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???

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