Acting Up

My musings, thoughts, rants, and discoveries. - Scott Maddock

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Location: Redmond, Washington, U.S. Inc. (Formerly U.S.A.)

Back to Blogging

I haven't blogged here since 2012. Why am I making a stab at it again?

I realized two things about social media I wanted to get away from. First was that I was often using it as a journal, which is boring and maybe TMI for those platforms. Secondly I was using it too much for my taste, so that I felt like a tool for marketers rather than using social media as a tool for my ends.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Different Crawlie

Well, not nearly as much crawling anymore. But to Great Uncle Scott it seems Madeline was learning to walk just a moment ago.

My brother is rooming at the house so I see his Granddaughter more often. I had the camera handy a couple weeks ago when they stopped by briefly. She is always moving and once again the lighting was low, but I still managed to get a couple okay shots. I think her cute factor makes up for my technical deficiency.

10337 Madeline

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Nothing New Under the Sun

The spider pictured in the last post is a Giant House Spider (sometimes called European House Spider). I received a very nice reply from the Arachnologist at the University of Washington Burke Museum, with a link to He also told me these spiders are so docile and harmless he uses them for hands on demonstrations for school children.

After posting those pictures and getting a nice facebook comment I dug up a couple pictures I took last Summer at the Duckabush. I was struggling with extender tubes to get pictures of water skimmers (or water striders as they're referred to more often in other places). Nearly impossible. I was using a 50mm lens, with extender tubes which allows for nice macros, but as I mention in the Flickr comments, it is a particular challenge for moving targets. The depth of focus is very narrow, and the autofocus which is not very good on that lens gets much harder to work with.

While trying to get some pictures of the water skimmers, I stumbled across a really big one, and when I got the focus a bit better saw it was actually a spider. I'm hoping to find more of these spiders this year with the macro lens I've been enjoying so much.

This spider is also a lovely critter, and not so intimidating looking as the Giant House Spider, so I'll post them slightly larger here.

4481 Strider Spider

4482 Strider Spider

I haven't had a chance to take pictures for a few days, which gives me a chance to review old pictures for those I may have overlooked. And as I get practice adjusting exposure and color it becomes easier to get decent images out of those older shots.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Beauty In The Beast

To avoid giving you to oogly wooglies (I think I made that up), I'll just post a thumbnail of the spider. I wrote up a bit about this critter on my flickr site which you can click through the image to see. One of the things I talked about was I've spent many hours editing the photo, to clean up the background. I'm not yet done to my satisfaction, at least not for the additional uses I may put the image to later.

These are pretty common. During that week or two when Fall is getting started I usually see one a year inside the house. You only have to discover one in your bath towel once in your lifetime to encourage you to check during the months around that short period they tend to come inside while they adapt to the weather change. Both my brother and I have experienced that, though thankfully in my case it was before I started drying off. In any case they are little creepy when they are life size, and with this macro shot it more than fills the monitor when zooming in for touch up. So, I only worked on the image for relatively short periods of time, so I wouldn't be visited in my dreams.

All that work editing the photo had a surprising result. I got past the nearly automatic revulsion and started seeing the beauty in this arachnid. Not something I expected. I think there is a lot of the little boy surviving in me, as I still think spiders a cool because they can scare the bejeesus out of me. Now I think they are lovely as well. (I'd like to get a good close up of one of the really little black and white jumping spiders which come out when the weather gets nicer.)

9248 Wolfie