Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Merry Christmas everyone!  and have a very happy new year.. a better year.. a great time but PLEASE don't leave Christmas trees in bad places!  (i.e. your neighbors back yard, the local park, etc..)

A speical thanks goes out to everyone who has helped us after the fire this year and to eveyrone who has helped make Mostly macros a well-viewed site.   Pushing this year into over 30,000 full hits and over 100 thousand page views.   Please don't be shy.. leave a comment or two.   Also a thanks to all the ham radio operators who have given us a warm welcome here in Portland.  And God bless everyone we know in The Dalles for keeping us in your harts and for your help.  If you want to link to my site just email me at  (you may have to send several times as I get alot of SPAM on that address) 

From Gabe and Alina Beasley 2009
new pics in 2010!

Blast from the past! --an un-posted article I wrote a few years ago and info on our wishlist

I came across this old post that had been archived but never published.  It was from back in 2006.
This is the gear I worked with and showed my transition to having my first semi-pro camera.   Of course all this gear in this old article was destroyed in the fire.

BIG NEWS (old news--this article was posted in 2006)
I get quite a few e-mails about what kind of camera I use. I have so far kept that kind of a secret. Without making these texts really long, I will try to explain. This is an early shot after I invented an adapter that lets me use lenses from old camera gear. In this shot, amazing as it is--there is no tape connecting this lens to the camera and it turns and operates freely. This is dangerous for the camera if you do not know what you are doing. It is two element diopter that has captured some of the most detailed close-ups I've ever taken. Like that reddish fly about a year ago. The fun part is that I honestly invented this all myself. Teaching myself optics by experimenting since my all-film days I learned on an old Practika SLR how to get shots right. 1000s of test shots done with different lenses. Finally when I started processing my own film I could build lens attachments to fit 35mil gear. Then I got my first compact and digital camera. An old M305 Hp. Most cameras have pop-out lenses that will turn off if they are overloaded. But if you want to try this---be sure to be very careful or you may break your camera! This is not something I learned on line or in an article--I figured out how to do it with a special recipe of ideas that are alot more simple then I thought. The lens is held on so well that I can shoot without worrying at all that it could fall off. A tight grip is held on by a plastic tube which holds on as if it were sensitive fingers. Just right so it does not fall off and will work with the pop-out lens. This took a long time to invent since I had to find the right adhesives. Of course this lens can be pulled of quickly and instantly brings the camera back to stock-ability. This is a Kodak 6.1mp DX7630. It survived a fall into a creek but only the memory card stayed stable. Rust or something made it impossible to work the dial that controls the camera's mode and power on, off. I now use the lens in other compact cameras. It is two elements and amounts to create even at F8 (the limit for every compact camera I've met--why I do not know) lets you get stunning shots of insects and spiders or anything very macro.

AN OLYMPUS E-500 mounted with one of my home-made extened lenses. Useing plastic tubes and junk--I make lenses fit onto cameras safely and often very successfully with nothing more then rubber bands. I still do this often. This is a dioper with about a 5 inch reach. Farther if mounted on the larger lens.

My very first camera that I used for the things I like the most I also adapted myself. My parents could not afford to get me an SLR so I had to make do with my Polaroid. Taking pictures of even large spiders were useless until I got an idea about optics. This was before the Internet as well know it. I invented the idea on my own. Simple--but incredible--I took my first shots after 100s of test pictures. I had to guess and measure because the Polaroid is not an SLR. The view-finder is useless in trying to figure out what the film will see. That is what SLRs are for. This is my first digital SLR. The Olympus E-500. I have nothing but good things to say about this camera except a frightening thing that I still can't explain. She has the highest pickup at 1600 ISO that I have been able to find. VERY low noize. If I want to shoot night exposures or in very low light--the E-500 is my choice. Shooting RAW and JPEG as well as having two card slots (one XD and one CF)--gives this camera lots of potential. But it is not sports-drink poof! What was a disaster turned into an incredible discovery when I replaced the destroyed very expensive 300mm lens for this camera and took apart the broken one.

