Macro Photography: Mantis Standoff

in this video we're going to create a praying mantis standoff hello my name is Joe wooden welcome to this video now as you know I've taken a little bit of break from macro photography I got a little bit burnt out having to cut with new ideas it just burnt me out a little bit a little bit of a break I did the backgrounds and then I did the feeding but we're back at it in this video and in this video I want to do this image here this image is of two prime uncie's facing off against each other like I'm the biggest person but don't worry no mantises were harmed in the making of this video there because of the nature preying mantises are you don't want to put my parents's together because they'll probably end up eating each other that's not what I want what we're going to do is we're going to create a composite image so stand with two separate images put together to make it look like one image but before I go any further if you do follow along with this don't get posting you images all over the internet saying this is a photograph I took because it's not a photograph it is a composite image it's a work of art in my opinion your opinion may differ that's how I see okay so let's get started but first of all you may notice that we now have myself a new chair the last year was so bad I wouldn't put it on video but now I have a new chair so that's noise it also matches the theme of the office as well but let's get started so why our fear is I have first of all I have a jumping spider cause I might try it but you'll be spider as well I might lead up an odd video not too sure yet see how long this one goes so this little fella is my spine if I were mantis he's in here and I've my orchid mantis who is in this big enclosure here so first of all people are asking me about the gear when I do these videos because we've got a lot of new subscribers were almost at 10k subscribers is fantastic it's all thanks to you there yes you watching there it's all thanks to you that's thank you so for this video I'm using my Canon 650d we have the Canon 100 millimeter F 2.8 l series macro lens and I'm gonna be triggering my camera using a young wireless trigger okay now these are old triggers as you know so if you are looking at getting these get the new updated ones I'm pretty sure they'll work better with live view so what we want to do first is the let's put dos over there let's start with the concept now so the concept is same as we did with this bony flower Mantis last time we photographed we're gonna have a little branch he's gonna walk across it but we're gonna have him posing as if he's trying to fight up and Monte's so first of all memo Clips you can get these off Amazon if you're interested in the gear that I'm using go to my website click on the about page you'll find a macro gear that I use and also a video gear that I use check out that out if you want to have a look at what I'm using but these are memo clip holders you can get these are parmesan they seven pain for ten of them breathing a little things for holding stuff or okay so let's bring up my camera live you so we are focused in on this piece just here that is why – too far we like oh we're at one too – monkfish that's half size but for this to work I'm gonna need to push this back a little bit just bring the camera back a little bit cause remember we want to be mantas on here okay the biggest claimant is that we are using he's going to be one and a half inches long sorry oh when he's you know posing is a lot the cats do they go big don't know he could looking at two and half inches maybe if we look at that I would say that we might still be too close I'm just going to pull my camera back a little bit and we shall refocus okay look at the tape measure that's going to look okay I think but again as always we can change any of this as we go along so the next thing I want deal with is the background and because we're using to try Manta sees then my a6 backgrounds are not going to be big enough but so you can say that there I mean if I have them right up close it looks okay but I want the background to be blurred out and they're not big enough so for that I'm going to switch over to my a naive background if you're interested in these backgrounds then check out my website link in the description you can download these backgrounds and print them out yourself and I'm gonna push you right back and again I'm looking on my live view to see what it looks like the background is too high so what I'm going to do is instead of blow in the background I'm just gonna bring up our stick and then I could will be adjust my camera looking brilliant so now we're gonna work out lighting okay and because we do with a composite image it's very important that nothing moves stick doesn't move background doesn't move camera doesn't move and indeed the light cannot move so normally when I'm I'm hung hold and it goes tink tink tink that's not gonna work because on every image the light is gonna be different so we need a fixed light the first thing I'm going to try is to put my speed light onto one of the feet that come with it and these feet they have a tripod mount on it this is the quick-release plate for the lamp righto tripods love their land photo pick release system clomp that onto my vlog inch iPod this is what I use for vlogging okay and now we have a fixed light that is not going to move around so this that I'm putting on now is my diffuser again you can get these off Amazon if you want one you can see there here we can set up our light okay now I have a white desk so it's gonna bounce up off the desk of fill in the shadows as well there's no need to pull reflector down it was about to test out our flash what we want to do is we want to get the light onto the stick and as always the triggers are ahead of sync okay so there we go you can see there from that image you get in the the light on the top of the branch here it's bouncing off the desk and up into the fill the shadows I should say and I do believe the flush is actually hitting the background bought I like the effect what we need to do now is find out if there's any shadow so I'm just gonna put my finger into the frame and we're doing this so that we don't disturb the prime mantasy for very long because they can get agitated sometimes okay 6e there with a little bit of expose so let's bring it down to 1/16 para we have no shadow on the background however might need to have a feel light on this side here so don't have a second square one for what I have got is this diffuser here and this is designed for portraits I use it on my kids sometimes wasn't hundred percent happy with the results so I have got a different one for my portrait photography however it might work white noise for just as a bill flush and I'm going to set that that's half the power of what this one is and I'm going to set it right there just out of frame you can't see probably see it on the overhead just a bit CS on the overhead ok finger in place again and a game of triggers aren't working for some reason it's out of sync being a test there we go okay so you can see there how we are filling in the shadows from that side very subtle but it's what's needed to fill in those shadows ok so we are ready for our models and we're going to play we've let me think spawn a flare mantas first I think now you've all seen this chat before more you've seen the our orchid mantis as well but it's little chappy is molted again since we did a video okay so here's our Spidey flower mantis and I'm going to place him onto a stick this notch in the wood here is the edge of my frame this notch here is the edge of the right hand side of the frame so when he comes in to there we're going to take a picture of it he's yawn then come back again take an old picture and we're going to take several pictures back and forth some of them normal some of him trying to pose and he's not going to be in an aggressive stance because they're very hard to get to get into an aggressive stand we're going to do again I'm gonna put my finger there to see if he'll reach air to try and grab my finger and that's when we will take the pitch okay so the moment he is doing absolutely nothing I'm just using live view now just to nail my focus right on the top of the stick there we go it's already but it's waiting on you dude okay so we have our praying mantis now on the branch and we wait for him to get into position Lighting's good I'm a noise good feel oh it's good we are at f/8 or depth of field is great we just got a great day for dig into position oh man that was quick I'm gonna take a shot just to wake up the flushes because they do go to sleep if you're not using them and then we already but our shot oh yeah oh there we go so I need your but this not will that not space in the opposite right here no there is getting more active in there at least you they say never work with animals or children there we go on their name up here no over here no okay okay yeah we can get a bit close with the camera so I'm going to move the camera in this notch here is right in the middle of the frame like a test shot yep good good good what we gotta do now is make it look like he's reaching out okay so let's do that now oh yeah see that see that there that's exactly what we're going for okay so these move is tilting back and forward okay so some of them are not quite in focus so I'm going to take the f-stop to f-16 that way when you sway back and forward we can cover the ground and we have him in focus that doesn't mean we've got to change the pair on the lights okay let's take two Cornie on 116th now I'm gonna take the 1/4 error that's going to be 1/8 error okay let's take a picture of him and there you'll find he's in better focus you know you want okay so what I'm doing there is I'm just offering your finger and as he goes to grab it to climb on I'll just move the finger right and he's standing like that yes right come on there we go you know yeah that's the one we wanted right there look okay so he's just about had enough now and he's gonna get a nice juicy popper but his effort okay and put him over there I'll just turn that light on for him there we go the next we want to get our orchid mantis now I don't want you to watch the same thing over and over again so Wang donde I'm gonna throw the images or now of the orchid mantis doing the same thing it's exactly the same procedure it's just a different plane mantis I'll throw them on the screen name for you so that's the photography side of this image done we need to get these images into the computer now check them over composite them into the single image that you can see on the screen now hopefully that will be quite an easy job but we won't find out until the next video let me know what you thought about this video are you looking forward to the compositing the editing side of this image let me know in the comments below but from me and my praying mantises that's it my nose Sherwood I'll see you on the next video and I'm going to be triggering my cannon use there's me I put a back plate on the camera so what we're going to do first is the let's put let's put Missy Missy let's but mrs. dead you go to my website link in the description below you'll find an about page and there's an about page on their courses and abet page on note according to babe page I wonder who's gonna be first in the commas are say this is macro photography sorry about that but how cool is that in the middle of filming I knew praying mantis has just arrived okay so I don't have a second I'm gonna break it up by the end of the doping you're a walk down this branch here yeah they start there he walked down to here you know turn round like on a catwalk then he walked back up there we get another picture of you so we got ya a picture of your face and gave us eyes then you gotta walk back down again where you got to be like striking a pose you like you know I mean and then you got to walk back up and do the same again so it's four pictures I need that's all you're not being very adventurous today's a when I come out just found out my mic was unplugged

