May 8th – Big Green Smile

Praying Mantis

I found this fairly large mantid clinging to a dead tree branch that was sticking out of a gutter on the roof. I managed to relocate the pair of them to the safety of the garden.

Then I stuck my big macro up its nose.

The Praying Mantis is a curious insect, and are pretty happy when kept as pets. Watching its beady little eyeballs follow me as I hunted for the best angle was very cute, but it’s their odd-shaped mouth-parts that are the most interesting. I’d say tongue, but that’s anatomically incorrect from what I’ve read.

They use these mandibles to clean and preen themselves, much like a cat.

This photo is also another triumph in removing noise (using Lightroom). When I took the photo, the camera grabbed ISO 3200 – with the shady light it means the camera attempted to compensate by making the most of what light was available. The end result is a sort of red-green splodginess across the photo, mainly noticeable in the darker areas.

The higher the ISO, the more likelihood of digital ‘noise’. ISO 3200 is the highest my camera will go automatically, though it’s capable of reaching ISO 6400 when set manually. I did this recently when experimenting with some astro shots. You can see this photo is so busy with The Milky Way that you don’t notice the noise.

There are apps that can remove Noise from everyday photo’s, such as MacPhun’s new Noiseless app.

Being able to remove noise effectively is very useful, it means I might now use photo’s that I would have previously disregarded.


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