Donations I still use now for both digital and film. I invented a special adapter (not shown here) I call the Phoenix adapter. Named because I was able to build it for my Olympus digital SLR. After a very expensive lens got splashed with a sports drink. I had to get another one, but decided to scrap the dead one for lenses. To my surprise I got the mounting bracket and was able to build an adapter out of a Pentax format extension tube. This is what you see when you pull up my My Space page under Gabe Beasley. Now, this specially built adapter will let me use any old Pentax screw mount lenses. As you can see from the Spot-o-matic--all those lenses except the SLR on the bottom and the 120 TLR are for the old Pentax sqrew mount lenses. Of course there is a change in the lens--but this makes it ideal for extreme macros. The object in the center is a bellows--if you checkout the profile of me on My Space you will see this setup in action. The "Phoenix adapter" remains the most incredible thing I have come up with on my own. I figured out how to use any lenses with this digital camera. Old gear finds new life for serious macros in this setup I am very proud of. I plan to dig up more pictures of this to show you later. LET ME KNOW if you have questions and want to see something.

A laminated light reflector can be very useful to harness the power of a compact camera. Most of the pictures on my site were taken with modified compact cameras. I invented all this stuff, I did not read a book or look it up on line. This is a Canon Powershot A520. It works very well and is capable of time-laps photography when hooked up to a laptop. Here shown is an old movie camera grip I used to hold on

Sadly my interest in photography got stopped when I was just getting started with digital shots of spiders---my laptop, digital camera and Zip drive was stolen, and I found out that a guy I thought was my friend did it years later. Over $2500 in gear gone instantly and forever. I was devastated and it took me another 9 years before I was able to take up trying much photography again. I bought a video camera and did some stuff-made a few music videos as well as spider shots but it did not catch on with me like pictures do. I had no computer that was up to date. About three years ago a trip to a local thrift store changed my life. I bought an old 35mm mechanical Pentax-clone a Practika 35mm SLR. I quickly learned to use it and began experimenting with optics from other thrift store junk--busted video cameras and old cameras as well as some lenses I ran into. Great deal. Since I have have had yet another laptop stolen by a friend I nearly gave up on friends. I now have a security system but most of all carry my gear with me. It's good excessive and I am legally armed with a large can of real mace intended for large animals and stuff. What is most important as well--I never know when I want to show people my pictures, and any free-lance photographer will probably say they carry a camera of some kind anywhere. You never know when you will get the action. However, these paparazzi celebrity stokers and stuff makes me sick. I can't believe what is on the news and talk shows these days. Celebrities think they are gods. It is ridiculous. Nobody should get attention like OJ and others who belong in jail. I can't believe that garbage and how many photographers eat that stuff up. What is even more sick is that they actually make a lot of money doing it. This being a family website--I have to stop talking about this stuff but I'd love to.

THIS is what I termed an "aperture plug". Hard to make well, but very functional if done right. The lens is inverted into the plastic case on the right. Covered in duct tape only for looks and a bit of reflection. When I only had compact camera's I had to really on there cheap flashes. Laminating my own reflectors with tape made this far better. I cut them into peaces so that I can hold the camera and grip it in the right places with one hand. As usual--this lens also is a peace of re-cycled optics. In this case, the end of a scope. Just one lens--very good at stuff. And the "plug" goes inside the plastic tube between the lens add-on and the camera. This incredible setup actually works as long as the needle is in the center enough. I have a few great pictures taken this way, but compact camera flashes simply are not bright enough to work at an F-stop of 30 or so. This is a fixed aperture that can be removed to increase depth of field.

A SERIES OF TWO lenses mounted on an Olympus IS-50. This 35mm SLR is a really nice camera but only if you have a bag that does not let it turn itself on! Anyway, the lens in this case is secured and incredibly well--at the end of it's fixed lens. This is a true SLR but it can only accept extensions. This one is for macro. The higher your lens (the longer) the more easy it is to get great macro shots with just one adapter lens or diopter. The camera can shoot up to F22 and about 2FPS. It has a very bright flash and a smart system you can program to work manually by shifting two controls. It's simple but adaptable construction makes it a great camera for all locations. Added here holding on well as you might not image---it is able to see at a serious macro level. As you can see I use all sorts of bottles and things to hold this all together. The rubber bands can be replaced and because I use the right adhesive tapes--this thing will not fall apart anytime soon. One hint---DUCT TAPE does FALL APART. Electrical tape also degrades in fact so fast that you will have to give your lenses a "tape-cut" because it all slips outward. If you want to know what to use---e-mail me.

