Last Friday night, I was on my way out of the garage to head to the church and caught a glimpse of a giant green bug hanging out on the side of the door. I knew this bug, I knew it well, & I knew it was also hard to come across as they tend to be sneaky predators, like ninjas. It was a praying mantis, ironic right, on my way to church and I spotted a praying mantis. I ran into the house as quickly as I could, swapped out the 18-54mm with my 50mm macro and 2 x extension tube, along with my speedlight and flash cable. I ran back outside like a boy that scarfed down his dinner to make sure he didn’t miss the last inning of the backyard kickball game. I set myself up as quickly as possible and started snapping away!
Surprisingly this mantis held poses for a long time, carefully looking at me as I was getting uncomfortably close to him. After I was satisfied with the shots I composed, I went back into the house dropped off my stuff and then headed off to church. Well sort of, just after I put the camera away I ran back out to snap a couple more, this photography thing is addicting!
I was pleasantly surprised by the shots I took and had a blast post processing them. I used a few ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) tricks to pull out a ton of Dynamic Range from each single exposure. ACR coupled with Topaz Adjust 5 really set these portraits off.
I won’t go into the details of how the equipment was setup, but if you are curious you can see how I shot a similar bug last year around this time.
Photo Tip For The Week:
Always shoot in RAW! I will do a thorough explanation as to why on Friday where I will outline the difference between RAW and JPEG, the Pros’s and Con’s of both, and who should use either. I shot these mantis pictures, but to my demise many of them were 2-3 stops underexposed. I was perfectly set up for the shots but it was extremely difficult to view my exposures on the LCD outdoors. Competing with the Mid West sun at 6 PM in the summer is tough! Luckily I was able to recover all of them with ease and accuracy because I shot them in RAW.