Trust Your Instinct

Photography opportunity has a lot to do with luck. You have to be out there waiting for something to happen, go to it, and shoot it. Being at the right time and at the right place matters. However, you can increase the chances of interesting moments happening by going out a lot more. Sometimes, you just have to trust your gut feeling, and do what you feel is right at that particular moment.

Last Snuday, I conducted a half day photography workshop for Olympus and had multiple appointments in the afternoon. After the last meeting, it was already late 3.30pm, and I just wanted to call it a day and go home. Strangely, there was this inkling feeling in me that urged me to spend the rest of the afternoon shooting insect macro. The kind of fired up enthusiasm that suddenly you just want to pick up the camera and go trigger happy, happened and I did just that. I continued on to a nearby park and did a solid 3 hours insect macro shooting session.

Image taken with Panasonic Lumix G9 and Olympus M.Zuiko 60mm F2.8 macro lens. 
Yes, you read that right, the G9. A review is cooking. 

You see, I have been hunting Ant Mimic Spiders. They are extremely difficult to find (at least for me, living in the city, with mostly secondary forests) and when i did get to find one, the spider usually moved so fast it was challenging to get a decent shot. Every single time I went out shooting insect macro I would look for Ant Mimic Spider, with very low success. Finally, on a day that I initially wanted to just rest and have a normal Sunday like everyone else, my instinct kicked me to go out and shoot. I found my Ant Mimic Spider.

Why my fascination with Ant Mimic Spider? They live their whole lives pretending to be ants. To do so, they need to mimic ant specific characteristics. They walk on six legs, and raised their front two legs to look like antennas which they never had. Also, their eyes were shaped and rearranged differently from other spiders to look as if they only had two eyes, instead of many eyes spiders normally have. Their body shape has been altered to look like ants as well, and they changed their walking patterns to match the ants. Perhaps the scariest part is the ability of these ant mimic spiders to secrete chemical scents that the ants will be familiar with. These mimicry mechanisms worked for two purposes: protection against the ants, because ants move in a large group and numbers always win when it comes to fights, and for the spiders to always have source of food. When the ant mimic spider found an ant wandering off alone... then it is meal time.

People say animals do not lie. I disagree. At least ant mimic spiders lie about their identities.

You have no idea how happy I was at the end of last Sunday, coming home with some very decent shots of these ant mimic spiders (and some other insects as well along the way). I think it is very important to always believe in yourself, and listen to your heart. Trust your instinct, and your camera will make interesting shots happen!


  1. Bravo! As the Aussies say, you must have been stoked.

  2. Hi Robin, I've always enjoyed your posts and this is another entertaining read. Glad you hit a photographic jackpot with these amazing insects. Keep up the good work and best wishes for 2018.

  3. Very inspiring, both text and image! (y)