I did not just make macro lenses. This little thing is totally awesome. It is a truly 400mm scope for just about ANY DIGITAL COMPACT CAMERA with a pop out zoom lens! That is right--400mm equiv. 35mm. So with a digital compact camera you can shoot incredible shots! At one end is an old Polaroid lens that squres in and out (left side) to control the main extra focus of the whole long-lens. The camera port is extending out from the right side into a black larger plastic film can. The hunk of plastic with rubber bands--that is from an old dead video camera. The lenses are very careful lined up together. This you might call was a miracle lens. I use everything from rulers to a laser to get these lenses right. The pinpoint of light for this lens is dead-centered into that last section of tube that goes to the end of a pop-out lens camera like the Canon A520. The only problem with this thing is that you need your camera to be on a tri-pod and it is very sensitive. Taking pictures usually very hard without setting the timer to do it. And this lens works--incredibly well.

I also built a very wide angle lens I want to put into this. It doubles as a great serious diopter for close up insect shots or anything. Wide angle lenses are great and the lens itself takes great pictures of areas like the dinner table where you can see every face but the coffee cup is huge in the image. Not a full fish eye--but close. I have not used it for a while so when I find it I may post some more about it. So I have built now, from scratch, most common lenses--with calculations done simply by measurements and really good long-lasting adhesive. This is something to be proud of and shocks so far every pro I have met.

I left this shot and 100s more go un-published since I forgot them. Just a couple of years ago this destroyed building was someone's home that I watched get built. Destroyed by the same typhoon that caused my apartment to be looted. Guam is one hell of a place to live. Great for a long vacation but not to live there!

A fan of my pictures, I got this in the mail. She was very impressed. And to think--this shot was done with a compact camera at F8. That is a dandy lion flower- And this iridescent bee is only about half the size of a honey bee!

These kinds of shot are very possible with compact cameras only operating at F8. It is amazing but works well. I am currently soon to go down to California where I plan to study this odd spider more. A sun loving daddy long lens? I am bringing books and such to find out what species this is. Notice the incredible markings and puffed up cephilothroax. This spider is very odd for it's family group--it does not hide from the sun and builds basic cob webs. Population densities are so high they must get along with each other more or less well. Most people do not know that there are number of species of communal spiders. Spiders that live together in one huge web taking care of young, sharing food, and mates. Far from the terrors of those 30 or so species out of about 30 some thousand species of spiders known to science that demonize spiders all the time.

A typical picture that you can get with a compact camera and a good home-made macro adaptation. Not one of those lenses I built requires you to hold OR TAPE the lens onto the camera--they can all be operated freely. I spent a very long time figuring this out.
One of the last local places I can take good shots. Mill creek is down there--and until they develop it, I will have a place to shoot that is in walking distance. I can't go anywhere right now as I explained--but hope it will not be developed for a while as the vacant lots that got me some of my best shots are now gone.

I am not sure if I posted this shot yet--future pictures will be only marked with my name and will be far larger so that when you click on them you get the same standard of detail that other sites offer. I have chosen to tell everything and answer questions about how I have built my gear and how I get unexpected shots from the most basic of gear. In the spirit of photography past I will now talk about the camera's I used and the situations I took them with. I believe I shot this with my Canon 400D and a 300mm EOS lens that gives you a 400mm at the D400s wide 10mp view. I will show more gear-pictures later. The body and starter's lens cost $900 when I bought it. The zoom lens, extension tube, grip-upgrade, flash, batteries and filters makes the kit puts is at about $2000. If you don't buy the good gear--you will not be able to do much. Prices have gone down. I have heard and am of the opinion that the Canon EOS 400D is a better camera then the Eos 30D which is slightly more expensive and only 8mp. It is all overkill past 8mp. I will go into my other cameras later. You can rent gear like this too-which is sometimes a good idea if you are on a very low budget but want the shots. On my income, it took me years to get this gear.
The house on the left was ours.. and we found out we had no insurance on possessions inside.
AND ALL THAT GEAR WAS DESTROYED in the tragic fire just 4 months ago (see pics from Aug. 2009 below the next few articles).  Luckily we survived but not much of anything did.    So again please.. if anyone out there would like to help with some camera gear or other stuff for us.. please e-mail my wife an I at 

Thank you..and thanks again for visiting our site.



