by ettan ettan

mantis seeking critique ettan

Gallery: Insect

Tags: mantis seeking critique

Category: Nature

Published: Tuesday 31st of August 2004 06:34:49 AM


ettan ettan
Hi, Donavan. I am actually taking this photo in my garden. The background is a piece of my old towel./and i use photoshop to burn a bit of it.

Jan Olof Härnström
Magnific and well done.

Donovan Roets
Hi Ettan Is that the natural background, or did you add your own? Exceptional shot. Well done!

Marina Cano
Wonderful light and detail.

Scott Cromwell
One of the best insect shots I have ever seen.

Javed Rassi
Fine capture, good colors and detail.

Greg Goldstein

Marc Aubry
7/7 Spactacular! Great photo!

Stephen Galea
S U B E R B A suberb shot....great light..DOF is wonderful --- is the background tuned in ps? 6/7..

Ben S
extraordinary. colors, sharpness, moment, bokeh. the real thing. this isn't my genre, but i'm humbled.

Fredrik Ludvigsson
Allright!!! Really nice photo! Extra plus to the beautiful colours in this capture!

Jerry Hagan
7/6 This is a fantastic macro, great capture!

ettan ettan
Thanks, Pete Pete,Thanks for your previous comments, i am working toward improving my photo...thanks again for your constructive comments. ""peter sherman, November 16, 2003; 12:02 P.M. ettan, you have only a few photos uploaded but among them are some memorable and truly wonderful shots. This and the two bird shots are publishable and, I believe, very strong images. The white backdrop here might require explanation for some publications but the composition is absolutely lovely. I hope you'll be able to share a few more shots in the future as you have great talent. The mantis shot needs some clarity, the crane shot loses it's dream-like qualities with the rather rough foreground (but others would disagree), your dancers can use cropping as discussed but is a very strong shot. Your few shots reveal your capacity to shoot many themes and many styles. Great work. I'll come back in the future to see any new postings. take care, pete ""

Andrea Salini
7/7 Great timing, wonderful colors, perfect composition!

Kurt Yang
Hi, Ettan. I am so happy to see another fantastic work from you. :)

Bill Keaton
I always try to add written comments when I rate a photo with possible suggestions to make it better...but this is one of the very rare times I see no room for improvement..........

Tony Georgiadis
Fine macro work.

John Orr
POW worthy! This is great, with action and color. The bokeh is interesting too, what is it? Thanks for sharing this image Ettan

Kim Slonaker
It's always amazing when one can capture such a photo as this. You were lucky to get such vivid colors and an interesting pose, plus you had the skill to pull off the shot.

Tom H
One word "awsome"

Yuri Bonder
Great Work 77 Well done!

Francesco Martini
excellent macro and..bon apetit!!!!!!

Wilson Tsoi
Excellent capture of Mantis body slamming the Dragonfly during a Saturday Night WWF Special. Well done, Ettan (Alex Goh?)

JF Ochoa
Excellent image!

A.K. Sircar
Excellent image. Congrats.

Curtis Forrester
WOW! Exceptional capture! Well done!

Radim Schreiber
Please share your techniques... Trully outstanding. Tell us little bit more how you took it (as others asked already). What kind of light, and especialy how did you set it up? Did you have to wait for this to happen? Did you help it? ;-) I am very curious. Do you do anything to bring these insects to your garden? Thank you for sharing!

Angel Luis Hernandez
Good shot. Fantastic!!

peter sherman
Hello Ettan, Thanks for inviting me to comment. I have been away from photonet for several months... seeing this shot might inspire more frequent visits. you are a gifted photographer, there is no doubt. your diverse styles and mastery of them all (at least as revealed by your posted shots at which i have really looked) is really impressive. This shot is beautifully framed, a spectacular capturing of a natural moment (consider submitting to natural history's natural moment), and of course, most of all, lit with such perfection as to become a truly memorable shot. From where did you get the underlight? reflector? flash? nearby water? lightbox? whatever you have done (and I am curious so as to learn) is outstanding. The green of the plant might otherwise be a bit distracting but it from a color perpsective connects with the mantid. the dragon fly with eyes to camera is perfect. wings are cut off (of course) and maybe could have shifted scene to right. but with maintaining the towel, the light source (i assume) and taking the shot.. you had your hands full. you are gifted. thanks for writing. pete sherman

Mark Plonsky
Excellent work. Pleasure to view.

