Tuesday, October 30, 2007
This is the common "Garden spider" as are 100s of species around the world. This one lives in the Pacific Northwest and in Europe is called the cross-spider. Harmless to humans it's a great wasp and mosquito catcher. Araneus diadematus. Shot here with my Canon 10D digital camera with a 50mm EF II lens and one extension tube. Click for 1080 sized pictures. I have also chosen to be more open about the gear I use and cameras I use.
One nice hotel in Bali. This is a common look. All plants are real, flowers are fresh, and gardens very alive. The insects are tame because nobody has harmed them. Dragon flies will land on you sometimes in these places. Many people in Bali are Hindu and thus have a deep respect for nature and our need to live with it rather then attack and suppress it.
A shot from last year. Talk about stings, these sweat bees are named because they can land on your back thinking they will get a drink of water--if you have a shirt cover them--they will sting. Yet still a huge percentage of stings from insects and other kinds of arthropods are blamed on spiders without knowing enough. So if bit or stung--find and get what got you so you know.
The main 135mm lens on my Phoenix adapter lens system. A modified Olympus lens mount on a Olympus E-500 digital SLR took the bee shots and remains the most powerful macro system that I can use in the field. It includes not only lenses and extension tubes but bellows and a rig to hold it all together without over-loading the camera. I invented it myself after a broken lens gave me an idea. I plan to put more up about this macro system later.
I am ever-amazed at the number of incredible photos that pop-up out of nowhere no matter where you are. It would be very hard to find a place that you cannot find something interesting to work with or photograph if your gear permits.
Tiny plants on moss-- so often overlooked as people walk there dogs and jog every morning. Yet they are here. This and the above pictures are a few from the past here--I am also planning on putting up more of my Guam Bali trip. Not tonight. I am too tired.
BLACK WIDOW IN ACTION! As she captures a moth this rare opportunity to get around my personal rules about displacing species. I try to keep interference in nature to a minimum. I found her in the center of a Tennis Court She made her web under a small wheeling garbage can. She had ants and flies for food everywhere she went. I use a few simple tools to extract black widows and often it well takes over an hour. One thing always true--Black widow spider are very easy to recognize thankfully. Like the rattle snake--they do warn you and often do not go about running around without being displaced. Wood piles that have been around for years are a good place to find them--if you move things that have been sitting around dry for a long time then your likely to possibly stir-up a black widow. The females are the dangerous ones and they usually spend most of there lives in one place unless they must move. Incredible as it may seem--capture tests accidentally showed me a side to this most painful spider I never thought possible.
STINGS and bites
These little sweat bees seem harmless and are only about half the size of a normal honey bee. But they can get ugly when under your shirt. Leading anyone to think it may be anything since bees and wasps hide in all kinds of unexpected places. MORE ON WHAT I DO ABOUT BITES
These relatively small ants do not look that bad. Until you have 20, 30, 70, 100+ on you in the rain forest before you know it. They attack anything that moves or is in the way. Bite and sting with a relatively mild sting--but after being stung tens of dozens of times--it gets to be terrifying and really harsh. I was ambushed and thankfully saved my very expensive camera gear by placing it in an open area and practicing my techniques for situations like this. The tropical jungle is very dangerous. The big things are not what usually gets you. It's usually something you don't even expect or know about. These guys can be on your neck in a matter of seconds. My self discipline kicked in. I visualize and meditate about stressful situations if I think it may arise--snake bite, animal attack, bees-- I must admit that army ant's I saw take down a huge Dragon fly instantly I was not exactly ready for.
