Thursday, July 29, 2010

Spots Remain for September Bat Workshop in AZ!

There is one spot in block 3 and block 4 has two spots available. Come and check out one of the most unique and reasonably priced photo workshops around.

Included is a copy of my manual (regularly priced at $75USD + shipping)

Monday, July 26, 2010

The arrival of a specialized high-speed flash system from a company in the UK draws near! I am anxious to find out what new heights to which my imagery might be elevated by's very unique products.

High Speed Flash, a subsidiary of First Light Lamps, is perhaps the first company to manufacture a truly accessible flash aimed squarely at the tremendous speed and power requirements of high speed photography. The demands of this kind of photography translate to higher voltages and currents that need to be dealt with to a higher safety engineering standard than normal flash units. This, combined with the very specific market for such a product, has kept a reasonable alternative to the current, rather rag-tag offerings, outside of the interest of flash manufacturers.

The two products are the Pro and the Ultra. The Pro is ideal for wildlife photographers who need the speed available at the low-power range of a conventional speedlight (around 1/30000") but with the power output that is equal or greater a conventional unit at max output. In other words, the Pro provides more light in 1/28000" than a Nikon or Canon flash can in 1/1000".

The Ultra has an extremely fast duration of 1/111111" and is intended for ballistic photography. The higher speed of this unit is also useful for the very fastest of wildlife applications including, for instance, the lateral jump of a grasshopper.

Once my unit arrives I will be posting my experiences and hopefully some supporting imagery! Exciting times for high speed photographers!

Friday, July 23, 2010

High Speed Feature goes Viral

What started out as a feature in a UK newspaper has gone viral and is now present what appears to be dozens of newspapers around the world, both in print and online. Here are some examples including MSNBC. Other countries where variations on the feature appear include Germany, Switzerland and Brazil.

Monday, July 12, 2010

6th Place and $11000 in ICF Pro Tour!

38: Days in Texas
4 to 5: rattlesnakes encountered per day
1: number of geckos gone missing in trailer
1: number of pubic haires found inside fridge door of trailer
2: black widow spiders living in terrariums on my kitchen table
27: average daily temp during the month of April
9: length in miles of drive to get out of ranch
30000: acres of land on ranch
5: days of straight rain leading to complete vehicular immobility
1: number of deer mice greeting me next to my pillow in the middle of the night
7: number of $500 images in top 100 of contest
50: percentage of $11000 winning that goes to the land owner

So, the results have been published. I was one spot away from where I thought I might be satisfied (top 5). Here are some selected images, now free of the publication ban:

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Jumper Jumping Close-Up

This is a heavy crop, maybe 70 or 80%. But I think it holds up quite well and it illustrates the challenge of pre-focusing so that the eyes are in the focal plane for a spider that is about 7/16" in length (leg tip to tip).

D300, 35mm f2.0, pk-11a extension tube, 4 flashes, Phototrap (flashes tripped directly, shutter open in bulb)f16, 1/250, flashes at 1/32 power (1/17000"), iso 640
As far as I know, there are no spider jumping shots in existence that show the very anthropomorphic eyes facing the camera.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Jumper Jumping

Notice how the male's chelicerae are shiny green/blue. You can also see the "safety line" web trailing behind him.

I am getting closer to regular success with this sort of image. Once the technicals are worked and are more reliable, the sets will become more elaborate and captivating.


A colorful female in a similar pose and no safety line

Monday, July 5, 2010

Red Fox Kits

I was tipped off to a location where 5 little guys and gals have been hanging out.

All shot full frame with the Nikon D3 and 300mm f2.8G VR... a very versatile combo!


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Can a Spider be Cute?

Arachnophobia is SO 25 years ago! While this little female jumper is still young, her eyes will be proportionally larger. She is hiding amongst the petals of the flower I introduced her to. The ambient lighting is low and she thinks it is bed time.

D300, 36mm Kenko e. tube, 2 sb-800s in a soft box, Sigma 150mm macro

14 images stacked in Helicon Focus (get it cheaper from ME!)