Wednesday, October 11, 2006


An ant checking out a flower. The detail in some of these new shots from the adapter you will read about here is awesome and makes me proud because of the work I did to make it possible. Operating above f22--depth of field with very small insects and spiders is now possible.

BUY A STROBE for less then 10 bucks I bought myself a strobe flashing light as bright as a small flash unit and controllable up to very fast flashes. With it you can find details while in very high depth of field tests. It produces enough light to take a picture at f22. Unless you know how to build a battery inverter they are not very good outside but for shots inside they are a quick way to get allot of light somewhere--get one while Halloween garb is being sold with backlights. I'd recommend getting a battery powered FLORESCENT TUBE backlight if you can--they are useful if you like Scorpions. One of many subjects I have not caught here yet. They glow like radioactive paint when hit with UV light at night when they hunt. I have been told nobody knows why they glow yet.

MY GREATEST DAY IN PHOTOGRAPHY 9/27/2006--I built it! My uncle told me "it can't be done" so I did it. Thinking completely outside of the box and using some scrap materials I built a fully functional click on --simple and even marketable-solid system that converts Pentax to 4/3rds digital. I have some truly serious new lenses and optics now. I'm not going to brag here, but thanks to some luck and knowledge of mine, I invented an adapter that finally led to me being able to use in field my entire pro-macro kit. I have incredible new abilities that I am very proud of.

I thought you would want to see what most people call "beautiful" stuff before you see what my new lenses can do with what I consider to be beautiful and incredible. The fly below is far more interesting. I won't swat a fly again. The beauty is in the complexity we so often do not see. Well now with a true-pro macro kit--I can see and show you more then usual.

I call it my "digital Bug Collection". The high-res version is so good you can see fungus and other objects on it's body and count it's eye facets. I am very lucky to have acquired and then invented the adapter that changed how I take macro and micro photography forever. I can use this gear which can get even closer then above, on any subject. This fly is NOT POSED and I do not bereave in doing that. Especially if you kill the insect. This is a live shot taken in my back yard at a very high depth of field so you can't see anything else. If you ask me bragging, its bad luck. The only thing I will say is that shots like this become easier when you can shoot from a distance. I don't want to brag so I won't rattle of specs or how good or whatever this system is. If you want to know I can tell you in an e-mail a bit more. The point here is not the gear--just look at this. The beauty is in the complexity we so often do not Notice (or can't). Well now--after seeing this creation--think about this before you swat another fly.

A HONEY BEE and it's about 1/2 or a bit more sized "bully bee" competitor for nectar and pollen. Sometimes "bully bees"--as I Have named them are placid and sit together sipping nectar or nesting on one flower (see a couple months back with "all pictures")

With 3mp camera and a lens add-ons. I have made very nice close-ups that are high-detail insect and spider pictures. And good lenses common now to 4 to 6mp+ digital SLRs and more cameras with high powered close-ups and cropping ability just gets more cool--the days of killing masses of insects and trying to mount bug collections will hopefully slowly become less and less needed and done. I have made some really nice collections in my day--but in the end--when you move, or something happens--or you forget to change the mothballs--or whatever--they will fall apart. They do.

Spiders loose there color and usefulness in alcohol and I will never forget when my whole collection jar dumped open in my carry-on bag once onto the floor of the airplane! All the spiders and all the gauze and glass and crap in a pool with my field guides and notes. The days of that stuff should be over--and at least for me with high-res digital cameras at 35mm or 120 (studio-style- medium format) equiv. and higher the days of rotten empty skeletons and carcasses of messy bug collections are over. I used to be proud of my collections but I only have one small part of them left. Even in museums I have seen quite a bit of very visible insect parts and damage. When a new species has been discovered yes, you do need a specimen so don't get me wrong about the science end. I am just say thing EVERYONE does not need one! I am just hope that it catches on more and more that we do not need to have insect collections made by everybody that you know will be destroyed eventually no matter how pro you get it. Digital insect and spider collections with simple equipment can and will revolutionize this field soon as more and more people find they can study what they love without having to take from there allready much too short life-spans. This is a classic case that it is possible but people will probably not do it until they want to on a wide scale. I would never have gone to school for spiders and insects because I admire them so much and do not want to kill them. Like in all animals, they should be observed in there natural environment--even if that is your backyard.

