSC00294
  89. Borneo Bootcamp Tawau 2015

    And here’s everyone, each crazy about every small living creature we find.

  90. Borneo Bootcamp Tawau 2015 - DSC00298
  91. Borneo Bootcamp Tawau 2015

    Always take multiple shots for such group photos! 🙂

  92. Borneo Bootcamp Tawau 2015 - DSC00304
  93. Borneo Bootcamp Tawau 2015

    We couldn’t help it. Had to look for bugs!! MORE BUGS!

  94. Bridge
  95. Bridge ©2015 Dorota Polaczek

    Dori took a fisheye view of the suspension bridge, gets really wobbly!

  96. DSC00315
  97. The hike begins!

    I thought we were not supposed to shoot til we reach our destination??

  98. DSC00308
  99. Wild boar mud tracks

    The wild boars liked to kick up the mud, leading to what looked like remnants from the movie Jurassic World.

  100. DSC00331
  101. Siew Li at work

    Showing the man how it’s done. 😛

  102. DSC00322
  103. Shoot shoot shoot

    Stopping to shoot again!

  104. DSC00336
  105. Andy

    One of the hard core participants who wouldn’t stop shooting!

  106. IMG_20150626_144010
  107. Up up and away!

    It was a slow, uphill climb.

  108. Taking a break! ©2015 Dorota Polaczek

    We took a break where several strangler figs were crossing the path.

  109. Strangler figs ©2015 Dorota Polaczek

    The strangler figs would look curly on its own after strangling the host plant.

  110. Posing with strangler figs ©2015 Dorota Polaczek

    Took some group photos while waiting for some of the rest to catch up.

  111. World's tallest tropical tree (Shorea faguetiana) - DSC_4853
  112. World’s tallest tropical tree (Shorea faguetiana)

    Finally reached the tree. Barely able to fit the tree in with the 15mm macro lens! 🙂

  113. World's tallest tropical tree (Shorea faguetiana) - DSC_4871
  114. World’s tallest tropical tree (Shorea faguetiana)

    Siew Li & Sea Wei

  115. World's tallest tropical tree (Shorea faguetiana) - DSC_4873
  116. World’s tallest tropical tree (Shorea faguetiana)

    Chris by the tree

  117. World's tallest tropical tree (Shorea faguetiana) - DSC_4877
  118. World’s tallest tropical tree (Shorea faguetiana)

    Managed to squeeze everyone in!!

  119. World's tallest tropical tree (Shorea faguetiana) - DSC_4878
  120. World’s tallest tropical tree (Shorea faguetiana)

    Looking up at the tree again.

  121. Giant shield bug nymph (Tessaratomidae) - DSC_4885
  122. Giant shield bug nymph (Tessaratomidae)

    While we took at break by the tree, this exotic little shield bug nymph had followed us all the way up! We brought it back down to where we found it near our cabins.

  123. DSC_4888
  124. Spider webs

    We found more of the weird looking horizontal orb webs inside a hollow tree trunk.

  125. DSC_4894
  126. Spider web

    Close up on one of the orb webs.

  127. DSC_4897
  128. Spider web

    We managed to shoot a vague lateral view of the spider behind the orb web.

  129. DSC_4899b
  130. Spider web

    Also managed a clearer ventral view!

  131. Tarantula exoskeleton (Theraphosidae) - DSC_4919
  132. Tarantula exoskeleton (Theraphosidae)

    On our way back, Dori found a huge tarantula’s exoskeleton.

  133. Tarantula exoskeleton (Theraphosidae) - DSC_4905
  134. Tarantula exoskeleton (Theraphosidae)

    Close up on what used to be the fangs.

  135. Tarantula exoskeleton (Theraphosidae) - DSC_4911
  136. Tarantula exoskeleton (Theraphosidae)

    Anterior view of the chelicerae.

  137. Tarantula exoskeleton (Theraphosidae) - DSC_4913
  138. Tarantula exoskeleton (Theraphosidae)

    Finally, a close up on the foot.

  139. IMG_20150626_162122
  140. Tarantula exoskeleton

    Joanna was pretty fascinated by the exoskeleton!

