Ahmed Belal  

Praying Mantis  by Ahmed Belal

December 2019 - Praying Mantis

About the Image(s)

Close up photography with a Canon Macro 100mm lens.
Lightroom edited to the background and converted the BW photo to be of Silver instinct.


This round’s discussion is now closed!
7 comments posted

Steven Jungerwirth   Steven Jungerwirth
Great shot - agree monochrome works really well. Also the jet black background.

I like the angle - followed the body from the corners straight to the centered head - which almost looks like a scary dragon. I like the way you used light to focus in the head.

Is the head sharp? Couldn't tell from my image?
How do you get a shot like this? Was the insect alive?
With 100mm lenses (love that lens - amazingly sharp!) you must have been very close to the subject.

  Posted: 12/05/2019 03:38:59
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Steven, this is a Macro lens, as such it highly magnifies the object - in any case, depending upon the size of the subject, anywhere between a 12" and 2" is the working range.

My wife works very close to her underwater subjects with a similar lens: 1" to 2".   Posted: 12/05/2019 05:05:28
Steven Jungerwirth   Steven Jungerwirth
Yup - I also have the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS Lens (assume that's the same lens Ahmed used). Love the magnification, sharpness and paper thin depth of field! My question is about how the shot was set-up? Was the insect alive? Was there was time to set up the exposure? How did you get it on a black background? Tx!   Posted: 12/05/2019 12:26:36

Jennifer Marano   Jennifer Marano
Very interesting photo, Ahmed! I like the focus on the mantis's head and eye, and the black background is very effective. I wonder if you photographed it on a black background, or whether you were able to make the background black in post-processing. I have a 90 mm Sony macro lens that I have mostly been using for portraits, but I am now inspired to go out and find some interesting insects!   Posted: 12/05/2019 17:51:20

Mike Washington   Mike Washington
I have taken a number of macro shots of these fascinating creatures. As their name indicates, they mostly remain very still in waiting for their Prey. This gives you plenty of time to compose and get off a shot, or several, if you are focus stacking.

I have engaged with this image for a while and like that it has been processed in B&W, with a metallic like impression. Due to the razor thin DoF you have to work with in macro, I don't believe this image would have had the same interest in color. To my eye, it appears flash at close range was employed, which would throw the background into darkness, while illuminating the focal area. Light painting in a dark environment can produce the same effect.

Kudos to Ahmed for this Silver Dragon.   Posted: 12/06/2019 06:33:03

Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
Hi Ahmed - really enjoying this engaging composition: from the subjects, relatively focused head, to the slow deterioration of details in the lower half (a cause through lens bokeh) is very creative in this particular shot. (I will add, this is also a known and sort after visual dynamic most 100mm Macro lenses offer, it is used very well here, indeed). Blacking out the background is the final touch that brings mystery, as well as, maybe fascination, to the photograph.

However, I still must be critical the eyes were not in better focus; this said, and imagining viewing this as a 24x16 print from at least from 7 feet, (as done with most photographs produced via film-stock) still offers a "keeper"in my book. Lovely creation, Ahmed.   Posted: 12/06/2019 13:35:33

Graham Jones   Graham Jones
I have struggled with getting a good black background so I am too curious it this was done in post or with a black backdrop. I really like the look of the insect   Posted: 12/22/2019 13:49:06