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Blue Mantis





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3 Comments | Report
Eduardbetz Jul 23
Wonderful capture ! Great details and colors !
leesadunne Jul 26
what is it?
MaryAnne306 PRO+
MaryAnne306 Nov 08
Such an unusual color for a mantis. Wonderful capture!

Behind The Lens

The photo was taken at the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in Orange County, California.
It was around 8 am in spring.
At 8 am, the sun was still low. It was slightly overcast. With the main light behind me, the mantis was evenly lit but flat. So I shot into the sun. Light from the cloud cover, like an overhead light box, filled in from above. Exposure was set to the sunny side so I could capture the shadows on the face, body, arms, and legs without over-exposing the top of the mantis to give it a three-dimensional look.
I used a Canon EOS 7D Mark II with an 100-400 L II lens at 400 mm.
I don’t see praying mantis in my area much. Rarity and opportunity are what make photography fun. They were gone within a few days.
I wanted the subject to stand out a little more than what I had captured out-of-camera; I gave it a tiny increase in contrast.
In my camera bag
For wildlife, I use the 7D Mark II and an 100-400 lens; for everything else, I take a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with a 24-105 and either a 16-35 or 70-200. I travel light - Canon EOS Ms.
If one is serious about shooting macro, carry a macro lens. I have been a photographer well over 50 years. Besides the first few years, I own macro lenses continuously. Nowadays I don’t plan for macro photography and I am getting too old for dead weight. The day I shot this photo was one of those “not plan for macro” day. It was not fun to try to shoot a living object two feet in front of an 100-400 mm zoom lens at 400 mm and 1/100 sec., even with a lens that could focus close and with modern vibration technology. I got lucky because with the 400 mm compression coupled to a shallow depth of field I was able to capture, at the right size, the patch of yellow behind the praying mantis that I like very much. It was another yellow flower. I normally use a standard focal length macro lens for inanimate objects and a mid-telephoto macro lens for animals. Keep clicking!

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