  141. P1080601
  142. Dori hard at work

    Dori was busy finding subjects along the way, even as the sky darkened and threatened to rain on us.

  143. Ant-like sac spider (Utivarachna sp.) - DSC_4920
  144. Ant-like sac spider (Utivarachna sp.)

    We found a lanky ant-like sac spider in the foliage.

  145. Lynx spider (Hamadruas sp.) - DSC_4922
  146. Lynx spider (Hamadruas sp.)

    One of the more vibrantly coloured lynx spiders!

  147. Lynx spider (Hamadruas sp.) - DSC_4924
  148. Lynx spider (Hamadruas sp.)

    This was a juvenile, barely 5mm long.

  149. Stick insect (Phasmatodea) - DSC_4926
  150. Stick insect (Phasmatodea)

    One of the stick insects that many of us skipped. Aschiphasma sp?

  151. Stick insect (Phasmatodea) - DSC_4927
  152. Stick insect (Phasmatodea)

    Lateral view of the stick insect.

  153. Big-jawed jumping spider (Parabathippus sp.) - DSC_4930
  154. Big-jawed jumping spider (Parabathippus sp.)

    Another jumping spider with impressive jaws!

  155. Big-jawed jumping spider (Parabathippus sp.) - DSC_4935
  156. Big-jawed jumping spider (Parabathippus sp.)

    This view shows it all.

  157. Big-jawed jumping spider (Parabathippus sp.) - DSC_4936
  158. Big-jawed jumping spider (Parabathippus sp.)

    Took a while, but got him to look over at me.

  159. Big-jawed jumping spider (Parabathippus sp.) - DSC_4951
  160. Big-jawed jumping spider (Parabathippus sp.)

    Many of us knew what would happen next when the jumping spiders started looking up.

  161. Big-jawed jumping spider (Parabathippus sp.) - DSC_4953
  162. Big-jawed jumping spider (Parabathippus sp.)


  163. Harvestmen (Opiliones) - DSC_4954
  164. Harvestmen (Opiliones)

    A row of harvestmen lining up along a tree trunk.

  165. Crab spider (Epidius sp.) - DSC_4956
  166. Crab spider (Epidius sp.)

    Record shot of a crab spider, probably an immature one.

  167. Leaf beetle (Chrysomelidae) - DSC_4966
  168. Leaf beetle (Chrysomelidae)

    Highly reflective leaf beetle but well worth the effort to photograph!

  169. Leaf beetle (Chrysomelidae) - DSC_4982
  170. Leaf beetle (Chrysomelidae)

    Lateral view

  171. Big-jawed jumping spider (Parabathippus sp.) - DSC_4991
  172. Big-jawed jumping spider (Parabathippus sp.)

    The big-jawed jumping spider was still there!

  173. IMG_20150627_081423
  174. Lantern bug (Pyrops sultanus)

    Before sun down, we were alerted to lantern bug sightings, but they were too high up in the tree.

  175. DSC00340
  176. Lesson 3: Advanced techniques

    We covered stacking, ultraviolet photography and back-lighting in this session.

  177. DSC00346
  178. Stacking practice

    Practising the steps in stacking… while Dennis had a beer in hand for a jolly night.

  179. DSC00353
  180. Sharing sessions

    After the presentation, we had an informal sharing session of the photos taken during the trip.

  181. After the sharing session, everyone got themselves into the trails again in no time! This time, we ventured across the large bridge in hopes of finding something new.

    Longhorn beetle (Cerambycidae)
  182. Longhorn beetle (Cerambycidae) ©2015 Seawei Ying

    Some of the rest found a longhorn beetle near to the cabins and took some awesome ultraviolet shots!

  183. Wrap-around spider (Dolophones sp.) - DSC_5017
  184. Wrap-around spider (Dolophones sp.)

    Tom found a magnificent specimen of a wrap-around spider right in front of the cabins.

  185. Wrap-around spider (Dolophones sp.) - DSC_5025
  186. Wrap-around spider (Dolophones sp.)

    Posterior view appears more cryptic.