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A trip to downtown Portland Oregon-- NIGHT SHOTS

"Just after dawn" 122nd and Burnside st. Portland Oregon
The following set of images were captured on three trips my wife and I took on the Max light-rail line here in Portland.  I wanted to show both what it's like to ride at night as well as some of the Christmas lights and other lights in downtown Portland at night.   Since I can't shoot RAW with my FUJI S1500.. this was the best I could do with my color temp settings.

A lot of people do not know how to set white balance or "color temperature" means.  Color temperature is a standardized scale that can be used to set, basically..what "white light" actually is in a photo or video camera.    The term is actually more commonly known by those firmilar with professional video cameras only recently becoming important because of digital photography.  With a digital camera you have simple options, unlike in film cameras.  If this setting is not properly set, (especially if your not shooting in RAW format or don't have a camera that can) the colors will not look natural or worse. This is an often all too automated setting but it's just as important as f-stop or ISO.   Digital cameras use CCD chips, sensors.. which only pick up colors in certain ways with white light being a base reference for all the other colors that are available.  White light is not just made up of most of the colors but it also can be effected by frequencies used in it's creation.  Such as 60hz.. in the case with florescent and incandescent lights.  This can have an effect on the CCD chip.  Without sounding too complex.  It is very important in both digital and film photography to have your camera set for the correct white balance.   My Fuji like most higher end superzooms has a custom white ballence setting.  It's very easy to use to insure that you will have the correct color temperature (and thus see the colors how they were intended) or to create things like the image above.   When setting white balance on a digital camera, the color temperatures will vary and the idea is to get the most white with the available light you are using to take the picture.  Often cameras have settings for bright sunlight, cloudy and florescent bulbs as there flickering creates a change in the color temp.  If you have a more professional camera that can shoot in RAW.. you can adjust these color temp situations later.   However.. if you can't shoot RAW be sure to have a camera that can make your own white balance settings.   It's easy to do.. just aim the camera when in the correct mode (in your manual) at something white while the area your in is lit by the light in intend to use (and this only applies if your not going to use a flash for the most part) and push the button on a very white surface such as a peace of notebook paper or printer paper with no color in it.   If on the other hand you custom set your white balance wrong or off on purpose.. you can create all sorts of bizarre images.   This was taken after I shifted my entire white balance to another color.   I forgot which.. this is easy to do.  In a bright light source instead of setting your white balance to have correct color temperatures with a peace of notebook paper.. try using a red soda can.. or maybe a green one.. or you get the idea.   Thus the camera gets shifted past the color that you used for white.  So the image will come out very strange.  Sometimes these can be really cool but be sure you know how to go back to your original settings.  Most cameras have a custom white balance setting that can be quickly changed to florescent 1.2.3 and incandescent as well as bright sunlight and cloudy day color temperatures pre-programed so this should be easy.   When selecting a point and shoot or superzoom camera.. make sure it has a CUSTOM WHITE BALANCE or color temperature setting.. this way you can take advantage of lots of creative settings.   Another important thing to look for when getting a new digital camera is MANUAL SETTINGS.   A mode either on the dial or in a menu that lets you select the F-stop, shutter speed, and ISO MANUALLY.  This is very important if you want to take creative images.  A camera that's "too smart" and thinks all auto.. will not do if you want to get the image you like.   I hardly ever use automatic modes, I usually take the time to set the f-stop, shutter speed and ISO myself for nearly all my pictures and often it's very important as the camera is automatically ready to take pictures like the one's below.. long exposures lasting up to several seconds.   Most of the higher end compact cameras have manual functions.. but be sure to check because you don't want to be disappointed with a camera that thinks too much for you if your trying to be creative.

On the way I happened upon a common telephone pole.   I can only imagine what each one of these nails, staples and other items used to tack on signs might have said.. lots of stories to tell from garage sales to missing pets.

This is an example of using creative manual modes.  The camera would usually set a f-stop of 5.6+ for a shot like this.  However.. I stopped it down to 2.8 in order to give depth to the image.   This way the foreground is in focus but the background is not.  It is always best to capture the image in field as close to as you want it as possible.  Using Photoshop, Gimp, or Picasa later to try to get some effects will never replace a true image taken correctly.

 I alsmost did not include this amatureish shot I took of the park.  I just loved the colors of the leaves and the building in the background and how it kind of captured the scope of the park.  Although the image is screaming for a wider angle lens!  I will be really glad when I get a professional camera again!

