Saturday, November 12, 2016

A Praying Mantis and a Garden Spider

A few weeks ago, Doug came in from the yard and said he'd found a Praying Mantis in an ornamental tree we have in front of our house. He knew I'd want to get a photo. (I've got him trained.) 

I took several shots of the little creature and wasn't thrilled with any of them. They were dark and grainy. In an email conversation with my blogging friend, Petra, I told her about my frustrations with my photography skills and sent her one of the Praying Mantis shots as an example of my failings. Within minutes, it seemed, Petra had returned "my" image, having edited it into what I think is a beautiful photo. See below:


Encouraged by the improvement Petra had made in that image, I experimented with one of the others and found I could improve it significantly, although not with as beautiful a result as Petra's editing had accomplished. 


While I was photographing the Praying Mantis, Doug found another subject for me: a Black and Yellow Garden Spider, occupying an elaborate web between our azalea bush and an evergreen shrub.

This is the underside of the spider.

And this is the top side.


  1. praying mantis' are fascinating creatures. i love the argiopes aka garden spiders - zipper spiders to me.

    i know some photo programs (and folks who know how to use them) can edit photos into masterpieces. i use (free) picasa to crop and brighten my shots, but know there are those who an do so much more.

  2. Hard to do macro of the mantis, I think it feels it is being stalked. It moves and so do I to accommodate the shot and often blur it out

  3. Amazing shots, Linda. It's really amazing what editing software programs can do with a photo, but I suspect yours weren't too far off the mark to begin with. .
    My husband showed me a video just last week of a praying mantis catching a hummingbird for it's dinner. The person shooting the video freed the squealing bird, but still, I was traumatized. ;)

  4. I think you got wonderful pictures of both the praying mantis and the spider. Well done!

  5. Linda, I think your photos are fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing. :)

  6. Excellent photos.Sometimes a little editing can make a big improvement.

  7. Theresa - I like your nickname for these spiders! I'm considering investing in photo editing software. Right now, I just use the standard Windows program or the program that came with my camera or the one available on Flickr, where I store my blog photos.

    Steve - This Mantis was being very cooperative, probably hoping I'd just go away.

    Thank you, Toni. I'd have been freaked out by the video you mentioned, too. Goodman was very bad to show it to you.

    Thanks kindly, George.

    You're very kind, Linda.

    Thank you, Ruth. I need to get a good photo editing program and learn how to use it. Either that, or take better photos the first time. :)

  8. Linda, I'm pleased to hear and see that you tried to edit your photos of the Praying Mantis yourself and achieved such a nice result. It's not easy to capture such little insect, well done! :)

    1. Thanks for the beautiful edit that you did, Petra, and for the encouragement it gave me to see what I could do with one of the other photos. I played around with the image that I sent you initially, and I couldn't come close to the result you achieved.


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