Mike Trobee
right place...right time= great shot. my hats off!

Martin Zalba Ibañez
Great Capture!! greetings

Vandana Bajikar
Excellent macro shot of Mantis. Great details and composition. Thanks, Vandana

Ann Dream
comment Beautifully captured.

Yogesh Kshirsagar
Response to Mantis by ettan ettan No words to express!!!!!!! Excellent, just excellent. Contrasting colors of hunter and the prey are just nice. Moreover DOF is just enough to throw out the background. Keep it up ettan

Marco P
Response to Mantis by ettan ettan Well, the aestetic result is really stunning, it's all perfect: the act, the colours, the lighting, the background, the plant under the mantis - it even has flowers on it... Dare I say... it's too perfect? I mean: this wonderful shot in my opinion does not qualify as a nature shot, it's a still life of a natural subject. Very well done, indeed, but looks too unnatural to my eyes. The mantis relies on also mimetism to take its prays by surprise, but not on a red plant. I have never seen a mantis feeding on dragonflies, always smaller prays, and the lighting and background shows the shot was taken under heavily controlled conditions (terrarium?). Hope you wont take my observation as too much criticism, just my thoughts, and I have already said this is a perfect photo. I looked at your portfolio and like really very much 'mid air refuelling'. Congrats, Marco

Marc G.
Response to Mantis by ettan ettan Superb, and unique. And no, the clipped wings don't really bother me. I find the colors wonderful as well, and interestingly, the background almost looks like a studio background...:-) Congrats for such a successful take. Regards.

Mario Spalla
Response to Mantis by ettan ettan Fantastic shoot and excellent timing of shoot! I think that the colors help to make this photo very great! Congrats!

Wes Lee
Response to Mantis by ettan ettan It's great to see stuff like this because It shows us a whole other world that is happening benith our feet. And the photo itself is nearly perfect.

Greg S
Natural, or staged ? It's a nice photo for sure. Just as a point of clarification though, was the mantis found on the flower and did it ambush a dragonfly... or is this a staged photo? (i.e. mantis placed on flower, dragonfly fed to mantis) Purely an academic question, but just curious. Thanks, and congrats on POW selection. -Greg-

Harry Eggens
Response to Mantis by ettan ettan Fantastic macro/nature capture. Most wonderful lighting and details and stunning colors. An image to be really proud off Ettan....Best regards, Harry

Miguel Garcia-Guzman
Response to Mantis by ettan ettan Great capture. You have combined perfect technique for an strong moment ... Congratulations. Miguel

shane reimer
Response to Mantis by ettan ettan AMAZING colours! The DOF is perfect, too many macro photo's don't have the whole foreground in focus (ie: all teh flowers are in focus)

ettan ettan
Response to Mantis by ettan ettan I was so happy to see my photo posted as POW this morning. Thanks for all the comments on my photo and thanks for choosing this photo as POW. As to answer the questions asked by Pete,Radim,Yogesh,Marco and Greg,,, This photo was taken from my garden, i found the wild mantis on the flower, so i clipped a dragonfly and fed it to the mantis, Then, i cut down the flower and hang it upside down (mantis won't run away while eating ).thus ,you will get the mantis hanging down by the weight of the dragonfly. so as not to cause overlapping of both insects--or to get the WWF special body slamming effect as mentioned by Wilson Tsoi. The underlight is actually the backlighting, and i use a reflector to bounce off some light to the face of the mantis. The towel is hold by my maid.See pic for the original position. I use photoshop to adjust the color and burn the background and turn the picture 180 degree. Thanks again for all your constructive comments.

Jeff Davidson
Great image, but full disclosure in the details is lacking My congratulations to you Ettan. This is a classic worthy of National Geographic. One point: in your details you indicate that this is unmanipulated. You admit that you did some PS adjustments, and you should say so in the details of the image. It would be good to state how you set this up as well in the details area, so we can go back long after your POTW is gone to see how you created this masterpiece. Bravo!

