Friday, July 14, 2006


Mom and I were driving to Hood River--speaking of trains--Jese! I hope this guy does not crash. Each one of those must be as heavy as the truck that is carrying it.

This was my best shot yet of the crew car and our locomotives. But it had problems. I spent an hour or two in Photoshop having some fun and this is what I got. I cut levels off sharply to emulate old fashioned films and I was able to completely remove the serious glare and clear the ghostly projection of an elderly man who is sitting right in the center of the picture (below)! Glare and reflections is a big problem on trains. If you are only shooting 35mm you better take allot of shots! When I shoot 35mm sometimes I take my compact digital out and "plot" a good angle and settings to take a 35mm or 120 shot at. If you have time to do this--a test of lighting and ISO emulation can make for the ultimate light meter.

Then shoot your picture with your film camera. No matter what, in time you learn how to get around the worst of it on the train or in your "digital darkroom" or when you get your prints. I may yet be able bring up the slight colors in the RAW image and do a color version of this. On a train it is best to try to get a clean window seat--and you usually can if your smart and fast. The observation car has the worst glare and ironically it's often the worst place to take pictures. Try it from your seat and try to get a window as clean as possible. Using a longer lens zoom is the best idea to minimize problems caused by dried water droplets and other nasty effects. Your flash is useless--it won't penetrate the glass. It took me a large flashgun to finally do that--so bright it startled people. You can't take pictures outside the train by flash. Making friends with the right crew member might allow you to open a window--but DONT TRY THIS without asking--they usually think you were smoking and can throw you off the train!
Time of day has a great deal to do with window pictures due to glare inside the laminated glass. Be sure to keep that in mind and not give up right away. I've shot pictures that are in this website so good from the train that it's as good as if I was riding outside. It all depends on the situation. This is what it looked like before--notice the projected man in the bottom half of the image. Click for larger view.

I was not going to show this but here is the picture BEFORE I touched it with Photoshop editing.
Notice the ghost like images and glare. An elderly man can be seen right in the center of this image (click larger view). I suppose I could have said "I swear, this image was taken from my seat and I have no idea how this happened--the train was dark--it's a ghost, these trains are haunted!" I will pass- I've seen the sometimes pathetic hoaxes and as only an amateur photographer I notice how most of them are done and wonder how dishonest someone will be just to get on TV. I've been on TV a few times, it is no big deal. I am very amazed what some people will do to get on TV these days. The worst of our psychological septic system is revealed in those daytime TV talk shows and small claims court programs.

The old guy might be a bit hard to see, like one of those puzzle pictures. His hand on an invisible table but his fingers and ring are very clear. And his head is right on and then below the first locomotive. This guy was behind me when I shot this picture. A big problem with train shots are reflections like this. In the bottom center of this image very clear reflected object can be seen above the creek. If you can't make out that man, I'm sure you can see the rest of the glare and how I removed it. All the haze is a product of the tinted thick bullet-resistant train windows and the glare in them. Years of use has also made the lamination not as good as it once was.

You sure do get allot of opportunities for nice shots on the train you never would get on the road or find in back roads. Using a GPS it is possible to mark your train spots and try to get back to them in a car someday for better pictures.

I was under the station, carrying all this gear--and somebody told me to go the wrong way. I had to howl all my stuff back up but before I went I shot a quick picture of this underground walkway. Lights at night can do all kinds of cool things if you have a good enough camera. If you get a digital SLR make sure it at least goes above 1000iso. I think they all go higher then that but you will want those speeds. Pro-films emulated, they let you take pictures anywhere without a flash if you are good at it. 1600 is enough for most stuff.

Another picture I have not played with in Photoshop yet. It could use some work. I wished I could go outside and clean the windows. That is not going to happen!

Portland Oregon, the nearest major city to The Dalles. I have lived here off and on or near for most of my life. You should practice to get shots like this, on a train or in a car. But I must admit luck is a serious factor. Often a photographer's worst nightmare is to have someone tell you that we are in a hurry and we got to go now! A sure way to drive any photographer crazy! It's literally painful!

