Praying Mantis
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Winner of a Best of Nikonians Annual Photo Contest

Location: TN US
Posts: 4,334
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Praying mantis on Bachelor Button

natural light, cable release, mirror locked up, tripod, reflector(white mat board), and sun shade
· Date: Thu 11-September-2008 · Views: 11263 · Filesize: 57.3kb, 282.6kb · Dimensions: 1024 x 792 ·
Rating: ********** 10.00
Keywords: Praying Mantis, Walking Sticks, Garden Guardians
Tripod and Head
Additional Categories: Close-ups -Macros, Members Galleries, Members Galleries
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Location: El Cajon CA US
Posts: 61
Sun 14-September-2008 10:58

Tom you are the master!
Wonderful set-up and execution.

Location: Sedona AZ US
Sun 14-September-2008 02:02

How was black backround done?

Location: MO US
Posts: 4,601
Sun 14-September-2008 02:33

Excellent Job, Tom... Smile

Location: Derendingen CH
Posts: 35
Sun 14-September-2008 05:12

great tehnique, i wish i could do like this also.

Excellent jobs


Location: White Plains NY US
Mon 15-September-2008 12:00

Dear Tom, Great capture. Congratulations. Best regards, Juan Pablo

Location: White Rock British Columbia BC CA
Posts: 456
Mon 15-September-2008 01:31 Rating: 10 

Nice work Thomas,.
Excellent image,,,the quality and details throughout are superb,,. The Mantis peering directly at the camera takes the image over the top,,.
I too am curious about the background and if this was a natural scene or was it staged?


Location: Ljubljana SI
Posts: 392
Mon 15-September-2008 09:00


great picture, I like it a lot. Amazing detail, the black background emphasizes the subject, and the lighting is really special. To capture this beautiful and deadly predator of the insect world on a flower like that is quite unique.


Winner of a Best of Nikonians Annual Photo Contest

Location: TN US
Posts: 4,334
Mon 15-September-2008 01:16

Thanks to everyone for the generous comments. They are very much appreciated. I received a couple of questions about how I achieved the black background. The photograph was taken in my backyard. I had been photographing hummingbirds and as I was walking back to the house, I noticed the praying mantis standing atop the white flower. I used a bright white mat board to bounce some light onto the green underside of the flower and shaded the white petals & praying mantis from the sun with a another piece of mat board. I positioned the camera so that it was pointed into the shade. When exposed, the shadows in the background almost completed folded up and what didn't were blackened with Nikon Capture using U-Points and a curve adjustment in CS3. Thanks again, Tom

Location: Billings MT US
Posts: 1,840
Fri 19-September-2008 10:30 Rating: 10 


Winner of a Best of Nikonians Annual Photo Contest

Location: TN US
Posts: 4,334
Thu 25-September-2008 08:19

Thanks mtpenmaker. I appreciate the comment. I envy you location out there in Montana--what a great state. Tom

Location: IL
Posts: 2
Sat 31-January-2009 11:54

Excellent sharpness and no red eye (LOL). I like the smile too. If I fell unto such an opportunity my adrenaline would flow. I can see your expertise since the setup of the boards required for the lighting effect could have easily scared away the praying mantis. Superb photograph!

Location: Los Angeles CA US
Posts: 5
Wed 02-September-2009 01:12

WOW!!! Thanks for sharing the pic and your excellent technique!!