  187. Big-headed bark spider (Caerostris sp.) - DSC_5046
  188. Big-headed bark spider (Caerostris sp.)

    At the trail entrance, Tom and John spotted this big-headed bark spider. This was an 11-shot handheld stack in the field.

  189. Big-headed bark spider (Caerostris sp.) - DSC_5058
  190. Big-headed bark spider (Caerostris sp.)

    View from above shows a cryptic view resembling the stump of a branch.

  191. Big-headed bark spider (Caerostris sp.) - DSC_5066
  192. Big-headed bark spider (Caerostris sp.)

    Posterior view does not reveal much of the spider also.

  193. Big-headed bark spider (Caerostris sp.) - DSC_5088
  194. Big-headed bark spider (Caerostris sp.)

    This shot shows how the spider clasps onto a branch when at rest.

  195. Big-headed bark spider (Caerostris sp.) - DSC_5118
  196. Big-headed bark spider (Caerostris sp.)

    Close up on the spider’s tubercle-lined crown.

  197. Terrestrial crab
  198. Terrestrial crab ©2015 Seawei Ying

    Seawei found a terrestrial crab resting in the foliage.

  199. Huntsman spider (Sparassidae) - DSC_5178
  200. Huntsman spider (Sparassidae)

    Chris showed me this tiny huntsman spider carrying her egg sac.

  201. Huntsman spider (Sparassidae) - DSC_5191
  202. Huntsman spider (Sparassidae)

    On closer look, the spiderlings had already hatched and were running about!

  203. Huntsman spider (Sparassidae) - DSC_5201
  204. Huntsman spider (Sparassidae)

    Posterior view

  205. Huntsman spider (Sparassidae) - DSC_5213
  206. Huntsman spider (Sparassidae)

    One of the spiderlings was wandering about.

  207. Katydid (Tettigoniidae) - DSC_5126
  208. Katydid (Tettigoniidae)

    Found an interesting mossy looking katydid with spermatophores attached!

  209. Katydid (Tettigoniidae) - DSC_5137
  210. Katydid (Tettigoniidae)

    There were 2 spermatophores! It was flying around, and we lost it quite a number of times.

  211. Katydid (Tettigoniidae) - DSC_5168_uv
  212. Katydid (Tettigoniidae)

    Under ultraviolet, it exhibited an eerie tone of green and blue.

  213. Katydid (Tettigoniidae) - DSC_5236
  214. Katydid (Tettigoniidae)

    Dorsal view of the katydid

  215. Katydid (Tettigoniidae) - DSC_5261
  216. Katydid (Tettigoniidae)

    Close up on the spermatophores.

  217. Giant black forest scorpion (Heterometrus sp.) - DSC_5264
  218. Giant black forest scorpion (Heterometrus sp.)

    Many had already retired to their cabins by 3am but on our way back, we dropped by to visit the black forest scorpion again. Sure enough, it was waiting at the same spot.

  219. Giant black forest scorpion (Heterometrus sp.) - DSC_5272
  220. Giant black forest scorpion (Heterometrus sp.)

    It fluoresced brightly under ultraviolet.

  221. Giant black forest scorpion (Heterometrus sp.) - DSC_5278
  222. Giant black forest scorpion (Heterometrus sp.)

    With fill flash, we were able to light up the background as well.

  223. Giant black forest scorpion (Heterometrus sp.) - DSC_5281
  224. Giant black forest scorpion (Heterometrus sp.)

    Up close, a bluish green tint could be observed on the scorpion.

  225. Giant black forest scorpion (Heterometrus sp.) - DSC_5291
  226. Giant black forest scorpion (Heterometrus sp.)

    This was the closest I could get with just a Raynox DCR-150.

  227. Giant black forest scorpion (Heterometrus sp.) - DSC_5306
  228. Giant black forest scorpion (Heterometrus sp.)

    Dual flashes were placed just beside the scorpion to reduce the harshness of the highlights.

  229. Star trails
  230. Cabin star trails © Seawei Ying

    Late into the night when everyone went horizontal, Seawei stayed up to capture the star trails from outside the cabins!

Borneo Bootcamp 2015: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4




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.