I am not sure where this is except that it is probably southern Oregon. I have a GPS that by map would tell me, but I only keep track of points I want to re-photograph and forgot to take it out to ID many of these mountains and hills. If you are a serious photographer, Amateur or Pro-- you will want to get a GPS. A good new simple handheld GPS with a built-in US, area, or World map can tell you when you are traveling where things are quickly as you "fly" through the virtual landscape. It will track all your travels down to less then 100ft or so. You can mark an area you want to photograph with notes on a good GPS for later. You don't have to write down navigation coordinates--I can mark the map with a place and save that place with a note--all done with a somewhat like a PDA. I never even look at my exact position and those numbers. Modern GPS units take care of all that for you. I use this on the train to find points that I will need to be ready for when we go by them on the train the next time. Units now days don't just give you your latitude and longitude--they tell you everything from elevation to the next McDonalds to park or historical landmark. They usually don't work in metal vehicles, incredibly-Mine works fine when placed near or on the window of the train EVERY TIME. Really useful to know where you are even when the crew is not sure!

This bus is one of countless buses and other vehicles are all over out in the desert. Like in the movies, there is no shortage of them and they can really take you back. I look at some and go "..oh yah, that's mom's old car!"

More dead or dieing autos. The graveyard goes on for miles.
Dump trucks, motor homes--being into junk and experimenting with it--I'd have allot of fun out here.

I think this is Mount Shasta. But I am not sure. I shot this from the train with a long-lens. The train actually pretty stable but I also use a trick on my camera. I have an L bracket and a tripod top which seriously stabilizes the camera by putting force stability in the right places. Between my eye through the eyecup, the handles and my chin through a part of a tripod mount. I wonder if anyone markets this kind of device? I invented the idea of using the top end of a tripod for this and it works very well. I doubt a patent is worth it since image stabilization is being added to the new generations of digital SLRs

An old shack, probably from the old west era. Ranchers often had to spend time out during winter or at other times to check fences. A long and complex ride on a horse. It's hard to imagine how much work they used to have to do. Only to come home to this kind of shack not much larger then an outhouse. I got the shot--what's really interesting is to get into one of these places. My dad and I have found several in the middle of nowhere somewhat un-disturbed with all kinds of interesting old stuff in them.

Lights at night can make really cool shots.
Now this has got to be Mt. Shasta? Sorry but I can't tell by looks. There are quite a few mountains in Oregon.

There is allot of chances on the train to get good shots. And better windows then this one. It takes allot of sometimes difficult and even rude actions to get pictures on the train! I may clean up more of these pictures with Photoshop--so far it's not been touched.

I just managed to fire a burst and got several good shots of this buck and doe. If your fast and camera is ready--you might get lucky. This was a very lucky shot as we were moving fast and I had my settings for a scene like this. High enough shutter to stop blurring, and ready to fire a burst to catch as fast as I can. Admittedly this was allot more luck then skill, somebody yelled "deer!" and I just aimed my camera.

Clearly this buck really likes her!
He's going for it now! I shot these pictures one at a time as we were not going very fast. My GPS can tell down to 0.5 miles an hour how fast we are moving because it does not need as much data to tell that more precisely. You can tell exactly how fast you are walking if you are just walking! It is right on with a pedometer and accurate as any car speedometer I have ever seen--everybody thinks this is cool. The GPS I got was about $400. Now days however they are much cheaper and might even have more features then mine. I have the Magellan SporTrak Pro. The SporTrak Map is less expensive last I checked. I think they have a new one for under $100. Most people still don't know GPS no longer costs what it did just a few years ago.

Sometimes B&W shots can cut through color problems caused by the limited bullet-resistant glass in trains and some busses. Filters try--but they can only do so much. B&W came in handy for this shot. Shooting RAW you can re-process it into color if you chose.

