Friday, September 30, 2011

Foto Friday - My Mantis Adventure

It's very, very good to have a friend willing to capture creatures for you to photograph.
Not once but twice all in the same week. I'm a lucky girl!

My friend Renee called to tell me that she captured a praying mantis for me.
Warning: If you feel the earth shake it's just me as I'm still jumping up and down from the excitement. I went to retrieve it from her and waited until evening to take it outside and get some shots 'cause you know, it's all about the light.

Now, you just never know with these wild things just what they'll do or if you will even get the
chance to photograph them. I opened the container and it immediately ran up my left arm. It took several tries before it would stay on my hand but it never lasted long as it was determined to be king of the mountain my shoulder.  We battled it out and I eventually won. But, I waited a bit too long as the sun was going down quickly and I was losing my light so I tried to place it on a flower. It. Just. Didn't. Want. To. Go. Finally,  I was able to coax it onto a flower and started clicking when I could see it waiving its arms in the air. The next thing I know, I've lost sight of it in the view finder only to find that it was on my camera lens! We went back and forth like this for several rounds and each time I put it a little further away it would just make it back onto my lens? I gave it one last try and put it on a flower basket that was about 3 feet off the ground. It followed my every move and when I stopped it took a leap off the basket, towards me of course! I quickly tried to get a few pics of it on the lantana, but no such luck as it just kept walking towards me.  At this point I was kneeling in the grass and was about a foot from the edge of the stone border in the garden, and yep . . . he leaped straight across to me. It was quite comical.


For an insect, they sure have personalities - It's got the same expression that my dog gets when
he hears the initials 'DQ'!!
(f5.0 / 250s)

So to say the least I was a bit disappointed that not many of the shots turned out as sharp as I would have liked and the depth of field was off, but if at first you don't succeed your friend will find you another one. This one was bigger, quite feisty while in the container and to complicate things it was a mature mantis complete with two sets of wings! Yes, this would prove to be a bit tricky and since I got it from her at night I would have to wait until morning for the outcome. The next morning I set out with my camera in hand and container of precious cargo to the garden. I decided on an area of lantana because I was able to get really close with my camera since the lens I was using was my 40mm macro. And when I say close, I mean within inches of my subject.

                                                                         ( f7.1 / 640s)

These guys are fascinating to watch especially when they're cleaning themselves and
they seem to have the curiosity of a cat. (f7.1 / 640s)

Somehow I missed a close-up of their raptor like legs. They have razor sharp spikes
that they use to impale their prey and I read that they are able to strike twice as fast
as the blink of an eye - that's pretty fast!

(f16 / 125s)

Oh my, check out these eyes!! I knew that they had compound eyes like most insects, but
until I had seen one through this lens I had no idea that they also have 3 simple eyes on top of their head.
He (or she) looks bejeweled!

(f16 / 125s)
{Linking this with Fabulous Friday at McDougall Photography 

I 'm guessing that it was about 3 to 3 1/2 inches long.
(f20 /160s)

(f11 / 400s)

{Linking this with favorite photo of the week contest at Through a Photographers Eyes}
I guess they get thirsty too . . . .

(f11 / 400s)

Love the delicacy of the wings and their detail.
(f8.0 / 800s)

The watching . . . it was mutual.
(8.0 / 620s)

(f8.0 / 320s)

At one point I startled it and it flew away . . . but not to worry, I got the ladder and my net and was able
to safely capture it again for more photos and I'm quite certain that I entertained my neighbors, as usual! I think I would be in trouble should I ever fall and not be able to get up, since that is usually where they find me anyway - laying on the ground.

One thing I learned using my macro lens is that with the increase in magnification there is a loss of DOF (depth of field) and to maximize it I need to set the aperture as far down as possible (higher f-stop) so that
more of my subject is in focus and not just it's head (like in the third photo, f5.0). I'm also learning that all
the things that can make normal photography difficult are just magnified when trying to shoot macro. Simple things like just breathing can affect your focus and sharpness and a slight breeze seems like a hurricane.
So more practice for me, but in the meantime I'm really enjoying the details I see through my lens!!

Until next time, take a closer look at something you just might like what you see!!
Have a wonderful weekend,
Love, Kim

Everything as beauty, but not everyone sees it.

photo friday with the hollie rogue

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Quotography - Time

its something that often eludes us,
and what we always want more of.
We must take care not to spend it on the past,
or worry about the future.
But breath in moment by moment the gift of the present
as no one regardless of age is promised tomorrow.

We simply cannot afford to wish it away by saying until then,
or if only, or when . . . .
because there is no other perfect time then right now.


Quotography at {My}Perspective

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

When I saw the first prompt was low-key I really have to admit
that it took me a minute to realize that low-key had something to do with
photographic lighting, of course and nothing to do with relaxing or being easy
going at least for the purpose of this hunt.

 So yes, I had to 'google' it and what I found out was that low key refers to a photographic
style that uses mostly dark tones and selective lighting which produces a high contrast image.   On one
of my walks this week I found this barrel in the shade with the sun peeking through just
enough and on only a portion of it. I think the elements of low key are here, I'm just not quite
getting the same dramatic feeling I might have gotten had the subject been a person.

