WPY 2014

Photograph Details

Finalist 2014


Javier Aznar González de Rueda, Spain

Night stalker

Javier was exploring the dunes of Oman’s Wahiba Sands one night in search of reptiles when he came across a xerxes huntsman spider, about 10 centimetres wide. It was out hunting, probably for geckos or invertebrates. Huntsman spiders have relatively poor vision but an excellent sense of vibration. ‘This one was fast and didn’t hesitate to defend itself, jumping right onto my boot,’ says Javier, who couldn’t resist getting his camera out. ‘I wanted to show the habitat that it lives in’ he continued, which was not so easy in the dark, with a fast-moving subject and sand blowing all around. Highlighting the background with a flashlight, he quickly set up his camera and wide-angle lens. At first the spider raised its legs defensively, but then it calmed down, allowing Javier to take a low-level shot of the hunter in its environment.

Technical specification

Canon EOS 600D + Sigma 15mm f2.8 lens; 15 sec at f20; ISO 200; two Yongnuo flashes; Fenix flashlight; Manfrotto tripod + ballhead.

Wahiba Sands, Oman: latitude 21.9333, longitude 58.9167 Wahiba Sands, Oman: latitude 21.9333, longitude 58.9167

Wahiba Sands, Oman

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Javier Aznar González de Rueda, Spain

Javier is a Spanish biologist and wildlife and conservation photographer who focuses on the natural history, science and conservation of the smaller animals of the world. He is an Emerging League Photographer at the International League of Conservation Photographers and believes that the power of photography can be used to help to conserve the planet and the animals and plants that live on it.