33 Replies to “Macro Photography: Mantis Standoff”

  1. As always, a great learning experience. And, the bloopers at the end add a wonderful touch. Love your work.

  2. Hi Stewart Once again a fantastic video, it would be intersting what lengh and video takes and time it all took, maybe I should not ask, I will look forward now to the editing.
    side All the best welshman2081

  3. Love watching your videos Stewart, so informative and I learn a lot from you! Keep it up in your own pace! Btw…Where do you get all your models from…nature in general or?

  4. I agree with you, it is a work of art. You created it from beginning to end. Altough I am afraid of the most insects, I realy like the photography. Actually I screamed a little when the mantis walked over your arm. I’m impressed with the results, and I like that you use also a 650D, like me.
    Greetings from the Netherlands. Have a nice day.

  5. Just found you Stewart and subscribed. You have a wonderfully relaxed style, taking a numpty like me through the process in easy to understand stages. Can't thank you enough, please keep up the good work! Lovin' the outtakes too…

  6. Congrats on the 10K subs Stewart, superb video as always love the fact you pointed out it is a composite image. The final image looks superb

  7. Flavored water and lime vodka, and to top it off with a Miami t-shirt that's about right! Nice shoot Stewart!

  8. Well done, Stewart! Congrats on 10K subs. Special delivery, new performer – nice. Great that you will be using two models instead of extensive photo manipulation to get the second as a mirrored and re-colored/re-edited clone of the first. Look forward to the follow up vid. Enjoy new chair.

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