One of my friends on the photo-sharing website Flickr recently informed me of an annual group posting called “Arachtober.” It is an invitation-only group, but you can inquire to the moderators to become a participant. Each member tries to post one spider image a day during the month of October. How appropriate given the Halloween season.
It is encouraging to see the spiders are not only getting positive publicity, but that they are becoming the focus of an increasing number of amateur and professional nature photographers. They certainly make wonderful subjects. Those that sit in webs are pretty easy to take pictures of, without the risk that the spider will run away.
”Arachtober” began on October 1, 2007 with the posting of a single spider image by one of Flickr’s users. An encouraging comment on the image from another user suggested that Halloween week should be deemed “Spider Week.” The user who initially posted the image responded that he probably had enough images to post one spider a day for the entire month. Thus, “Spider Month” was started.
Meanwhile, a third user started her own “Spider Blitz” Halloween week and in the process learned of the month-long effort of the other two users. This third user suggested “Arachtober” for that project and the name stuck.
In October, 2008, the Arachtober group finished with forty-five members and 599 image posts. The 2009 campaign was even better, with a total of 70 members finishing the month and 1, 088 images posted.
You are still welcome to join this year’s effort, which at present includes 74 participants. According to the founder of Arachtober:
”The group works like a short term 365 group, the goal is to post spiders to Flickr daily during October and have fun. When you shot the spider isn't important. To make it through the month, most of us have to save up over the year. Even if you don't have enough spiders for every day, you can still participate. You can either post them daily till you run out, spread them out every few days, or save them till Halloween week. Spiders are especially popular around then.”
I have sprinkled this blog post with some of the images I have already submitted to Arachtober this year. I encourage you to visit the Arachtober page and browse the collective. Here’s hoping you will participate, too. Arachnophiles unite!
Note: By custom, and to protect privacy, few Flickr users reveal their real names, hence the rather cryptic references here.