I may have overblown the color here but for a while the leaves were incredible and I wanted to capture that. Only a few images were possible because it was raining when I took these shots in the park.   When I had my digital SLRs (more professional cameras) I had a peace of gear which covered the camera for work in light rain and other stuff.  They are not cheap but well worth getting to protect your expensive camera.

 My wife stands to the left side of this image I took in the park next to Llyod center mall.  These were really hard because I was shooting long exposures without a tripod.  Usually I always use a tripod when shooting long exposures.. this time however I winged it and got a couple of shots I liked.

 "Park of lights"
Another long exposure impromptu in the rain.   This took a really steady hand.  I'm not sure exactly how long I had the shutter open for but it was probably about 1sec or so.

 The train comming"
It is important to remember to STAY OFF THE TRACKS a kid and several other people have been killed this year saddly because they thought they could beat the train.  A subject I will get back to later.  You can't stop even a light rail train on a dime.. it takes quite a while to stop any kind of train and you can't assume they will stop.

"Rush hour max"
Lloyd center max station going westbound was PACKED when I took this shot.   Rush hour seems to start around 3pm and runs until about 8pm+  I'm not really sure.   It's important to note however.. I like riding the max and usually it's not standing room only!  Just be sure and pay for your ticket.  You may not get checked but if you do and you don't have one you will be fined something like $200.  There are no excuses for this, you can't say that "I forgot" or "I did not know I needed a ticket" unless your in the fairless square in downtown Portland.

 I had a lot of fun taking these shots and had about 2 dozen of them I wanted to post but in the interest of not boreing people.. I chose to post these few.   I love night-shots because they are difficult and show things you don't see normally.   Night photography almost always involves long exposures with no flash.  These can last so long that a care passing by or a person walking by will just be a blur as you will see.

"Here comes the train"


A police car sits while another car comes into view as the exposure ends.  That is the blur of lights on the left next to the police car.   The blur of a long exposure can most interestingly be seen by the person walking through the frame.  In the old days of photography nearly all shots were long exposures.  That is often why the people in very old photos are not smiling as it often took up to a 60sec to capture a picture.

 "The shadow"
A man walks on the right side as the train comes and cars with different color headlights light up the scene. 

 Buildings can be very interesting with long exposures.. this one captures them as well as cars passing by.

I liked the way this one brought out the train coming and the shadows I found in the image later.

 The train is not out of focus.. it's in motion.   The exposure lasted less then a second but that's still an eternity for the camera.. the slightest bump and the shot would have been a blur.

 "The tracks"
At first you might thing this is some kinds of Photoshop setup.  Nope.  This is a pure image captured directly with the camera and is not a double exposure or anything.   The car reflected light in only some areas thus we are able to see the road behind it since the car passed through the frame while the shutter was open.  We see what light reflects off of it as well as the lights on it.. this is what I love the most about long exposures.  It is that "bullet time" when you miss so many images that are there to see but too fast for the human eye without the aid of a camera.

 "Reflections of a cyclist"
A bicyclist comes through this long exposure with a bright blue headlamp.   I really like the way the light happened here.  This was one of those awesome moment "YES" photos.   The cyclist once again appears blurred and not even fully on the road because only the parts of the cycle that are lit up or reflecting light are exposed in this long exposure.  

"Old town sidewalk"
We were in Old town Portland.  The buildings in this shot were built back in the 19th century.   A man walks by, light reflects on the ground from a shop.   These schenes especially at high-resolution can be very interesting.

"Sitting in the dark"
Despite the fact that it was almost too dark for me to see the subject of this photo.. the person sitting next to the convenience store is illuminated by streetlights while the store itself gives off lots of light.  This is our station stop and we will soon be catching the rush-hour light-rail.

