Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Now this is a "rated G" family website so there will be no jokes here. I am really proud of this shot. It took me a long time to figure out how to get this close and take shots like this. My macro lens only reaches out about six inches. It can be a very painful shot but at least I got it!

The female is the larger one on the bottom holding them together. The male is slightly smaller on her back. Incredibly--if alarmed--they can and will fly away like this, a bit like they are drugged however. It took me a long time to get into position for this shot and they moved away several times. I have about a dozen shots of this pair.

"Sunrize on the rail" I got this shot on my way back to Portland. Just before this a layer of fog the likes of which I have never seen covered the ground. Out of an old graveyard movie--the ground fog was only about waste deep. It was so thick you could not cut it

This is a technique I've done before with film but not very well. Using old powerful laser pen I sometimes use for focusing cameras in the dark I found that I could write my name and more on walls and even trees. A long exposure of about 15sec is needed. If your settings are right on your camera open the shutter and write your message and you will have an instant NEON
message. DO NOT shine lasers directly into digital cameras--like the human eye CCD chips are sensitive to very bright light sources.

Black widow spider (Latrodectus mactans), female adult next to metric ruler. Captured in San Jose, CA.

The red “hour-glass” mark is not really visible in this picture. I did not want to pose her because she had been shocked enough from me capturing her. It is under her bulb-like abdomen. (She is facing down towards the fabric in this picture) This hard to open seal-able jar will keep a spider safe for a few hours but no longer since it is air tight. Hard to open on purpose so that you can throw it into a bag without fear such a dangerous spider might get out. NEVER attempt to capture a black widow spider. I have taken classes, and mentored under an entomologist during my traveling. I have many years of personal experience on how to capture these and any other dangerous spiders and insects. Black widows can drop out of there web and onto your hands where you get bit before you even know what happened. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. This is not a "pet" and you will not see me letting one walk on my arm or something. I'm 100% man but I'm not stupid enough to try showing off like that. I get mad at those dudes on TV who show off like that. They make it look easy and there is nothing further from the truth. If you have not been trained by someone--you should not handle any toxic animals. Just watching those TV shows is NOT ENOUGH.

"Harmony" I shot a few flowers down there. Sunny and occasional rain, many plants were in bloom.---This picture is just a little break from the fear you might be having while looking at of the worlds most dangerous creatures.

ANOTHER VIEW--take a good look before you kill another poor harmless spider thinking it's a black widow. Females only very rarely leave there web--people get bit only when they build a web in a place and get established. If that place is disturbed and her web destroyed--she will move and re-build.

This is the most widely feared and toxic spider in the world. But not the most dangerous. The funnel web spider in Australia (which contrary to myth has not made it to the USA) holds that record. It's much larger then the black widow and has large folding-knife like fangs. It is also VERY aggressive. Black widows are passive about biting. They will only bite if they are being seriously harmed. Getting crushed between your shirt and body is one of those situations. She is now safe and sound in a special jar I put together for her.

I probably saved her life because she was living in a tennis court under a portable garbage can. The red hour glass shape is very easy to see. Because I did not want to disturb her anymore then I had, I did not force her into a position in this special jar just to see the hourglass. I will photograph her later when she's more comfortable in a specially secured jar I use to get spiders to build webs in the right places so you can feed them without wrecking there webs.

Please, if you see a black widow LEAVE IT ALONE. This is a mature female. You don't even need the hour glass under her belly to identify her. Really young ones are half brown and have colorations. She is at least a year or two old. Unlike most spiders the survive the winter and can live for at least 5 years and sometimes even longer. That's a very long time. Most spiders only live one year.

Another fact---contrary to popular belief Black widow spiders are not bloodthirsty cannibals. Their very close relative called the "Red back" in Australia because it has red markings on it's body as well as the hour-glass. Male red back spiders literally commit suicide while mating to give a good meal to the female. Putting a new meaning in the worlds fatal attraction--he moves his soft abdomen right onto her fangs and virtually forces her to bite him. Before he dies he will mate with her. At least he dies happy!

Spacious room on Amtrak to have a big seat and able to move around. You can also take allot more on board then flying. (Like expensive camera gear). I used my B&W very low light mode I programmed my digital SLR with to take this shot. They keep it dark in the train at night so people can sleep. This shot was taken at 1600iso.

Yoni and Mambo. We walked the dog every day. I have a number of shots of him jumping much higher then this! I'm not a dog person, but Mambo is a nice dog. I was attacked when I was a kid so I have had trouble trusting dogs my whole life. And they can sense it. Mambo is really nice however and nice to me no mater my fears.

My dad, Yoni, and Natalia (now my step mom) are all avid tennis players. The last time I played tennis was like 20 years ago when I was a little kid and we lived next to a court. I stayed on the sidelines to practice sports photography. It was a great thing for me to have this chance. I want to thank my dad here for helping me so much and letting me stay down there for a while. I’m not into tennis but I had a good time taking pictures and practicing methods someday I hope will let me make some money. Family is very important to me, especially since I live out here in The Dalles I am very glad to have a good family. It's sad how many people don't have any kind of a functional or nice family at all these days.

Go dad! He nailed this one but I think I bothered him taking all those pictures even though he did not tell me anything. The more practice at photography is like anything else--the better prepared your mind is for that one in a million shot or some future stuff I might get played for if I got really lucky. You have to constantly train on your camera at least once a week or at least I begin to forget my edge. I take every chance I can to practice nearly all forms of photography so that I know how and am prepared for it more then just reading a book. This stuff takes practice. You have to train on your camera to be ready to take good pictures. I do allot of this even if I am not interested in the things I am photographing since I want to be able to feel confident shooting many kinds of pictures and situations.