1. Low-key: This is a prompt that I would love to try again.

2. The color wheel: monochromatic/analogous color


3. Circles: This is a wind chime that I'm sure I have walked by a million times before
but noticed it a little more because of this prompt! I think a few others noticed it too
while they wondered why on earth I was taking a picture of it! haha

4. Scarf : My dog ate it?  If you have a good imagination, it's a zebra scarf with fringe
and I just didn't get a picture of it.

5. Telephone: I really had no idea what I would do for this one until earlier this week
I ran into this. Although there really was no phone inside . . . Hmmm I wonder,
could it have been abandoned by Dr. Who?

Hope you are having a wonderful Sunday!
Love, Kim

Join the rest of the scavenger hunt here at :

Friday, September 23, 2011

Foto Friday - On the trail again . . .

{If you are looking for the Bead Soup reveal . . . click here)

Cue the music please . . .
"On the trail again, just couldn't wait to get back
on the trail again . . . ", fa la la la la.

Okay, so I was actually on foot and not a horse.
And well it was a coastal birding trail,
where instead of driving cattle the beauty of nature stopped me in my tracks
and the only stampede to be found was that of the dragonflies
buzzing through the air.
There were no trail bosses or trail hand's to deal with
so I was able to set my own pace, but a chuck wagon would have been a welcome sight!
It was another breathtaking morning
and as someone who pays close attention to the light as a photographer
that would be my only indication that the season is changing
since the weather here still feels very much like summer and is still up near 100 degrees!

The sky was a beautiful shade of blue and the smell of freshly fallen
pine needles was carried through the air by the soft breeze.

Some of the flowers are now producing interesting seed pods.

The seed pods below especially caught my eye. They're miniature works of art and the seeds reminded
me of black pearls only more precious. They may not have the monetary value of pearls,
but something more important as they they continue the cycle and give back life.

(linking this with Favorite photo of the week contest)

When I first arrived (at the butterfly garden) there were several hummers out for morning
coffee nectar but flew right away. I found a tree stump and practiced the virtue of patience
and, eventually a few came back. It was difficult even to get this picture because they are just so quick
and by the time you can find them in the view finder they are heading for the next stop.

Of course I can't pass up the water drops . . .

(linking this one with This and That Thursday with Deb Duty)

There were quite a few butterflies on this morning and I just happened to be standing
right next to the special of the day! 

I was even able to lasso a little starshine!! Which of course reminded me of this quote
from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory:

"Good morning starshine, the Earth says hello!"  - Willy Wonka

And along the way some bushes with berries in my favorite color  - PINK!!

And of course it wouldn't be a birding trail without some fabulous birds . . . .this one is a Roseate
Spoonbill but not quite as pink as normal. It was lucky for me that there are some grasses and bushes
that grow along side the trail that allow me to get a little closer, although I still ended up startling this one anyway.  

And this guy was his walking buddy, an immature White Ibis. There is actually quite a bit of grass between
him and I but since I focused on him and was very close to the grass it just blurred and became a nice bokeh. 

(linking this one with La-La's Home daycare - theme "S" curve - it's a stretch I know, but you do see the
"S" in the neck?)
Throughout the trail there are these bird feeds scattered about. I rested at the swing by this one
and after a little while they felt comfortable coming back.
(linking this with Fabulous Friday)

Then I caught back up with this one . . . 

Here is an immature yellow-crowned night heron and he was quite focused on something . . .

 . . . . he found himself lunch, blue crab yum!!

As I was headed back to the car there was another bird feeder and as I turned around to wait and
see if any birds would return I saw this guy looking at me. I had walked straight passed him!

As I walked this trail there were a few things that I thought about. In life when I walk in fear
I am usually disappointed. When I walk in faith my needs are met. It seems pretty simple
enough, yet sometimes I still insist on being in control . . . I'm still working on that.

I'm going to tape this to the mirror in my bathroom:
Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths.

Thanks for walking with me today - Have a wonderful weekend!

Love, Kim


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

{If you are looking for my Bead Soup Blog Hop Reveal you can find it here}

Scavenger Hunt Sunday is fast becoming one of my favorite
links ups to participate in, one I look forward to for sure.
I love {LOVE} seeing how everyone else has interpreted the prompts, which also helps me to stretch my own imagination.

1. Street Photography

I admit though, that this one was definitely out of my comfort zone but one I think I would like to try again. I came across these two guys as soon as I parked my car and got out. Since they were the only two people for blocks (side street) I did ask permission and as you can see they said yes!

2. From a Distance

 From a distance I saw this guy [John] who caught this [Sand Trout] and from there saw two guys in a boat.

3. Sunday or [Sundae]

Okay, so work with me here! I mean this is something I
eat on Sunday's.

4. Liquid

This is a small fountain that I love with an egret in the middle of it at the Ashton Villa in Galveston. The day I was there this week I met a very young couple who were visiting Galveston from several hours away. Had a very interesting conversation that started when they asked me if I knew where the Gingerbread House was? Well, the only Gingerbread House I know of is the one in the woods where the witch locks up Hansel and Gretel. Come to find out there is one in Galveston and it is supposed to be haunted.

5. Behind

And last but not least, a picture of an ant from behind. . .

Hope you're having a wonderful Sunday!
Love, Kim

For more Scavenger Hunt Sunday items go here.

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