Much of the trip is in the desert. Along with seeing the hind-end of low-class America, junk yards and other abandoned things can get interesting. Getting used to shooting while moving takes time--but if you have a digital SLR you have a real advantage! But don't feel discouraged if you don't--I could have shot all this stuff with my compact with some practice and did shoot similar before I got my first digital SLR. My very first train trips and many of the pictures on this website I shot with a Kodak DX-7630. A nice camera which I still use. I modified it to use special home-built macro and wide angle lenses.

I might come back and do some work on this shot as well--but I could not wait to show it. If I recall, this is the only covered bridge in Oregon or no, maybe he said the longest. I forget. If I get allot of time I will change my white balance on this shot and do a few other things that would make this picture look far better. It's shot in RAW so I can do more with it then when I used to shoot in JPEG.

The sun rizes and goes down on every trip.

Sometimes circumstances come together in just the right way. I'm not sure where this was, but keeping glare out of some of these shots I found out was possible by putting my hands around my lens-hood. I was ready for this shot, if you want to get shots on the train--you must have your camera ready to go at any moment. Do not be afraid of people--the more you tell them about your interest and show them you are not taking their pictures the better!

Once again I am not sure where this is. A fast boat comes towards us. I'd love to be able to step outside to take shots. The best I could do from inside the train. Laminated nearly half-inch bullet resistant tinted glass demands changing your settings and being alert for that very quick fleeting shot. The train stops sometimes, but you normally can never get off unless your at a station.

CLOSE UP- Sack Spider--Giant Root Beetle

A large male Sack spider, he's finishing off his meal. I was unable to tell what this was, but here you can see a point I want to make. This spider's body length is large only for a Sack spider. It's only about 10mm long. Or 1cm. You could never count the eyes without a hand-lens or something. Here, with my digital SLR and a home made lens, I am able to capture this spider in the wild on a white wall--without cooling it, catching it--or even alarming it. This guy looks like me just after I broke up with my ex-girlfriend. He's eating just a bit now, but clearly has other things on his mind! : - )
And I got even closer, my lenses max-out here. Near the limits of my abilities to see, this frame is only about 4 square millimeters.

These pictures are all some example shots that show with high-res macro a “Virtual Bug Collection” is not only possible but as a concept a better idea because you can show new things. And you can fit the whole thing in a card in your pocket to show it to anyone with a PDA---I think this stuff is the way of the future and far more humane. If I can do it on a very low budget-anyone can. I did not need Photoshop or any other expensive program, in fact, only two of these pictures was edited at all other then my Copyright notice. This is straight off the camera stuff. It takes time--but when you learn how to adjust your gear--you can get shots that need very little correction with image editing software. I recommend you do TONS of practice shot on a manual-able compact camera and not a digital SLR. Save the mechanical power of your digital SLR for the best stuff and when you are ready to shoot those things. It can be very expensive to have your digital SLR cleaned and or repaired. $200 bucks will get you a manual-capable digital pocket camera able to take moderately good macro shots.

Here is a slight Photoshop enhancement of the male--you can see clearly those "boxing gloves" which are sometimes taken in a widespread urban myth to meen that this is the dreaded brown recluse or the hobo spider. It is nether. A bite from one of these guys on my face left me with slight pain and inching. I did not even need an asprin and it was only about 1 tenth as painfull as a bee sting. But BE ADVIZED--everybody reacts to spider-bites differently. I've been bitten all over the world by 100s of spiders and dozens of species. I may well have some kind of immunitiy to some of them more or less. As a kid I was fearless--and got bit very often. Notice above and below--how the legs look see-through. This is because of several factors. Spiders don't move there legs like we do. They use a sort of--hydrolic pressure. That is for another post.

