Day 187 – For the Love of Mantis

This little guy resisted my initial attempts to photograph him this evening. My resilience paid off and he eventually posed for a couple of pics. I got some great shots of him cleaning himself as well…pretty intimate moments, I guess he finally felt comfortable with me in his face.

I used extension tubes on my macro lens for his photo shoot, great fun.

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Day 141 – Peek-a-boo

I was going to attempt to post something other than a bug today but this Mantis is just too beautiful to ignore. I had to spend the evening cleaning up the massive amount of gum leaves and bark (that fall from our forest of trees) and pulling weeds. It’s not a job that I necessarily love but one that makes me feel better after it’s done. The best part about this chore is that I run across heaps of little critters along the way. Unfortunately, they are usually the less desirable kinds…the kind that sting and bite. I get nailed by something almost every time.

This little beauty was a welcome sight. I just love the pink eyes and deep red on the arms. This was a great excuse to take a break!

Day 132 – Bug Art

1. Original – as shot

2. Desaturated green and yellow

3. Decreased exposure with blue color temp

I ordered a new flashlight last week and finally received it in the mail yesterday. It’s a Fenix TK35 and it’s awesome! I wanted something that was compact, rugged and could act as a spotlight…and this little baby does it all. I just love gadgets. We took a night bushwalk with the dogs last night to test it out and it exceeded my expectations. I’ll blog more about it on another day though.

The purpose of tonight’s photos is a bit of an experiment. This little mantid pulled the coolest pose for me tonight and I knew right away that I didn’t want just an average bug shot this evening. I lined up carefully to get my composition right, used an aperture of 3.5 to get the depth of field I wanted, then turned off my flashlight so the flash (Canon 430ex) on my camera could do it’s thing…holding my breath and praying he didn’t move, I snapped the pic. I’m very happy with how it turned out. It’s just what I was in the mood for tonight, something a bit quirky.

Now, here’s where the experiment comes in. In an effort to add even more artistic appeal to the photo I desaturated the green and yellow from it, exposing those brilliant red eyes. I then asked Lara which she liked best, the original or the altered. I knew what she would say, she prefers color to black and white. She picked the original but I actually preferred the desaturated photo for some reason. I then processed one with the exposure decreased and the temperature cooled, and really liked it as well…reminds me of an alien.

I present to you, bug, for the sake of art. 🙂

So, my question is, which do you prefer?

P.S. – The bug yesterday was a Clown Bug and those were her original colors…they come in all sorts of brilliant colors and can omit a bad smell if threatened. Sort of like what we call ‘stink bugs’ in the States I guess.