This is the Stern wheeler in Portland Or. It goes up the Columbia river from Portland towards where I live near. Hood River. I have taken it once. It is a great experience for photography and or just for the incredible views and on board things to do. If I recall, it is one of the very few real stern wheel powered ships still running. My trip was over 10 years ago but I think it is surely still great. I caught this with new Canon 10D. It's an awesome camera and I got it new in the box. The lens-- A 50mm F1.8 fixed EF II
TOMATO FLOWERS taken from my dad's plants this fall. He's got more
then he knows how to give away! Once again with my Canon 10D, I saw the awesome creative potential of that lens I just bought--a Canon EF 50mm f1.8 (Max for macro shots is an OK F22)
A HARVESTMAN. One of three creatures called the "daddy long legs". This is NOT a spider. It is a close relative. They do not spin any silk, have a one segment body, and have two eyes a top sometimes very elaborate structures looking almost like a snorkel. I will try to find more of them as I work on a more detailed shot of these incredible eyes at some point. Some species here in Oregon are HUGE! I plan to track down the large species I found once in a small town. They are your garden's garbage collectors and eat all kinds of organic stuff. They are also totally harmless. Opiliones sp. Shot with Canon 10D with F50m and extension tube.
This is sometimes called incorrectly the "funnel web spider" or grass spider. It is a fast and shy Sheet web spider. Larger adult sized versions of this spider have been FALSELY called the "Sydney funnel web spider". IT IS NOT! There are so many bad rumors about spiders I want to write a book on it to clear there name. In short--there are about 38,000 species known to science today. Many yet un-discovered and named, and only about 35 kinds out of 38,000 are marked dangerous to humans. Agelenidea sp. This shot was done with a Canon 400D EOS 70-300mm zoom, extension tube, and a few other things. And it gives you bragging-rights at having a 10mp digital SLR (uselessly stupid). One thing is for sure, the mega-pixel game is just ridiculous. Un-biased I have got to use many common digital SLRs looked at and got to use quite a few cameras. If you want to know how I feel about these subjects or what I would recommend from my own experience --write me an e-mail.
While in a car or on the train--I like to snap pictures of anything I see. I do not--and nobody should (obviously) attempt to take a picture while driving! I just said that so you know. I like old buildings and Industrial junk or constructions. They are in there own way a work of logical art.
This was taken from OHSU. I was diagnosed with a hip problem I now have to deal with sometimes. I got lucky--it's nothing to worry about. When I was there it happened to be an incredible day, perfect for pictures. Despite lack of time and being limited to my fixed 50mm lens--I was able to get allot more then I thought on this beautiful day. I have a number of shots from this trip to post once I have them ready. Click on this for 1080 size shot (From here on--less talk larger-res pics). This shot was taken with my new Canon D10 and a 50mm f1.8 EF II lens.
"Mill Creek Bridge"
This is the longest foot bridge I can think of. It lets people walk from there homes from a road near by to go to local shops and stores allot faster. It's a long ways down and even if your not afraid of heights it can be a bit weird. There are many great spiders that can only be found near creeks down here, I've shot a few of them below this bridge by Mill creek.
"A view of the birds"
I sometimes wonder how amazing birds see the world. It must be an incredible thing to just be able to lift up and go anywhere so quickly. This one found a place to rest for a while.
I have more of this one coming. This is the much-loved Argiope sp. Also called the Zigzag spider and in some places Garden spider or Banded Garden spider. These take care of allot of flies and other bugs and should be left alone. In many local parks that have been "land-locked" for lack of better words by parks--they have died off. This was taken with a Canon 400D (Rebel XTi) using an 18-55mm zoom lens and outfitted with a full battery grip that adds full. I will have more on this spider and it's close cousin coming up. I have to import all this from RAW so it takes me a while to get everything right between computers.
