Monday, May 05, 2008


First off, here is a picture taken by my girlfriend, Alina. Who is also somewhat into photography. This is one of her best shots so far since I set her loose on a DSLR. She has captured this one in my yard. I thank my neighbors for being understanding about my yard. Growing flowers and natural plants has become the only way for me to capture images like these. If I had a regular manicured yard, more than 50% of this website, detailed pictures such as praying mantis shots. would not exist.

NEW LENS not really. This is a NEW VIEW from a new lens setup. In an SLR you can arrange the lens and lens components differently. I wont go into details at this point; however, the use of a quality teli-converter and extension tubes can produce incredible results. For more lens information, including how to build the complex setup that took nearly ALL of these shots in this clip and others, please leave a comment. You don't need $5000+ to get great tale-photo and macro shots. Many of these were shot at F32-F40 70-300mm Cannon lens 2x tele-converter and one extension tube. Additional home built dioper used as well.

If you want more details on this lens, e-mail me at o/l/n/g/w/b AT I added the "/" and "AT" so that programs made to pickup on e-mail addresses would not find it. I plan to add it to my site finally so that you do not have to really on comments alone. That way questions can be directed to me and if you e-mail me your e-mail address will remain confidential!

ALL of these shots were taken from such a distance that capturing specimens was not required. That's right, this spider did not even know she was being photographed even at this detail. BE SURE TO CLICK ON SHOTS FOR 1080 res.

This is a CRANE FLY that I captured with the new lens complex I figured out just last month. I'd had the gear for well over a year, yet not figured out the combination that made these pictures possible. This crane fly only saw the flash, it was not frozen or taken away from the light I used to show it. The same lens without the dioper is easy to remove and put back on. It can capture birds at up to about 60ft or so, give or take about 20ft. Great bird and other shots have been stunning me and my friends. There are more shots with this incredible versatile lens setup to come. There is no need to remove any components, and it can zoom in to get a nice macro or capture a bird 50ft away with the best detail and closeness of any lens I own.

A QUICK SHOT of the crane fly from a distance of about 5-7 ft. Required to get a close up shot with this lens. Just to show the entire insect.

DETAIL can get incredible but f-stops have to fly into the 30+ just to try this. You don't need a macro lens to get these shots. Esthetically I constructed my own very versatile macro rig. The entire rig cost would be about $1000 new. compared to the usual $5000-10,000 in other more "serious" rigs. It's often the same glass and the same principles. Sometimes hardened a bit more to take more abuse, but still, the camera world is one of the most corrupt businesses around. When I was told by several pros that very popular photographers are often "bought" by loyalty or companies to leave out details in there reviews, I was shocked. This is of course in order to leave out very important details in order to make one camera look really bad and one much better. Reviews, don't trust them. Talk to someone who owns the rig and has experience on others. Reviewers get paid big money --on line and in magazines even the most reputable--to exaggerate, leave out facts, and even straight up lie.

ONCE AGAIN, this new lens complex gives me the anatomy of this Daddy longlegs. She has been slightly darkened to allow for more contrast. You can clearly see her book lungs and her female organs (Epigynum) and lack of bulbs on the pedipalps in this picture and others I took like it.

Be sure to click on this Click Bug. This is one of many insects which come to my porch lights in my grass in the small yard at night. They can click so powerfully that if turned upside down it can save it self from dieing. This can often happens to many beetles when they get turned over like turtles in the desert. Larger species over an inch long exist in some places from California to Asia.

This is a very common "grass spider". Many myths and names exist for this species. Probably the most common northwest spider in Oregon and Washington. Here you can see it in a web built by a previous inhabitants. They will not share webs but will swap them or find old ones and re-use them. Most spiders eat there webs upon moving as a means of recycling protein. The same lens was used for this shot as the crane fly with only focus and zoom adjustments.

For a spider that is only about 8mm or less, you need F30 to really capture it's entire length. I forget my f-stop here but again shot with the same lens. The white tip is a common spider out here in The Dalles, like the Sac Spider it is related too, it lives in a sack but is not at all social. Known to pray on nearly anything it finds alive. Deserving it's name, "white tip". The white markings vary.