Greg S
Response to Mantis by ettan ettan Thanks much for the explanation Ettan. It was especially interesting to read the 'upside down' part to position the subject(s) so dramatically. An inspiration to do some macro photography someday! Best, Greg

Mrinal Shah
Response to Mantis by ettan ettan I was spell bound after seeing Mantis. The crisp, sharp and spectacular. I would like to know what lens you used for this kind of photographs. What f-stops and shutter speeds do you work with for capturing something like this. Hope to hear from you soon. I am eager to do something of the sort myself. Mrinal.

ettan ettan
Response to Mantis by ettan ettan Hi ! Mrinah, I am using canon 100 mm EF f2.8 macro len ./ digital iso 400, tv 1/20 and av 20. Thanks.

Steve Malik
Response to Mantis by ettan ettan An absolutely fabulous image. The clipped wings don't matter a bit to me. You are to be congratulated on your obvious skill in arranging and shooting this photo. However, I felt compelled to comment because I'm disappointed. Upon finding out that this shot was staged (and shot upside down -- clever), I felt relief, because my love and appreciation for dragonflies caused me to hate to see one in the grasp of a Preying Mantis, and doubting that a preying mantis could catch a dragon. But also, I felt disappointment that what appeared to be an incredible piece of nature based photojournalism was actually a setup shot. I'm sure that there are many that would disagree with my perspective on this, but I think that if a shot is staged, that should be clearly indicated in the notes accompanying the image. To indicate in your notes that the shot was not manipulated may be true from a technical "photoshop" perspective, but gives the wrong impression to a casual viewer. Maybe it's because my perspective is so strongly influenced by a photojournalist's ethics, that I am opposed to staged nature shots. I think one of the challenges of being a nature photographer is that I have to wait for things to happen, rather than interferring and making them happen. Some books and magazine go so far as to suggest refrigerating insects to slow them down for easier shooting! I'm apalled! I want to show nature as it really is, not as I think it should be. Again, it's a great image, and you did a great job of setting up and shooting it... But please clearly indicate that it was staged.

Louis Bianchi
Astounding This is an astounding image. It just overwhelms with it's colors and the close view of nature's actions within the photo.

Robin Hayashi
Response to Mantis by ettan ettan wow! this is an amazing picture-it captures the elegance between to beings


Marc G.
Response to Mantis by ettan ettan Steve wrote: "I want to show nature as it really is, not as I think it should be." I think this is a very respectable opinion, and one that would deserve a discussion of its own. Knowing other pictures by Ettan Ettan which he declared staged, I must say I suspected this one was as well - but only because of the background, since I know nothing at all about wildlife's secrets. I find the above comments very interesting: I see there that it would in fact be impossible (?) to capture a mantis eating a dragon fly in this position, and I see that a mantis would probably not be able to capture a dragon fly either (?). Are these 2 comments accurate? And if so, I would like to know whether the photographer knew it...? If he knew it, I would be very interested if he could share with us the "philosophy" behind the setting-up of such a photo. In short, Ettan, why would you stage a photo that COULD NOT exist in reality ? Why not, if you want to stage images of nature, stage a REALISTIC natural scene...?

Jeremy Preece
Response to Mantis by ettan ettan We are a pretty funny bunch of folks here. Most of us own Photoshop and spend a lot of time "fixing" our photos to make them look the way we want (or the way we expected). Ettan didn't manipulate the photo, he manipulated the scene. Is that such a big deal? He captured something that most of us have admitted is beautiful and awesome. Just because a bait was set doesn't really take away from the techical aspects and pure beauty of the shot. What makes this any different than using a flash? Does a perfect shot only come from what can be changed on a camera? I think it's necessary sometimes to manipulate the scene in order to capture the image we can only dream of.

