Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Parking Lot Predator

The Parking Lot Predator

Nikon D90, F: 105mm, S: 1/200, A: f/5.6, ISO 200

The day was September second, and I had started my day like any other. I woke up bright and early like I do every morning, got ready for work and made my morning drive to the office. I had just sat down at my desk with a fresh, piping hot cup of coffee when, all of a sudden, my phone rang! I'm not talking about my work phone, as that would have been somewhat normal other than the fact that it was 7:58 in the morning, but this was my cell phone ringing. The first thing I think when my cell phone rings at odd hours...something must be wrong! "My dog had been hit by a car", "my wife was in trouble and needed help" or "someone I know was in a car accident" were all thoughts that raced through my brain before I actually looked at my phone to find that it was one of my good office buds ringing me. So now the victim had been pinpointed. I thought for sure my dear office friend was on the side of the road somewhere in desperate need of assistance. I answered my phone preparing for sour news, but it actually turned out to be a great photo opportunity. The conversation went something like this:
Me: "Hello?!?"
Friend: "Do you have your camera with you today?"
Me: "Yes, I do. Where are you?" (note the concern)
Friend: "I'm in the parking lot and there's a praying mantis just waiting to have its picture taken!"
Me: (with a slight delay) "uhh, I'll be right down"

I was still a tad groggy as I hadn't even taken a sip of coffee yet, but I couldn't pass up a cool photo-op such as this! I grabbed my camera bag, hurried to the elevator and sprung onto the scene where the posing mantis was awaiting her photo shoot. It was a beautiful morning, and the sun was just beginning to peer over the downtown buildings providing a down home, rooster crowing sunrise. This light was a bit intense, and directly hitting the mantis, so a little jockeying of angles was in order. I danced around the insect snapping shots at different angles, and I was able to walk away with some cool images of the preying mantis in its very unnatural environment!

Nikon D90, F: 105mm, S: 1/160, A: f/18, ISO 200

Nikon D90, F: 75mm, S: 1/200, A: f/32, ISO 200

I have recently read some articles about black and white images, so I decided to convert one deserving image of the preying mantis to black and white to see if I could get the desired impact. The color and B&W images are below, so you be the judge!

Nikon D90, F: 105mm, S: 1/200, A: f/9, ISO 200

Black & White rendering of image above...which do you like better???

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Words to Live By

I found this photo on a blog I read (Garrett Grove's Blog), and it struck enough of a chord in me to share it here on my blog. I think it's an insightful phrase to live by and I'll try and use it whenever I get in one of my "I have to have it" moods. It's easy to forget how valuable the little things are and how simple it can be to make the best of nearly any situation. A recent example of this hit close to home, as my sis and brother-in-law had to make a double home move in less than 30 days. Kate and I were there for each move, and I'd say, all in all, everyone made the best of a somewhat shaky situation. While stresses did flare a few times, we were all laughs the majority of the time! Give me family, friends, a deck of cards and a beer or two, and I can make the best of any situation!