MOSTLY MACROS NEWS: LESS WORDS
I am getting tired of writing long comments! Even if I do get them right I spend hours and hours correcting them until I often finally give up without proofing. They often go off on tangents and I end up not finishing them. (way to many mistakes) I can type very very fast. So this problem gets me everywhere! I nearly view typing as easy as talking; but I am not a very good writer! However, it is only based on getting the facts across. Facts are facts no matter how they get there. The only I thought you need to spell perfectly are the scientific names and terms I used to think, the rest is just getting the point across knowing that anyone with even just half a brain will understand it. I know I was just young and rebelling then, I even came up with what I thought was a more efficient way of writing! Dumb, and I stand corrected- but I type too fast I took an serious course in it and it stuck with me for some reason very well. I have considered putting a glove on one hand to slow myself down! Now I plan to change things and give you full 1080 HD sized images (actually a bit more sometimes) and allot less talk. If you have a question you can ask. Only a very short paragraph or about the photo, the name of what I photographed and possibly camera and lens setups. It's past midnight. I am falling asleep on my keyboard again.
If you see any picture that is way too dark or bright or the color seems off--let me know if you have the time. Because I am using two computers I became aware of how pictures can look different. Be sure to once again click on each image and use your Internet Explorers' back arrow button to return to my site. Click "Mostly macro's home" to get back to the start anytime. I have a great deal of work I want to do on my website and need more feedback.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Usually, I try very hard not to interfere with nature. I realize after many mystakes that nature must be seriously respected. If you catch a spider in your front yard, and let it go in your back yard--the chances of that spider living is often very low. Spiders find the best spots--learn about there sorroundings as was incredibly proven to the shock of sceintists when a number of normal garden spiders systematically found out how to spin perfect webs without gravity. Thus I normally only catch spiders allready dispaced. Or wondering spiders I can return to there spot quickly. I hardly ever use cooling methods that other guys use. This Black Widow was a whole different situation. The only way I would now days catch a Black widow and keep one in a jar is exactly what happened. So the situation probubly saved this black widows life and put people out of danger. I found her in the middle of a Tenis cort--something like 50ft or more away from any kind of place to live like a normal spider. She was under a roll-arround plastic garbidge can on wheels. I noticed the silk that they make--once you pull on it you know. They have very strong silk. With a miror and my tools to catch spiders I was able to safely get her ou to of her place without harming her. This catch was best for her, and for me. Most of all of course--the danger of being bit was high in that place. I don't know how she survived, but she did and I chose to take her with me because I allready had to displace her. She is now living well in a jar I put together. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME! Black widows have one of the top five most painful and long lasting bites in the world. Like rattle snakes, most bites are from people who think they can handle them and it will be easy. Or that it takes no skill to do so. It takes a great deal of skill to remove a black widow and insure you know enough about spider biology in order to know how to capture her without killing her. Tweezers are not an option. And then you need to know the many needs and danger. I figured it worked out both for the spider and the people in the tennis cort whre I found her. I now have a way to let people understand one of the most widely known species of spiders that are highly dangerous to man that exists. That I have it in cage and can talk about it brings a new light to people. I've conviced many people and been very proud of it to save spiders--not to kill them. If you do however see a spider that looks like the one in this video you shold admire but keep your hands off! I am a professional here--I litteraly started with my first black widow at 8 years old. And there are reports of black widows living for 6 years or more in captivity. I will not explain where they are much or how to catch them because it is not right. Not to mention dangerous. Really, I have been working with spdiers and photographing them for a very long time. It is not as easy as it looks. Not even close.
Monday, October 01, 2007
I can't believe it! This is so awesome now that I can post video clips here. This is one that I just by some chance happened to catch. It was filmed with a compact digital camera in video mode.
Kodak is one brand that gives no time limit to A/V recording. The new Kodak compact cameras with image stability also have this ability at a far higher resolution. I just got a Kodak Z712 IS.
It has not only an incredible zoom and full video at SVGA quality--it packs a punch in a small package. It will keep recording crisp video and audio until the batteries run out or the card runs out of space. Hours. The only drawback is trying to find the Lithium rechargeable batteries.
The above jumping spider was shot with my DX-7630 Kodak, but below is the new Z712 IS at high res. 800x600. Not all the way to high-def but higher then regular TV.