praying mantis


Praying Mantis at Sabi Sabi private Game Reserve

We often forget that there are so many things that are worth taking pictures of. The insect world is just incredible; the variety of species is never-ending. One afternoon I noticed this Praying Mantis. The colors and shape intrigued me. The mantis was sitting on a leaf in the shade and this would make it very difficult to get a decent picture. I moved the mantis out into the sun and placed it on a nice looking rock. With this kind of photography one has a little more time to set the picture up.


I placed it so that the last rays of sun would be behind the insect. In doing so the mantis would light up more against the darker background and would also have a little light shining through its body. I used a little flash, just enough to take away the shadows on the body.


I set the camera onto aperture priority and then set the aperture at F4, giving just enough depth to get the image sharp. I used my 24-70mm lens and zoomed right in. Ideally you would want to use a macro lens capable of getting in much closer but I didn't have one. I under-exposed by 1/3rd and pulled the flash back to -1.5 of a stop. I just wanted a little flash on the subject. My speed was set at a very slow 1/60 th of a second but I would have gone faster if the light allowed.


Happy snapping,


Rod Wyndham


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