Canon 30D, handheld
Mamiya 80mm at f4
1/100 second at ISO 250
Poster child
Chinese mantis Tenodera sinensis soft

The Chinese mantises (Tenodera sinensis) have been a regular subject of mine because a) they're handy, generally being right out front, b) they're cooperative, not fleeing and not often even concerned with a close approach, and especially c) they're cool. So I have a lot of photos of them, and trying to pick the ones that I want to showcase without overloading the gallery with them is a little tricky.

But I had to include this one. Taken by natural light at high magnification with the shortest depth-of-field that the lens can manage, so much of the image dropped out of focus that it became very impressionistic. The fact that the background came so close to matching the mantid's color helped a lot.

Chinese mantis Tenodera sinensis detailThis one needs to be a poster-sized print, for one particular reason: the tiny portion that is in focus is quite sharp, showing a distinctive amount of detail in a very small area. Though the mantis was approaching adult size when this was shot in July, those ommatidia (eye facets) are still excrutiatingly small, but still captured clearly in a very short plane of focus, as seen in this full-resolution inset. Compare those against the antenna, which passes so far out of focus that it vanishes entirely. I like it.