 "Waiting for the Max"
Street photography takes guts.  Even at night.  One thing you have to have is self confidence.  Act like you know what your doing and your supposed to be there.   If you hide and are evasive you might get trobble.  Meet people.. ask them if it's ok for them to be in your pictures.   It is not illegal to photograph people like this although the ethics of selling and or posting such pictures is hotly debated.  I try to be a considerate photographer and even though I'm the kind of guy who would take a picture while falling off a cliff.. I still consider what other people think and get the gyst and feel of a situation before I start shooting.   Some people do not want to be photographed and you should always respect there requests.. while others will beg you to photograph them especially if you have a serious camera on you and look professional.   One thing is for sure..when I do shoots like this I am armed simply because at night or even during the daytime someone with a camera can be a target.   This goes without saying.. but if you don't have a CCW permit do not carry a gun!!! And if you do carry a weapon carry something that is legal in your area in case you get questioned by the police. I've been questioned more times then I can remember just because I had a camera and I was in a place that was a bit odd.   So don't carry illegal stuff.  In most places a good can of Pepper spray such a Sabre in your pocket is a good idea.  Another good one is a tazer or stun-gun however I feel people who carry such devices should have some training.  I was a security guard in Seattle and learned how to properly use a stun-gun and mace.   Always remember.. use of these types of weapons for anything but self defense is an instant felony.   If you get a warning your best weapon is probably your cellphone.  Even a deactivated cellphone will dial 911.  That is required by law.   If your on one chances are your less likely to be harassed.   By being considerate to people and watching the signs. being street smart.. you should not have allot of trouble.  For my most dangerous places I used to take less expensive cameras for the obvious reason that you never know what might happen.   Be prepared but don't be stupid or too paranoid.  Being sure of yourself and being aware of your surroundings is your best defense.  I've got quite a few close-call stories but they are a bit long to go into here.    There are some areas I would not go at night for sure no matter what I had on me.  If someone screams at you to put away your camera it's a good idea to do so.   No picture is worth getting shot or something over.

 "The doors are closing"
The train arrives, this Max line is going to the airport.  Ours is next.  The intercom can get annoying but it's a great way to travel.  And as I say.. usually, it's not nearly as packed as it is during the rush hour that I took the shots below on.

"Packed to the Max"
When I was in Thailand I saw a train with people riding on top of it.  This was darn near close.  Talk about no Personal space.   We had none.   During the worst of it people crowd in and are so packed together that your forced to get really up close and personal with the person next to you.   It might be a good excuse to get close to your date! :)  Otherwize as I say.. rush hours 3-6 or so are pretty bad but it lightens up quickly.

"Personal space"
Maybe I should have rode a bike.. oh..did you notice the sign above her head.  Maybe not.  Taxes on bikes!  Frightening. I don't want to know what they are going to think of next.

OF all the shots in this entire sequence I think this is the most important.   Unfortunately I did not get this guys licence number.  However, he obviously thought he could out-run the train.   I'm not sure what the stastistcs are but people die every year trying to do this and just because it's light-rail does not make any difference.  Trying to beat the train like this is illegal, wrong and really stupid.  If this truck had been hit, not only would the driver been killed but the driver of the Train would have also been killed.  It would have been a nightmare.  Nobody should have to be in such a hurry that they need to take this kind of risk.  They have clear warnings for a reason so there is no excuse for this.   I have a ham radio friend who was injured in a seirous train accident.  It's not funny, or cool to try to beat a train.   The light rail will go by very quickly and theres never any excuse for this.   I've watched cops in persuit stop for the train for good reason. Yet this guy seemed to think he had the right to take people's live's in his hands. 

I wish I could put  this picture in our local news papor.   I'm still working on re-building and dealing with the aftermath of the fire in my hart and soul, but my wife and I have been doing better.   For those of you who are ham radio operators I plan to be on the air more often and I am interested in talking about photography.  Since my wife and I don't have a car.. any time to take a trip to take pictures would be great.  I have a lot to learn about photography and feel that it is my future.   I really am praying that someday I will be able to afford a professional camera again and be back to where I was before the fire here in Portland.  Dispite my life-challenges and dissability, I want to rize into photography and make the best of my situation.  I am very interested in many kinds of photography as my website shows.   I want to sell my pictures and possibly someday make money doing something in photography that will be able to support my wife and I.   I really feel I have a future and with determination and shear will power I go forward into a new year with high hopes.  I want to thank all the ham radio operators who have welcomed me here in Portland and especially Jeff Damn (WA7MLH) for all the gear he's given me.  I also want to thank everyone who's prayed for us and been there for us when we've had hard times since the fire.   We are making the best of what we have and planning for what we can to be able to do more.   Happy Holidays to everyone and please comment on my photos by clicking on the mailbox.  I like to get fanmail or feedback.  Thank you-- Gabe Beasley