Wenyao Ho
Response to Mantis by ettan ettan Jeremy Preece: "I think it's necessary sometimes to manipulate the scene in order to capture the image we can only dream of." Manipulate background, manipulate lighting, manipulate position, manipulate in Photoshop, yes... but to manipulate something that goes against the very nature of things is not really ethical in my opinion. I'm not an animal activist, let alone an insect activist, but I doubt a dragonfly is a natural prey of a mantis and to "force feed" it one and take a picture of it is perhaps akin to a restaurant selling foie gras. Yes, the end-result (for both this picture and for the foie gras dish) is pleasing and beautiful, but the process to get there is perhaps not acceptable to quite a few people. If the photographer had used Photoshop to bring two composite images of a dragonfly and the mantis together and had clearly stated so, I would have no problem with that image. Clearly no insects will be harmed in the making of the picture when you use Photoshop. But in this case, a dragonfly was harmed, and what was even less acceptable was that it was fed to the mantis, whose natural food pyramid probably does not include dragonflies (I'll retract this statement if a naturalist says otherwise). It does not depict a scene in actual reality and people who do not know about dragonflies or mantisses will go away after looking at this picture, believing that mantisses eat dragonflies when this is not true. Pictures are very powerful, but I would think this kind of photography is "abuse" to make your photographic fantasies met. It is a great capture no doubt, but unfortunately it suffers the same fate as the LA Times photo of the solider guarding Iraqi civilians.

Allan Passmore
Response to Mantis by ettan ettan Regarding mantis eating habits see: The mantis has a tremendous appetite that is not limited to just insects. They typically eat cockroach-type insects, and prefer soft-bodied insects like flies. They have been documented eating 21 species of insects, soft shelled turtles, mice, frogs, birds, and newts (Prete 305). One study from the excrement of an Algierian mantid showed intake of 93.2% Hymenopterous insects, and 5% arachnids (Benrakaa 253). They are carnivorous, and only eat live prey, but have been documented in labs eating dead prey that has been manually manipulated. They are cannibalistic in nymph and adult stages. They are diurnal; meaning they eat during the day, but they have been spotted eating at night around artificial light sources (Sargent 8). taken from: So I suppose it's possible that mantises eat dragon flies. Nevertheless, I am in agreement with those who have criticised this photograph on the grounds that it is not a true representation of nature. Allan Passmore

K. S. Lovington
nay I don't like this photo because the colors don't gel together well, and this is more about color than nature or anything else. I mean, seriously, they just don't match well(I think its the background?). In nature, everything looks good with everything-whether it be dirt or bugs or light. It just all works. The color just doesn't jive in this photo. Its the equivilent of an uncool dude who's just trying too hard to be cool. Even though he's got some cool gear and some hip attitude, he's lacking the soul and therefore is coming up short.

Jesus Wong
Response to Mantis by ettan ettan Amazing shot even if the set up was manipulated, but a lot of pictures in magazines are also manipulated, specially in macro photography. So I don't find this kind of actions to be unusual nor unreal. I guess that using a strobe in the middle of the jungle makes a big difference, also cutting some of the vegetation to have a "nicer and neater" shot, etc. Hanging the flower-insects down is a very cleaver idea and I applaud it.

Matthew Kell
Response to Mantis by ettan ettan This is a powerful image. Sure, it's slightly less impressive because the dragonfly was fed to the mantis but still the bringing together of all these elements takes talent. Etan volunteered the information in response to the inquiries. It's not like we had to beat it out of him with a rubber hose!?! If I can learn a few tricks about lighting for my photography then I consider it a precious gift. This thread has been an education in more ways than one. Scatamousche

Sam M-M
Response to Mantis by ettan ettan A preying mantis will eat just about any other insect that comes its way, so the only piece of this that strikes me as unlikely to appear in nature is the position of the insect while eating, which Ettan created by tipping the flower upside down. Overall, it strikes me that this is much less manipulated than the average studio shot. I love the colors and the position; a worthy POW!

TC Reed
Response to Mantis by ettan ettan Appears to be a battle to the death. I'm sure the ending is excellent but please don't tell us now. I want to enjoy the moment you've frozen for us. I think this is a well taken photo considering the amount of action taking place and the urgency felt in taking this photo before the moment was past. Well done to you, I say!

jeremy jones
you were robbed check out that link, someone stole your photo, halfway down the page

ken obel
Response to Mantis by ettan ettan someone stole ur piece. By the way sweet babes. WWJD?!? LOL :-) I like you a lot.

ettan ettan
Mantis comments is very much appreciated, thanks.

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