In southern California, autumn is the best time to capture Preying Mantises (literally and on camera). They are easily found around the yard. It seems that every year, I am lucky enough to catch and photograph one performing for the camera.
Actually, I believe the ritual is to scare a possible assailant. They are easy to catch. Just put one finger in front of them and they climb right on. By waiving your finger in front of them, they appear to get in a defensive mode, and try to make themselves look bigger. They are aggressive and it’s a good thing they aren't eight feet tall.
The pictures above were all taken using a Pentax K-7 with the DA 18-55mm kit lens or the Pentax “A” 50mm f/1.4 with a Vivitar tele-extender.
Isn’t nature great!
Thank you for looking,
P.S. Looking at some comments received, I cannot stop wondering if Measurbators really understand, what photography is all about. I believe that it's not about what make of DSLR you use, it's not about the megapixels your DSLR has, it's not about perfect IQ... it's about composition. The subject of your photographs, the arrangement, the lighting, the message your images convey are all some of the elements that photography is made of. If you look at some famous pictures through the years, sharpness was not the prime factor. Look here:
Nick Ut snapped a picture of Kim Phuc, a Vietnamese girl, fleeing naked down a highway in Vietnam after a napalm attack in 1972. The image is not sharp, but the message was bigger than the picture itself.
My photographs do not compare to these photographs and they humble me. Can you imagine someone criticizing a Pulitzer Prize winner for the image quality? It would be absurd.
In the end, there are photographers and Measurbators. One is about Art and the other about technology. Their goals are very different. I say live and let live. Your measurbate, I take photographs. Respect my goal and I'll respect yours.