Those "boxing gloves" are used for mating only. They are the males reproductive organs. But it does not end there. Without making this site too graphic--lets just say that the male builds a special web to transfer his sperm to these organs. It actually comes from an opening near his trachea on his abdomen. In this picture here only the thorax is visible. This is a good illustration of how spiders eat. They actually have a somewhat human-like mouth. Under there fangs. To put it into crude basic terms, the spider releases a mix of stomach acids and enzymes that break down the food very quickly. Like battery acid everything melts into a liquid. The spider then consumes this liquid it has expelled onto the pray, and with it the nourishment and juiciest inside the pray. None is lost, and incredibly spiders hardly ever drip any waste this way. It amazes me how efficient they are--95% of the insect is digested inside and outside the spider. He has a "sucking stomach"--this is a mechanism we do not have anything like it. With great muscle power--he almost in-hales the pray with rapid stomach power. That's why it does not drip away. He can maintain a constant suction on his pray.
straight into his stomach while still being able to shove out digestive fluids. Most people thing they "drink" through there fangs like a soda-straw--that's not true. They do drink, but it's through there mouthparts which are under the chelicera (fangs).

For the better insect shots--check your flash and lighting. I will get around to identifying this beetle later on. I got allot of work to do on my website. If you are following it I'm sorry I've had so many gaps. I can't log on when I got visit my dad because I have cable high-speed internet. To migrate all my software over to my dad's computer would be difficult if not illegal.

New angled shots of beetles and other insects will show. I'd say, visit my site once a month if you want to see my latest pictures. That is about the only amount of time I can insure you will see something new. Like everybody--I got allot more to think about then just my website!
I keep on learning new angles and subjects and so don't forget about my site if you want to see them. I just joined Flickr---I don't really know how it works that much---but I hope it will lead people to my website. Please order some pictures---I really am low on money since I will be on a very low budget for the next couple of months.

Here it is. A side view of the Giant Root Borer. Those are geans--my old denum geans! This one was so large I did not need much of a macro or close-up lens to shoot most of the pictures!

(Prionus californicus) (1 and 1/2+ inches)
Meet the Giant Root Borer. One of the largest insects in North America, they range throughout nearly all of Oregon, Washington, and California but they are often very hard to find. You must learn how to handle them by tricking them and knowing them. A note here--most all large beetles BITE HARD and some of the largest like I found in Java are capable of breaking bones or causing serious injuries. Grabbing large beetles even with gloves can prove very painful. You have no idea how strong these guys are--it feels like picking up the insect version of Superman!

WARNING! (THE X-BUG--Massive longhorn!)
Large beetles are DANGEROUS and can BITE. Although they are not poisons, all beetles larger then about 1/4 an inch can inflict a small bite. When you get into an inch long sized beetle you should know the bites can be very painful and draw a large amount of blood. When cornered, these beetles will attack on the offensive--something that insects usually do not do--they will bite and bite and not let go. Very large beetles (2inches and more) can also have a great number of spines on there legs and body that are powerful. Some can shred your hands up into dozens of cuts. Giant Stag beetles will lock on and poke through hands very deep, rhinoceros beetles have been rumored to be able to break fingers. After having considerable on-site experience with all these kinds of powerful beetles I must tell you that although they are usually not that dangerous--the legs of a beetle twice this size are probably 10x more powerful then you would ever think. I learned these painful lessons in the capitol of large beetles on a trip to Java in 1996. This beetle has been no exception--biting me once and vigorously attacking me when cornered. I was able to tame it--but it has taken me years to learn how to do that with large insects. DO NOT ATTMPT TO CAPTURE WITH BARE HANDS!

There is one trick I give myself about 10-15min to get beetles to do. WITHOUT HURTING THEM. With a little stress by simply scaring them with my other hand--they will get upset and take to flight as quickly as possible. If you hold them right, they will get ready to fly. I set my camera on auto-tracking focus and watch it go! When doing anything like this you must be careful not to terrify the beetle too much or exhaust it's energy. When you let it go it will need all the energy it has left. I am letting this beetle go today--I had to for four days--a bit too long. I have been afraid because this was a rare situation here---and this beetle may have been doomed anyway. I will let that up to nature however--and let him go. The best thing to do would be to go to a public park--but I don't have a car right now and can't do that. He needs to be released today. THIS AND ALL SHOTS ARE AVALIBLE ON CD (full sized TIFF) for $20--e-mail me with your phone number or e-mail address for ordering information.

