NIKON D300, Nikon 18-200 VR, HDR in Photomatix
Here is a cut little guy that posed for me in my backyard one day. Praying Mantis are great subjects as they stand very still! He was cool and let me set up my camera and tripod with a nice telephoto zoom! The lens was probably only seven inches away as he looked at what I was doing.
I was not sure how an insect would look as an HDR. One great idea I have would be to shoot a butterfly in HDR…but they move a little too much…so it may be difficult. But this Mantis came out solid! Here is some info on these amazing insects: Mantodea or mantises is an order of insects which contains approximately 2,200 species in 9 families worldwide in temperate and tropical habitats. Most of the species are in the family Mantidae. Historically, the term “mantid” was used to refer to any member of the order because for most of the past century, only one family was recognized within the order; technically, however, the term only refers to this one family, meaning the species in the other eight recently-established families are not mantids, by definition (i.e., they are empusids, or hymenopodids, etc.), and the term “mantises” should be used when referring to the entire order. A colloquial name for the order is “praying mantises”, because of the typical “prayer-like” stance, although the term is often misspelled as “preying mantis” since mantises are notoriously predatory. The word mantis is Greek for “prophet” or “fortune teller”. In Europe, the name “praying mantis” refers to only a single species, Mantis religiosa. The closest relatives of mantises are the orders Isoptera(termites) and Blattodea (cockroaches), and these three groups together are sometimes ranked as an order rather than a superorder. They are sometimes confused with phasmids (stick/leaf insects) and other elongated insects such as grasshoppers and crickets.
What was cool about this guy is that he must have had some babies recently as soon as we saw him, a little baby mantis came into our house when the door opened the next day!…so cute! He was afraid of us yet curious. I love when their heads turn as they watch you move…such beautiful insects!