Monday, January 01, 2007


Just walking in The Dalles if your bold--you can find all kinds of things and situations that almost seem put together for you.

"Plasma" --I built this plasma display a couple of years ago (argon light bulb used here)

The rest of these pictures are about The Dalles. I had to test out my new digital SLR and decided to run my plasma display. I built it myself. I have over 3 years advanced electronics training and 15 years of tinkering with things and fixing things seriously. I will not tell anyone how to do this unless they have the appropriate knowledge. It's just too dangerous. My friends bug me about this one---I won't build them one. That's how dangerous this is. I am a trained electronics technician. I have been working with electronics for many needed reasons since I was a little kid. In it I learned a great deal which like learning another language gave me the power to understand engineering and how things really work.

Did this hurt?
Only a little tingle and heat. The inert gas makes the current ark far further into plasma. If I touched the wire leading to the bulb--I would have 3rd degree burns. Small but extremely painful. I had a scar for nearly 7 years after I got bit by a lower-voltage line then this one. Please, get seriously educated before trying to repair or take apart any electronic device.

If you asked me my three loves. It would be Woman, spider pictures, and HIGH VOLTAGE! This is an Argiope sp. (I actually have the exact name for this spider but I've got to dig it up. I have a full comprehensive line of shots of this spider from all angles I will post more later. She was in a weird place at just the right time and I like to hope she layed an egg to pass on her kind in this neighborhood. The largest spider living in San Jose. She's virtually harmless. Don't invite trouble but there is no reason to fear or harm this species if you see one. They are big for garden spiders with a leg span of about 2 inches. Body 15mm+/- female (as seen here full grow and ready to pop with her egg sack.)

The Dalles can have some hard winters. This was taken a couple of years ago. I ran around in the coldest cold with a mini-tripod shooting long exposures until I nearly got frostbite. I sometimes go to very painful extremes. The picture is easy to look at, but remember "that guy behind the lens" the photographer--is holding the camera, re-shooting if needed, and sometimes playing a contortionist trying to keep a shot in serious physical pain. Most people don't ever think about what photographers go through to bring in new pictures! I walk for miles and hold things until tears come to my eyes sometimes pushing myself a bit too far because I always want to get my shot. This night was really hard because these were long exposures and it was so cold I thought my camera would break or stop working.

Another view from my secret spot. You can see two mountains from where I live. I'm too lazy to confirm but I think this is Mt. Rainer.

The morning started and I setup the first shots. Controlling the ISO, shutter and focus I balanced the image and got the incredible sight. The sunrises here can look like the gateway to Heaven or something.

Back to the spiders, here is the side that makes her easy to identify. Argiopes can quickly be told apart by there abdominal markings. This spiders common name is "Zebra spider" for obvious reasons. Argiopes are also called "ZigZag spiders for the patterns they sometimes make in the center of there webs that are believed to be a kind of camouflage.

Now the sun goes down and my settings locked on---this image surprisingly has not been edited very much. It's vivid colors were an effect of the snow and lighting angles. This was a catch. The Ridges give me less then a 20min window to catch shots like this and the sunrise shots.

This one I messed with a bit. This is from the same street on a walk around The Dalles I did. The snow caps are still holding on at highest points. According to my GPS those mountains are at least 4 miles away. They are far larger then they often appere. Now watch that tree right on the RIGHT SIDE--that fat pine near the roof that is partially cut off. That is the same pine you can see on the left hand side of the image below. These pictures are from the same place at about the same zoom. This shows the contrast between weather here! (Same tree in the picture below can be seen on the left hand side this time)

Usually those same mountains in the picture above this one are easy to see. One morning I happened to be outside and notice after it had snowed there was a wall of weather like nothing I ever saw here. This is straight off the camera the view completely blocked by a wave of snow. As I say I take allot of pride and save time in taking good manual pictures on site rather then work with them for hours in Photoshop. This is from the SAME SPOT as noted above. I have made several time-laps videos of clouds and formations. I have yet to figure out how to post videos on my website unfortunately.

The Dalles industrial area taken with my mended 600mm lens system. I am proud I was able to fix that lens so that I am at least capable of using it still. I placed a plastic edge as an "aperture plug" after the lens was damaged. I removed it's aperture components and replace them with a very carefully cut plastic plug with a hole drilled carefully into the center. This provides a fixed aperture but I can make another one for the next aperture. This is digital meets old-school here through the adapter I built for my first digital SLR. Building one for my new system will require another old or broken lens. It needed to have an aperture value as the lens goes through bellows to focus. A full-wide view creates serious distortions so I cut the plug guessing it's got a value of about F8.

This is a somewhat secret spot of mine. It is well within walking distance from my house. From here--I finally got back and I was able to get a full 360 view! This was incredible. I live for times like this. I have tons more pictures of getting to the top of this private driveway. It is the best place you can go in The Dalles and I got there on a cold but very clear day. I shot video and tons of stills.
From the same road another view of the mountains across the Colombia river. These are over 4 miles away at there base. I'd have to check my GPS to know exactly how far. But these are not just hills!
This image was not modified! There is window of about 15min to shoot in the morning if you get up early at the right spot. Sunrise in The Dalles can become golden and incredible. High-res Relatively high clouds make for an incredible refection. My white balance was set for regular sunlight shots.
Another view from that same favorite place. The old Church is a Catholic building as I read, it's very old. A mission built in the 19th century if I recall. It is currently not in use.

And here, from the same spot I zoom out into The bridge and The Dalles dam. The Columbia river generates allot of power. But I am glad I use a laptop--we have more short-time power failures here then in some developing countries I have been too!

"Cold Fog"
One night I wanted to test my new digital SLR so went outside and setup a long exposure at a very high ISO. Fog made for this effect.

Another in the Sunrise sequence. I am not always sure which ones I want to post. This is straight from the camera. I only downsized it and added my name.

Sunrise looks like sunset. I got lucky to see this and get outside in the cold fast enough to get these shots.

More views of this Beautiful spider. I hope she lays eggs here. She was in a very odd place. On a shrub she must have grown up there by ballooning as young spider. The houses and yards are well manicured. If you see a spider like this--head the old European poem, "If you wish to live and thrive, let a spider run alive". Spiders control insects for us. Dangerous and harmful ones. I have been bitten by this species close relatives several times. It's not even as bad as a bee sting. They are not dangerous but you should never pick up or handle spiders like this. Not only is there a slight risk of being bit but destroying her web could leave her in bad shape. They have to save energy. I was proud to had shot all these angles without disturbing or moving her at all.

I am most proud about these pictures because I took every one of them from a distance and carefully so as to not disturb her. I did not even move her web around. These are all camera angles and me watching her for about two hours taking pictures when she moved.

My grandma is growing orchids like this in the middle of winter. She should have a PHD. I have some really good orchid shots I have to find. My grandma can grow anything. They should set her up for pioneering on the moon. If they could get her there, she could grow anything!

IMPORTANT: To my complete surprise there is another Gabe Beasley out there! He's apparently a high-school student. My family has about a dozen members on that side but my the family name is very large. We may be related but if so it may also be very distant. This being so--I am marking my work with Gabe W. Beasley. My name-double is apparently an honor student currently in high school. Good for him. But I am 27 and class of 1996 so I don't want things mixed up here.


Amy said...

I just love your local photos.

Gabe W. Beasley said...

Thank you Amy, there will be more.