Like many insects and spiders, they often live in isolated patches--the species is common in one side of a forest and not in the other. This was a 1 in I don't know how many chance encounter. I have literally been looking for this bug for 20 years. One of a top 5 beetles and several moths that I have wanted to find because of there size and how hard they are to do so. Notice this guy's spikes on the thorax, and his large antenna. This is a male according to my research.

He is nearly 2 inches long. This one was about 1 and 1/3rd or so large. A massive beetle for the forests around here. Unlike there massive cousins in tropical countries, such as Java where a generator and a light could keep me busy for 20 years! --this kind of a find anywhere at anytime is nearly a miracle. Not only do they blend in, but are seasonal and thus many things have to be right to catch them without extra-ordinary means of collection. They do fly towards lights--but mine! In the sea of lights here--that's incredible. Since I saw these beetles in those rotting bug collections as a kid at the zoo I have been hooked on the prospect of finding these. After years of trying to find them passively--I nearly put them in the background as a myth. For me--finding beetles this big in the US was like hoping to win the lotto.

In Java if you go into the forest with lights and a generator you will soon be walking on beetles like this--huge species crunching before you have a time to relax. It was truly right out of Indiana Jones. Before I went there in 1996 I could never have believed that such a diverse collection of insects would come to a couple of simple lights hooked up to a generator. Some of these beetles were three and even four times the size of this one. Sadly, I lost my girl fiend and the bugs when I had to leave Java quickly in 1996. Most of my photos taken with a barrowed camera ended up getting thrown away in one of the countless times I have moved. But my memory is still crystal clear about this.

To find these kind of insects here is a really awesome thing. I can kick myself only a few times for what I could not do in Java--without the money for a good camera I was powerless. I was a teenager--my mind was just on other things! Now some of there relatives make up my "X-bug" list (about 5 beetles and 3 moths) -- massive insects in the continental USA I want to find and have been looking for for all my life. This is the first one I have ever found on this 20 year old

RAW POWER is shown by large beetles. I learned painfully and quickly in Java how powerful these insects can be. One kind of giant stag beetle can poke a hole through your hand. If they get angry they use there sometimes huge and very sharp jaws or horns to impale you. And they do not let go quickly. It's such a dangerous problem that for any beetles of this size--it is be very wise to ware gloves. Giant stag beetles and Rhinoceros beetles are even worse.
Heavier gloves then these are needed in for them. It was a wise precaution as you can see!
But know I am not harming this beetle or crushing him in any way--he's just flipped upside down in a bite-hold he thinks is hurting me. If it were not for the gloves it would be! Like giant land crabs--it is best not to handle these insects as you can hurt them if you are not careful and in gloves they can also hurt themselves. In this shot he was VERY ANGRY. While hissing violently he was very hard to control---I tried some of this bare-handed and played the price! The glove worked--but I had to be careful to get my shots fast and not ware him out. You can't just grab beetles like this. They can hurt themselves and or you in an attempt to get away.

To capture them--use a large jar or box and prod them inside. Let them go within four days
and DO NOT FEED THEM ANY HUMAN FOODS. As far as I know nearly all foods we eat are laced with insectaries. There may be an on-line resource about how to take care of beetles and bugs like this but I am un-aware of any.

It took me less then 20min to get him in the mood I wanted him to be in just by simple handleing without the kind of charm I put on before. I was nearly going to stop because I feared stressing him out too much--but I really wanted to get a shot of him flying. With a time limit on my mind--I finally got him to fly and managed to hold my heavy digital SLR right in line to photograph him as he did. Timeing was critical here.

DO NOT CAPTURE OR KEEP IN ANY COFFIEE CANS as many of these food containers are tainted with chemical insect sprays or residue.

If you ever do get bitten please don't kill this insect, if anything, it is not that common and should be protected. Deforestation has taken many species like this to the edge of extinction. These beetles naturally live in old-frosted areas and are slow or unable to adapt to human environments like parks and other places. That's probably why I never found one in all those years looking in the Portland area, even in the largest parks there.
Here is one of the jaws, you can see how it shines. If you are confused they are on the right hand side of this picture. Made of a similar substance to our finger nails, they can crush and cut an incrdible ammount of things with these choppers. They are sharp--and resemble in form and in function the "jaws of life" used by parementics and firefighters to save lives.