This spider is so small that it's almost impossible to notice-- less then 2mm long, legs and all. It's tiny perfect orb web is only about 9cm across. It is smaller then the head of a pushpin. This is near the maximum close-up ability I have. At least with my in-field macro lenses I have on my digital SLR. With the naked eye it was not possible to tell what species she was. With my camera's high-res screen and in camera crop-view, I was able to identify her as a common orb species related to Araneus sp. or "garden spider". She will grow quickly and in just 8 months she or he will have a body size (not counting legs) larger then a dime. If she is what I think she is more like a nickel. (American coins).

Mombo--asleep contently. I noticed he kicked in his sleep. I have heard that they beleave animals do dream. I beleave it. He was kicking and jolting his legs as if running to catch a ball.

The custom built mode I made for B&W shots can be switched into very quickly. With my good old Nikon flash that is brighter then the flip up built in one--I could have lit up the station but don’t generally do that because I don’t want to stand out. These days everybody is afraid of cameras and people generally these days are afraid of cameras and people who walk around taking pictures. I am registered with The Dalles Police department as a photographer and far a I know after talking to a friendly cop here about the laws regarding photography at least here i The Dalles Oregon . He was very confident about the laws because there is tourists who come here. Them well as he has a photographer friend he told me about here. It is not illegal to take pictures of people or anything unless you are trespassing or using your camera to be a “peeping Tom“--even as a joke it can get really serious. Never take pictures in a store or near a bank or jewelry store without asking permission. Private property or store-owned property have there own rules about taking pictures and you must obey them. You can carry your camera virtually everywhere---but pulling it out is a different story. Be careful about this because sadly we live in a world where people like myself who are just trying to get cool pictures, taking pictures in your mid 20s is almost like your assumed guilty of planning or doing some kind of serous crime until proven innocent. I don’t have a car anymore--so I have to walk where I go or take a cab. I can’t conveniently drive through town and shoot shots unless I ask friends or get a cab. I have found after being stopped by the cops twice here how afraid people are of this sometimes. I am now registered with them and the police department.

Two doves? I don't have a bird field guide yet. There are many interesting birds and more birds in dad's neighborhood down in San Jose. Among the shots I got was a rare shot of a humming bird. A humming bird hovered for over 5 sec (an eternity to a photographer) less then four feet from me and my camera. But the wrong lens was on it. My long wildlife lens could not focus that close! So I had no choice but to back off and try. It left and then incredibly came back! I had a second chance but still did not change lenses since I thought this could just not happen again! I'm kicking myself now--my regular all purpose zoom lens would have gotten me a very lucky shot. Why was that bird hovering near me? Maybe it thought my camera lens was some kind of humming bird feeder.

Bees fascinate me. This one was hovering around a bush where there were dozens of bumble bees and honey bees. It is sad these days how careful we all have to be. Trust being hard to earn if be it not impossible---bring your ID if you tale a walk down a neighborhood with a camera.

One of the bumble bees. Some people came out of the house near this bush on the sidewalk. In California they are more paranoid then The Dalles. I told them I was taking pictures of all the bees here because this bush was the only one I have found bringing in so many of them. The dude told me some really bad looks like "...what would you want to do that for.." and once again although I was not told too---I decided to leave because I was afraid they would call the cops. Of course I would not have been in trouble but I did not want a hassle.


MOST OF ALL---people who take pictures to commit crimes would be at least moderately smart. And that means they would almost certainly drive up with tinted windows or drive by slowly a couple of times only getting plenty of shots to plan a crime.

There were a ton of flowers down there. If your interested in seeing more, or buying some more CD's---send me an e-mail! I wish to thank everybody who has bought CDs recently. I was able to get the money to buy some filters for my camera and some other extra gear.

Bonsai plants are common here. I have been fascinated by them since I was about 12. A very old tree living in a pot you could put anywhere in your house.

You could fly down--but you would miss some incredible stuff. I chose the train despite these really cool looking planes. Think about how cramped it is up there. You could have the equivalent to a first class seat on the train for less money then flying. The security issue is mainly why I don’t like to fly. My gear gets the work over and I always fear somebody will steal my bag or something out of it in the madness these days. This kind of crime is becoming more and more common. Sick but true--while some idiot checks your shoes to make sure you don’t have a nuke or a shotgun in one of them--some dude grabs your laptop and walks away quiet and quick into the crowd. I’d love to become a pilot someday. Its one of my goals even with health problems. I like flying and aircraft but I don’t like the mess and the sardine-can approach. We should go back to the days when flying had class. This one flew right over the train station.

What is it with me and B17s! These WWII bombers seem to find me. This one flew over me while I was shooting insect shots. I could have gotten a far better shot of it but was unable to change lenses quick enough. Gone quickly--I looked up because of the familiar sound of those big engines. If you go back to last year somewhere in my site I shot and enhanced a B17 that
flew over my house! This one flew over dad's house! My grandpa who sadly passed away a few years ago, used to work on them in WWII. I am certain this is a B17 because I have the high-res copy and can crop in-camera to see details you can't really see here. The shape of the engines, landing gear, and gun ports--this one is coming in for a landing or it just took off. One of these days maybe I will catch one with the right lens at the right time.

There's more to come. Thank you for your compliments and e-mails and those few who have bought a picture CD from me. My pricing is going to have to change due to the difficulties in shipping. Locally I still sell CDs for $20. E-mail me if your interested.

Go to "all pictures" at the top of my website and click on each month starting with last month. Go up month by month and scroll down to the bottom until the very first month and you will have seen my entire website. I can't put 100s and 100s of pictures on one page or it would take days for even a fast computer to load my website. So I had to break it up into months. There are tons of pictures NOT ABOUT BUGS as well as articles. PLEASE DONT MISS IT--you will be glad you did not!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.