Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Photographing a Praying Mantis

Chinese Mantis (Tenodera sinensis)
This blog is a little break from Nickerson.  My grandson, leaving work to come home, found on his bosses car tire a large praying mantis in the middle of a large parking lot.  He captured the mantis and put it into a box, called me that was bring it at home so we could photograph it.  I decided that I wanted photograph the praying mantis in a controlled situation.  First, I had to decide on what to photograph the mantis on, a bare branch, a green leafy branch, or a flower.  I decided to choose the flower and went outside at cut one of my Gladiolus and set it into a container.  Knowing that mantises can be extremely active, I used a technique that has been previously described to slow it down, which is to put it in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.  My grandson and I set up our cameras with macro lenses and when we were ready, I brought out the box that contain the mantis, removed the mantis and placed the mantis on the flower.  The mantis stayed on the flower, moved around, clean the front pincers and gave us some great views.  We photographed the the mantis with and without a flash.  Without the flash, we had a great green background and with the flash we isolated the mantis and flower with a black background.  We photographed the mantis for around a half-hour before it flew away.

Set-up
Chinese Mantis (Tenodera sinensis)

Chinese Mantis (Tenodera sinensis) - Cleaning Its Front Pincers

Chinese Mantis (Tenodera sinensis) - Cleaning Its Front Pincers

Chinese Mantis (Tenodera sinensis)