THE JAWS IN ACTION as it bites my gloved hand. This guy is angry! I would be too if some huge animal started playing with me and posing me for strange pictures! Spiders, Insects and of course beetles can be "worked to death". SO BE CAREFULL. Some people cool them down in the fridge NOT THE FREEZER for a short time. I do not use this technique because I have not needed it. But be careful if you want to get shots of flying and stuff---NEVER WORK THE INSECT more then a few minutes at a time. You want to give them a half hour's rest after 15min of attempts at posing. If you do not let them rest and keep them so upset they want to fly off constantly as the fight you---they could die of heatstroke and several other problems due to serious stress. Give them a break and know when to quit. There grubs and new adults can be found inside woodpiles but I have yet to find out what the adults eat. (A friend of mine told me where they can often be found along with there huge grubs in her yard--Hood River Oregon.)

Times have since changed--A 3.2mp digital camera with a macro extension (lens add on) is enough detail to create high-definition pictures of many of the parts insects have and allows for a new revolution in science. I'm no expert and sometimes you DO need specimens (when a new species is discovered)--but I have now replaced the many times I have made real bug-collections mounted on pins or cotton with a "digital bug collection". Each insect is photographed from each side with high resolution and key points are observed. With a bit of practice and anatomy knowledge--I feel the days of making bug collections by killing them will be over soon. Many species are now protected by law--and the illegal trade of specimens sadly continues. I urge real-scientists and others to use non-lethal technology for surveys and personal collections. Now days, to discover a new species is quite rare unless you are in a very remote place. In such a case collection is necessary. But if you are a student or you are just interested--consider good high resolution pictures. If you have just a simple digital camera with a long zoom--consider using an old 50mm lens in reverse--this is a classic cheap way to get macro power for a digital or 35mm camera.
I use a basic method of description. Using both words and a picture of each side of an insect or spider I
want to describe in a high-quality glass vile. That way I can get a shot from each angle--high-res of palps or antenna and eyes--high res of reproduction organs--wings and other distinguishing features. A standard series of shots can be taken--I usually now shoot in RAW so that I can match colors if need be with my in-camera edit controls. A plus to have if you are looking at getting one. But sometimes you must trade durability for features. Be careful about the non-splash proof digital SLRs. They are some of the best but they are definitely not for taking shots in rain or other such conditions. Costs are sometimes a trade off. You can really save you camera with a simple zip-lock bag. I have been busy--but there is new stuff to post here. I am going down to see my dad so when I get back I plan to go on a posting spree and post 100 shots from this whole spring and summer. I have a backlog a year long and force myself to shoot less pictures but with more quality. I recently have begun to think the old mounting board for insects is obsolete. The same goes for
those jars of nasty spiders loosing there color piled in vials that you have in your stuff. Only to take to a class and have them spill out all inside your bag! On one trip I went on in the Martial islands back in the 90s I carried on my entire collection of mounted bugs and many more jars of spiders in vials. The main jar opened in flight and out spilled the contents of the entire collection into my backpack destroying most of my field guides and books as well as making a hideous mess of my collection! This mess left a stain
on the floor of the DC-10 and I had a hard time getting through customs--to say the least. I was forced to throw most of them away in the bathroom on the plane because the collection was so badly damaged.

Times have since changed--A 3.2mp digital camera with a macro extension (lens add on) is enough detail to create high-definition pictures of many of the parts insects have and allows for a new revolution in science. I'm no expert and sometimes you DO need specimens (when a new species is discovered)--but I have now replaced the many times I have made real bug-collections mounted on pins or cotton with a "digital bug collection". Each insect is photographed from each side with high resolution and key points are observed. With a bit of practice and anatomy knowledge--I feel the days of making bug collections by killing them will be over soon. Many species are now protected by law--and the illegal trade of specimens sadly continues. I urge real-scientists and others to use non-lethal technology for surveys and personal collections. Now days, to discover a new species is quite rare unless you are in a very remote place. In such a case, full-collection is necessary.

