September 29, 2007

A Mantis Moment

I found a praying mantis climbing on one of our windows tonight. A perfect opportunity to try out the close-up abilities of the new camera. Suffice to say, I never could have gotten pictures like this with our point-and-shoot crapola camera.

For anyone interested in knowing this, I took these pictures using a Canon Digital Rebel XTi with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens. I was messing around so much with the exposure and shutter speeds that I don't really remember what settings I used for each picture. I think the ISO was set firm at 800 and shutter speed ranged from 1/125 to 1/320. I had the aperature set on automatic (Tv).

Out of the 78 pictures I took, these ten are the best. I had a hard time deciding which of them to post until I just said screw it. So I'm posting all of them. Like with the tarantula pictures, be sure to click on each image to get the full size version.

I like this one because it really captures the different colors on its thorax and shows how sleek its body is. And the dark background really shows off its antennae.

I just sort of liked the perspective and depth of field on this one. It was moving around a lot, making it really difficult to get its entire body focused in the frame. But I think it adds some character to the image. Although, I might try to get rid of that wierd halo around its head.

It kept moving its head all around as it was walking around on my arm. I read that mantids can actually swivel their heads 180 degrees as well as pivot them around on their necks. Seeing it twist its head to look up at me really gave it some personality.

This is another one where the depth of field gives the image an almost 3D quality.

I bet you've never seen mantis drool before.

I luh-uv this photo! The mantis had flown off of my hand onto my shirt, so I was taking pictures looking straight down as crawled up toward my face.

Speaking of which...

Sonja wanted in on the action, too. But she couldn't handle how tickly this felt crawling on her neck for very long. But she was as fascinated by this little guy as I was. He had too much personality to be creeped out by him. We're assuming it's a male, as they're the ones who fly around at night searching for females. Ok, I'm seeing a pattern emerging here. Between the tarantula and the mantis it seems like the males are the ones doing all the work to find a mate. And not only that, but in both cases its not unheard of for the males to die attempting to mate. How is that fair??

Actually, there's a lot of info out there about the mantid's tendancy toward sexual cannibalism. It's pretty interesting stuff.

When I think of mantids I usually imagine them to be fairly large. But this one wasn't all that big at all.

This was hands down one of the coolest insects I have ever seen. I wish this image had been more in focus. It was just a little too close to the lens. The effect just makes him look even more like a tiny bad-ass alien staring into the camera, though.

Have I mentioned how much I love our new camera?

3 comments:

Patrick Belardo said...

I love mantids. Our local mantis seems to have left the plant it was hanging on. That's the camera that Beth and I are looking to buy. We've been talking about it forever. It's a great camera.

P. Ollig said...

You guys should just go for it. Sonja and I had been talking about getting one for years, always waiting for "the right time." Well, we figured out that it's never going to be "the right time," so we just bit the bullet.

I absolutely love it. Be sure to get the one with the bundled 18-55mm lens (it's a great little lens), unless you already own a lens or two. You won't be disappointed!

Dave Shaw said...

Paul,
Nice shots with the new camera! I'm glad you are digging it. I just got the 40d (very sweet.). By the way if you play with photoshop at all you can get all the information about the images by looking at the file info. It will tell you the date and time, the ISO, shutter speed, f-stop, focal length, all of it. Plus you can do some fun fiddling with contrast and color to make your images look their best.

I bet you have crickets singing at night too huh? I miss crickets and other night sounds...

-Dave