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Macro-photography, peacock spiders & other arachnids as never seen before, with Paul Irvine – DRB Nats

14 February, 7:15 pm-9:30 pm

Talk: Macro-photography, peacock spiders and other arachnids as you’ve never seen them before, with Paul & Joshua Irvine.
Paul Irvine and his 12yr old son Joshua, will show you astounding photographs of close-ups of spiders and other insects.
They will talk about spiders and macro-photography as amateur enthusiasts and focus on species of arachnids such as jumping spiders including Maratus the peacock spiders, wolf spiders, orb weavers and huntsman, amongst others.
That’s not all – you’ll also see and learn about other inverts such as ants, leaf hoppers (as seen in the photograph), toad bugs and paradise flies fin our local area in the Perth Hills and how Paul and Joshua find them, identify them and use simple methods of shooting them (with a camera of course, particularly DSLR).


Paul Irvine of PWI Photography

Paul is an avid amateur macro photographer that cut his teeth on his parents kodak instamatic at a young age in the mid 70’s. With a fascination of nature his whole life, Paul found that photographing the natural world around was the most satisfying of subjects and genres. He spent some years as a Scuba Divemaster where he learnt how to use an SLR Camera for underwater photography shooting all of the incredible sea life he could find. Moving onto land photography and purchasing his first DSLR some 9 years ago, he dabbled with various genres including lightning and weather photography and was eventually drawn back to nature with native terrestrial orchids and then insects and arachnids.

In 2014, he found his first peacock spider which led him on a path of discovery of these magnificent jumping spiders. In 2016 he discovered an undescribed, new-to-science, species of Maratus which was then named Maratus gemmifer and published to the world in 2017. The “addiction” of finding and learning about these Maratus has led him to meet experts from the WA Museum, NSW, Victoria and Germany as people come to WA in search of Maratus to study and find. Paul will shoot any insect or arachnid he can find and often spends the summer-time keeping his macro focal stacking skills fresh by shooting wolf spiders in his garden at home. He currently has a second new species being described by the WA Museum which he found in October 2018 in collaboration with another Maratus enthusiast and close friend.

Joshua Irvine

Joshua is a 12 year old seeker of knowledge and is his Dad’s shadow. Joshua and Paul go out together all the time and Joshua has spent the last 4 – 5 years by his Dad’s side every winter and spring whilst out in the local reserves and bush areas. He started with a fascination for finding “Sticky Plants” i.e. the Drosera species, and then progressed to finding insects and arachnids. He uses his Dad’s spare DSLR camera and a 100mm macro lens when they go out together and he is rapidly learning the skill and craft of macro-photography. No spider is safe in the house from Joshua and his catch jars and spiders or beetles will often get a full photo session before being released! He has learnt the art of conservation and returns insects and spiders to their outside realm instead of killing them once they’ve been photographed.

PLEASE NOTE NEW VENUE: Woodlupine Hall, 88 Hale Road, Forrestfield.

It is a modern, well-equipped and large venue all on one level with easy access, inside toilets, plenty of parking and plenty of seats. We won’t be squashed up any more and we don’t have to put a numbers limit on visitors any more. It’s all good! (Thanks to the City of Kalamunda for making it possible for us.)

Target audience: This will be suitable for anyone who is interested in photography, in seeing brilliant photographs of natural history subjects, or in learning more about spiders and other insects. This is your night. Bring the whole family, aged 6 and above, all welcome. We are an inter-generational, family friendly, high energy group. It doesn’t matter if you are a raw beginner, a passionate amateur or a professional scientist, there will be something for you. Visitors and members welcome.


  • Kids’ talk – Drew Wallace, one of your younger members (aged 12) will be giving a 5 minutes kids’ talk on “Mantids. He is an expert on them and will probably bring live ones to show you and his own photographs of them.
  • Boffins talk – Bryn Durrans will be giving a 5 minutes Boffins’ talk on “The value of fire regimes in the Kimberley & their relevance to us following his research into their effectiveness. Bryn worked for Deloittes for 5 yrs doing carbon credit audits and carbon reports and giving sustainability energy and energy efficiency advice.
  • Nature road show”. Members and visitors are encouraged to bring items to place on the display table or to send photographs to the MC in advance, e.g. a sample flower, a sample of geology, an insect, and so on – anything of natural history interest that has legally been obtained. If we have time, one of our experts will identify them or briefly talk about them, or the person bringing them can talk about where they saw it, etc. Photographs are particularly welcome, as everyone can see them. If you wish to show a photograph please email it, no later than the day before, to our MC for this night, and she/he will include it on her PowerPoint slides. We have a dedicated email for this purpose” DRBMC@wanaturalists.org.au
  • Door prizes: You could also be the lucky winner of a door prize. We make sure there are prizes for both members and visitors.
  • Raffle: We will have a great raffle  – please raid your piggy bank for a bit more cash, $5 for 3 tickets. Prizes so far include: A book: “Australian insects and spiders – A pictorial guide” donated by Bradley Cox, a Children’s Pets Series book entitled “Looking after insects and other small creatures”, a Pocket Guide to the Night Sky (perfect for the upcoming excursion,  and two potted Geranium plants … there will be more.

Time: Please come at 7.15pm or earlier if you wish, for a 7.30pm start as we start promptly. We are open from 6.45pm. We finish formal proceedings no later than 9.30pm and stay for refreshments and socialising afterwards any time up until 10.20pm.

Donation: All this for only a donation of $3 per person for adult members ($0 for child members), and $5 per adult visitor and $1 per visiting child to help with the costs of running the club, venue hire, insurance and so on. Includes tea and coffee and home-made cake and biscuits (including gluten free). Please bring the right CASH to help us avoid long queues. Thanks. We do not have EFTPOS facilities yet.

Entrance: It is a condition of entry that everyone signs in on arrival, thank you.

Parking: Free parking right outside.

Wheelchair access: Everything is on one level.

Toilets: Are inside.

Bookings: Bookings are not required. Come early to get a seat at the front. There is plenty of room in our new venue.


14 February
7:15 pm-9:30 pm
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