But I think in my very humble amateur opinion, if you are a student, or you are just interested--consider good high resolution pictures. I did it with a $100 pocket digital camera and a few spare lenses from an old video camera. I got macro shots good enough to mark the eye position of spiders and other identifying means. If you have just a simple digital camera with a long zoom--consider using an old 50mm lens. If it is put on backwards--you can zoom “into the lens” and the contraption becomes a high-res macro camera. You only get an inch or two of working room but you will get excellent pictures. I mounted mine on a Minolta Z10--and with the use of a mini-tripod I was able to secure the rig with rubber bands since the lens is totally internal. Thus the Z10 did not have to be modified or put in danger of being damaged. I often still use this rig for very high-powered macro shots. It’s as close as you can get and very cheap. A decent 3.2mp camera is very close to basic 35mm film. Most of what you can do with 35mm film you can do with a 3.2mp camera. My large prints of macro shots have shown that you should never underestimate the power of even a 3.2mp camera. Often the quality of the image has much more to do with the quality of the camera and it’s sensor then the number of mega-pixels it says it has. A big note here--it’s NOT about the mega-pixels. It’s more about how well the camera and it’s optics uses them.

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!

Sunday, July 02, 2006


"The lost cause of tomorrow" Click on picture for better view

I promised many times that this would never be a political website. However when I came upon this man I pulled out my medium-sized digital SLR very quickly---I knew I only had seconds, a friend from Church was turning the car and I had about 4sec to start up my Digital SLR and take a shot of this poor man. I was set for f22 macro shots! But I did a burst of about 6 shots or so and got a few that could actually work. Forgetting that my camera was set for my macro lens at f22!

Once I got the picture, I had to tell how I feel about it. If there was ever a picture worth a thousand words that I have taken, it is this one. This man is almost for-sure a Vietnam vet. But my camera was set for shooting 7 inch close-up macro shots with a relatively big flash so trying to pull the picture up was real hard. In a way that was good, because you can’t recognize him really well. Sadly there are countless more people that look just like him. And because of this war--there is a whole new generation of them comming. I had allot more to say but this site is not for Politics. I will say just a few basic words.

It is my opinion that we should handle our very seriously needed domestic issues, SUCH AS THE RECENT HURRICANE --and countless other things rather then spending BILLIONS on WARS with countries we don’t even have a “right” to go to war with. I will not say anymore politics here. But I feel deeply sad for that guy in the picture above. And if it were not for my illness I might well be in Iraq. Someday I might have ended up like him if I did not have such a good family and me be so blessed. Count your blessings and learn how to vote. If we do nothing we will fall to peaces. I believe in the Original Constitution and the Ten Commandments. Not much more good about politics has been learned for the past few thousand years. -END OF SPEECH -G.Beasley 2006

2011 update-- Politically I still see things about the same as I did in 2006. I believe in compassion and doing the right thing. Individual rights and the rights of the planet. NOT corporations and big money or pop culture in it's endless dangerous ignorance of facts. One big thing has changed, I am becoming a Buddhist. I also believe that the political systems we have created do not work. It's not sustainable for us or our planet. I don't know all the answers but making it worse sure the heck is not. There are way too many problems and if you want to know more about my political views maybe I will start a political blog one day too. I have enough problems with my photo blog! I realized that format errors made for an embarrassing number of bad posts with serious errors and worse in them! I believe in individual rights like religion, the right to bare arms, and that money is about the most dangerous invention ever created. Too many people are greedy and the poor suffer and pay for the rich. The divide gets larger and larger every day. I watched my dad work all day every day his whole life and end up broke. Not because he spent money. Those who work hard--don't get payed the millions. That is clear. Not to mention the environmental disasters we have and oh yeah, legalized slavery that goes on in China and many other countries. The system does not work and I am an independent. I tend to vote Democratically and am generally a liberal. That is all for now and here.
--G.Beasley 2011