Sunday, October 01, 2006

SOME NEW STUFF and some new lenses!

Sweet sunrises keep happening in the mornings here early. It's great to wake up to see and I've got allot of other shots on my site, many allot different from this one. It's really a site. Sunsets are relatively boring unless they bounce off the mountains because the sun goes behind a ridge rather then setting.

A rose I shot in from about 1 and a half feet away with my latest optics.

Small plants and survival plants really amaze me. They grow nearly anywhere and are very tough. These tiny plants are hosts for insects and interesting in and of themselves to me.

I got some new lenses! Awesome new lenses. I used to have to shoot my macro shots at about 5 or 6 inches away. Now a really great distance is about a foot and a half to nearly 2ft. With a couple other accessories I can switch to four feet or so--and with my largest lens I can get macro shots at 12 feet away for things like butterflies and small close birds. All these lenses, some of them donated--I got some stuff so that they work well in my digital SLR. Don't ever throw out lenses--you never know what you might want them. I am very proud of my new system but I don't like bragging and I have been having so much fun with it that I have not been doing enough posts or photographic homework here. And again taking too many pictures! I will get over it as I get used to using this new lens setup for my digital SLR. It includes a bellows for nearly microscopic shots and above f30.


Not a bumble bee. It's a sweat be on the smallest sunflower I have ever seen. This shot was taken with some of my recent awesome macro lenses. I can now shoot pictures like this from 4 feet away. Not 4 inches. No fooling. It's awesome.

It is really fun taking pictures. I have 100s I want to put on my website. But that takes allot of time. I want to show you the wildlife in your house, in your back yard--so that you might think twice about killing or exterminating it. Let things grow--let life live. There is an old poem of unknown origin "If you want to live and thrive, let a spider run alive".

This hornets true colors will show up below in my other picture of it. Like a real trip here--I'm walking arround finding things to photogaph, and that's how I did this post. I messed up with the resolution here (sorry)--and my white ballence is off but I still want this picture. I would need to get the RAW file--reprocess it--and then re-process it for the internet and then re-post it. I need to do more before I post I guess. On average--it takes me about 1 hour per picture to do this even with very short captions.

A rose, I shot this at my neighbors. I should not have added my name to it. Sorry about the low-res pictures here--I set auto-processing files wrong. Most my pictures are twice these resolutions. I don't want to run the sequence again because it takes hours.

I used Photoshop to make this spider a bit more visible. It's a sack spider that was nearly transparent with the yellow flower around it. It made it's sack and my theory is that it's hairs cause it to reflect the colors around it. It does not change color but rather blends in by reflection. The sack spider in it's Natural habitat-always a really good thing to see.

A female Theriididae. Under my bathroom sink. She sits in the dark hardly noticed--taking care of ants, termites, earwigs and other insects people don't want at home.

This is a tiny hornet. It's about half-sized the size of a Sandhills Hornet--I'm not sure where it makes it's hives, I know very little about it. It will be awesome if someday we can hook cameras to insects or even just a radio tracking system--I could track her to her nest and learn a great deal about her. There are many things we don't know about even the most commonly seen insects because it takes a special kind of person to get into it. Their venom may lead to a cure to a disease, or anything else. All wildlife should be protected.

I know, some of the same old bee pictures, but I am interested in opinions on these new ones.
Closeups to the extremes are now possible because of my new macro lenses. I will get to that--I'm taking lots of pictures and more or less picked these from a few I have processed ready for the Internet just before realizing I made some errors in the conversions on some of these shots (sorry).

This bee is not just sipping nectar, as can be seen here, she's collecting pollen. I am not usually one to brag, but I very grateful that I recently got a number of macro lenses. I shot this picture from almost 2 feet away. With bellows I could have shot it at four or five feet away on a tripod. I love this gear! In a very humble way, as I said at the beginning of this post--most this stuff was given to me and I am very grateful to have it.

(Carpenter Ant)
My pointer finger, no it did not bite or sting. I thought how could I show this monster's size? Improvising quickly!

I never know what I am going to find. This is a close-up of an ant I ran across a while ago. Checkout the picture with my pointer finger in it--you can get a pretty good idea how big it is.

This is a small hornet that I've yet to lookup. It's tiny, about half the size of a Sandhills Hornet. The kinds that make those small hives on decks and gutters.

Courtship between a tiny harmless relative of the Black widow. It's so common chances are you have one within less then a few meters from you right now. There webs are often so small that they go unnoticed and un-dusted. This is a pair, the male is behind in the background and the female is in the foreground (the one in focus). I watched this pair with a closed circuit television system I setup. It's in full TV quality color so I could see details--the male was not killed or eaten by the female. He left after mating. This often happens more times then not in the spider world. People just have to find the hype of the negative so they spread all kind of trash about spiders and snakes and other creatures with a bad reputation. It's sad, but someday, many years from now, we may learn to live with nature.

She will wait--and he will wait--but eventually they get together. My VCR started to eat tapes so I never got it on tape. Too bad, that is a rare event to photograph mating spiders.

The male, you can't see his Palps (male reproductive organs) that he has pre-filled before he goes "to town". He will wonder with pretty bad eyesight and only a tactile and chemical sense that he knows. If in his wondering he gets very lucky, he will find a female's web. If she is not interested he must be ready to jump with his security drop line--but to be sure--he taps out a secret code that tells her he is looking for love not war.

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