This shot I captured on a walk with my girlfriend Alina. I am inspired by spring and all the growth that happens.

THE LENS SHOWS IT STUFF this little finch is nearly 30ft away, yet with my Cannon 10D the focus was perfect. For this lens I often use manual focus, and relay upon experience to show me if the shot will be good. I forget my settings but I do recall I was at ISO800 for many of these shots and doing very well. The lens can stop down to F4 but for birds I try to give depth to detail at F5.6-8 or so. ISO 200 would have been better but that day I had forgotten my settings that's why I remember.

(for me, re-visited now, full DETAIL with new lens)

I WAS GOING to write a new article on this species. A NEW ONE to me. Out here in The Dalles or even in Portland I could find a new species (I have never found before) even though I've been doing this for over 20 years. This spider, is eating a huge Ichneumon wasp. This species does not have any sting for a self defense as far as I know. You can tell how small this spider is, in fact, it is so small that many books have a hard time showing it's picture. When fully grown 2mm or so is it for the body.

This is a fully grown female in good shape with some serious detail I love about my new lens setup. Once again, the same lens complex to photograph the finch above a few shots was used to take this shot with the very simple addition of a dioper (a magnifying section that usually clips or screws onto the end of a camera lens, basically, just a magnifying lens HQ glass)

Deadly Mouth to mouth.

That is my pointer finger nail here, is NOT my thumb. It's my Index finger! This is a TINY fly I have yet to fully identify but the name comes to mind. A means of extreme shooting for flies has now been found with my gear. This rig will exceed anything I have used the more I use it. At F40 and no need for "aperture plugs", shots in the dark are not required anymore. It takes a few shots, and a very stable hand, but that's it.

Even closer, there is no cropping here. That's what so incredible. This pushes the limits of focus ability with this kind of field lens and the limits of micrographic or microscopic- photography.

In this day and age of water resistant SLRs I hang onto my Cannon D10 and it's very handy features. She's running at about 35mm equiv. in all the places in counts. And she's got all the high end gismos that you still have to buy a near pro or totally pro-cam to get. One feature is stability and a very good view in the viewfinder. Also, the ability to be heavy enough to stay stable without having to buy an image stabilized lens or DSLR. I've used them, they hog power sometimes, and frankly, I don't need one. My XTI does a bit higher res but makes much bigger shots as does my E-500. The RAW output of my 10D, really hits the spot for stuff, even at 800ISO on a regular basis. I have photographed this spider before, but had a very hard time doing so. To have a lens setup that works with both my 10D, my 400D (exit), and my Rebel2000 35mm, is really nice. Much of this gear was either a gift or a swap. You don't have to go high budget to get shots that are worth it and if you look at many photo contests you will notice that the camera's used in them are way out of 'style". Part of the reason I don't like some photo clubs is because some photographers seem to care more about how there camera's and gear look, then there pictures. To them I say, get a nice car and take care of it. If you want good pictures, a camera is all you need. Especially since many of the shots on this website were taken with a point and shoot $100 digital camera modified with a few lenses taken from old broken video cameras and other junk lens gear I adapted and learned how to use well. You don't even need what I got to get your work out there. I hope this new lens opens up the world I want it too I really want to start entering some of the serious contests but honestly at this point am just getting started with that as I have been just doing my own thing for a while. Some photographers have advised I write little or nothing with my pics, however, I often think that some information about the pics, cameras, and my life, can add to the shot and my chances at getting noticed more. Over 60 pics, mostly from Bali and other shots I did are now on Flkr. Some of which may not even be on this site. I will be very excited at 20,000 hits!

I welcome fan mail and I am very sorry I was unable to get back to a recent letter. I was sick and did not check my e-mail for quite a while, then when I did write back I did not get any response. So please, if you do wish to ask me a question, please request my e-mail address. I will send it to you. If you have Yahoo Messenger I can also be contacted that way. Please leave comment and I will answer questions as I can.

1 comment:

Insect Lover said...

Hi! I love those photos you took! I still need to get a better macro lens to shoot like you... Keep it up Gabe!!