It has come to my attention that my email address is hard to understand:
I used o/l/n/g/w/ to keep the web-crawlers from spaming my e-mail address.   To e-mail us you must remove the / slash marks from the address.   So my email address is shown as o/l/n/g/w/ then my email address would be  <--not my email address just an example here.
So take the slash marks out and you will get our email addresses.
primary= a/l/i/n/a/n/g/a/b/
sec= <--I get so much spam on this one that i don't care anymore!  Please use the above one first as I don't check the old one very often.
We still need things so if anyone out there has any ham radio gear or camera gear they don't want please let me know by email and maybe we can work something out.   See previous articles for my wishlist and other info about the fire.
Thanks again to everyone for the help and support we have gotten.   HAPPY HOLIDAYS! and as we say in the ham radio world 73s to all!

Friday, November 06, 2009

How dangerous is that spider?


As these images should show you, not very.   I spent the better part of 15min handling this spider to prove to people just how safe most spiders are.  I want people to know that the very common garden spider.. Araneus diadematus also called the "cross spider", is quite harmless.   Although any spider can be dangerous if you by chance have a rare allergic reaction.  Like taking medication.  Spiders should never be handled mainly because it is so dangerous for the spider.  It is very easy to expend all there energy or silk and kill the spider without knowing it.  So PLEASE DONT TRY THIS!  I just want people to know how safe they are.   So I took these shots in the hope that people will respect them and not spray or kill them when they see these webs in there yard.  

This shot was taken with my Fuji S1500 digital camera (10mp) and edited with digikam for Linux.

She did not want to bite me despite all the stuff I did to her.  Indeed she did not bite even once nor did I feel she came close to biting me despite wanting to get away really bad!  I had to capture her and then had her walking on me for at least 15 min.   That is allot of stress.. yet no bite reaction at all.  She clearly knew when she was on me and in contact with me yet she never bit.   That is how non temperamental they are.   I chose a healthy female for this test and returned her safely to where I found her.

This is the same species but of a slightly different race and thus color.   What people should know is simple.. this spider is harmless and in fact very beneficial in controlling dangerous insects.  I have been bit by this species back when I was a kid and a bit more careless.   I did not even get a welt.. just slight numbness and about 1/8th of a beesting in pain or so.


I don't usually handle spiders because they are traumatized when you handle them and can be very easily harmed.   Please do not try this at home with any spider.   Even handling pet tarantulas can be dangerous to the spider.   This can be of course very dangerous if done with the wrong spider and you never know what kind of allergic reactions you may have.. even though this spider is highly unlikely to bite.. please leave them in there natural environment.  I can't stress that enough.   I only did this to get a few shots showing how confident I am about how safe they are.   


After these shots were done, she was fine and so was I.    I found her at a good time when her web was already destroyed and thus she was ready to rebuild a web.   Handling a spider can prove FATAL to the spider so please don't do this!  If they use too much silk or get too stressed.. they will be unable to build a new web and die no matter where they are released.   Also NEVER attempt to feed a spider sugar water or anything else.  Pesticides are in nearly everything human.   The only way to feed spiders this way takes a small lab and special sources.   Also.. keeping spiders in such things as coffee cans or even some jars can lead to death due to pesticide residue.   There is so much pesticides inside coffee cans that you can't rinse one out enough to make it safe for a spider.   I learned this the hard way when I was a kid.   And we wonder why so many people are getting cancer these days!


And of course I continue to do what I can with my compact camera and my 35mm SLR.   These shots were taken with my compact digital slr and edited with Digikam for Linux.

Really?? This building has not even been built yet!?$# Right??

I have been working on sunset images on the tracks near where we live.  This is one of my favourite shots.  I hope it's not too dark on your monitor.  Some of my pictures appear too dark on some monitors due to gamma differences.  I'm working on viewing my website from other computers to insure this problem does not continue.   I may re-post old pics that seem to dark on other people's monitors in the future.

My wife and I wish to thank everyone who has prayed for us and helped us since the fire in 8/09.   I also wish to thank the local ham radio operators who have welcomed me to Portland.   Despite the steady stream of stressfully insane bills it will take most of ours lives to pay off.. we are doing ok and getting over the disaster one day at a time.  My mom, dad and family have been very helpful and a very special thanks goes out to them as well for everything.  Godbless.
--Gabe and Alina Beasley