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Jumping Spider – Geoff Doré, 1980

1 November 2007

Jumping Spider – Geoff Doré, 1980
Photographer since 1988, EPUk member since 2001

It was during my final year at London University that I took this picture. I was taking a BSc degree in Zoology and had started photography three years earlier, so that I could shoot close-ups of insects, which was my main interest at the time.

I was at home and saw this jumping spider on the wall and was keen to get some shots of it because, unlike most spiders, jumping spiders have two large forward-facing eyes. These eyes make the spider look like it has a big face; but they also give the spider good binocular vision and excellent distance perception, which means it can stalk it’s prey rather than have to sit in a web. To show the spider’s ‘face’, eyes and diminutive size, I got the spider to jump onto my fingertip. It posed just long enough to get a couple of shots.

This photograph has been published several times and is a particular favourite of mine because, apart from the spider looking quite cute, it reminds me of why I started photography – a fascination with the natural world, especially the miniature world of insects. It also reminds me of how tough and resourceful insects are and the many ways they have developed to survive in a much bigger world. For me macro photography opened up a whole new world.

Geoff first took an interest in photography in 1977, just before starting a BSc degree in Zoology at London University. His photographic interest started as close-up/macro photography particularly insects, gradually widening to other aspects of the natural world including plants, landscapes, birds and mammals. He quickly began placing pictures with various photo agencies including Tony Stone.

After graduating Geoff worked for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), mainly on field projects, fitting in nature and landscape photography when possible.

It was in 1984 that Geoff won the ‘Insects’ category of the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition. Then in 1988, with agency income increasing and receiving a book commission from Michael Joseph publishers, Geoff took the plunge into professional photography.

During the 1990’s he spent time travelling, mainly around the UK, increasing his stock collection. He continued to submit entries to the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and has been Category Winner twice, Category Runner-up twice, and Highly Commended several times.

In 1999 Geoff was invited to participate in the ‘Daybreak 2000’ international nature photography project where a hundred of the worlds’ leading nature photographers were asked to capture special images of the natural world during the first morning of the year 2000.

More recently Geoff has continued with nature stock photography but also diversified with the exhibition and sale of fine art prints, occasional lectures, workshops and even wedding photography…..

Photographer since 1988, EPUK member since 2001.

See more work by Geoff Doré

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