With up to 2 feet of clearence I can shoot even a very shy fly at this level of magnification. Here it landed nicely on this leaf. I spend HOURS out there, sometimes 15min just sitting--looking for something to move. NONE of my shots are done like some people do-they are not cold-posed or worse--glued onto surfaces dead. This is a live fly that is probably still alive now. Did you know that we share more then one 1/2--ONE HALF of our DNA with FLIES.

At full-res this picture has truly incredible dimensions. I no longer need add-on lenses and my optics are far higher--most of all I am able to shoot from a great distance and even with a moderately powerful flash make a tiny 8mm fly shot have incredible detail. To make it possible for the Internet I have to make these files very small and cut down--if you want to see the full version of my digital Bug collection--you gotta e-mail me. I am thinking of joining a system that will make sales possible without word of mouth alone. My whole mission--or whatever you might call it--is to show people that making a Digital BUG COLLECTION is very possible and even more worthy. We can take the killing out of most work and be able to do what we love to do thanks to digital photography.

A fly chewing bubble gum? I am not sure what this is. Where it was found suggests that it may have stolen this liquid from local aphids, however I have never seen that happen. This fly was so
small it took me over a half hour to get one good shot of one of them. It is a typical small domestic house fly.

Another shot. More observation has has me thinking that it did get this fluid from local aphids as do the ants. It may milk them but most likely steals it when ants are trying. The files and aphids on the same dieing weed--it's the only thing that makes sense.

This is a house fly, one of my first fly pictures with my new gear. It is only about 3mm long-at most four with the wings. I can shot this at over a foot away which makes it far more possible to shoot insects with the pro-kit. However--it's allot of heavy gear and you have to get used to holding about 5 pounds of camera or so! Just wait--the new stuff is starting to trickle in as a process files.

This is a hover fly. I no longer need to get that close to my subjects, since my invention and macro kit that works because of it, I can get many types of views with the same lens.

No lens changes here--just an adjustment and I'm in bellows rail. These lenses are mechanical and outside my regular-looking digital SLR and they clicks in the same way--but I need to adjust some of the heavy components by hand. It's easy and gives a sense of old-school control lost in today's digital controlled world.

The power of my new lens system can be seen when you look at this image in full resolution. Some of these pictures you can blow up and some you can't. Lets just say the originals full size ones are nice.

A new look at an old friend. This is a species of bee I've been photographing for years now. But never this small. No big crops here. This thing could be 30x40' easy. These lenses can get even closer then this.

Feeding and collecting pollen, this image was taken from almost 2 feet away. This bee left just as I got a lock on her--caught in the moment due to a high powered flash and high shutter speed.

A jumping spider, this time--not out of focus and not too far away. I tried to get her to look at me but I did not want to loose the shot. This time the picture is much more clear for these tiny spiders. I love it.

This is where the SACK SPIDER is in it's natural habitat. A bit transparent and reflective in
ways that make it blend in without needing to change colors like crab spiders do. The sack and hear nearly invisible in a yellow overload of light.

MORE About these shots--these are the first pictures taken by me with the use of a new adapter that I honestly and literally invented and built for macro pictures. An adapter for my Pentax Macro gear so that it adds some ratio perspective and lets me use screw-on lenses as macro lenses and a true macro-kit I have. What I plan to do with it I don't totally know--right now--just make the best pictures I can and experiment with more lenses and setups. I am very proud of my ability to build this. Which far exceeds what I knew was becoming a "dead end" system of using end-of-lens add ons over and over. You just can't add more lenses or you lose all depth of field that way. The pictures above are only the beginning to what is the biggest breakthrough I have made in my photography experience since I built my first old-style camera lens extension setup on a 35mm film SLR. Since I learned I could build extensions out of relatively often simple stuff. God and life has dealt me a good hand here. I am very blessed to have these new abilities and I and can't wait to show you more pictures.

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