Who you lookin’ at bub?

Filed in Digital Hunter, Hong Kong Wildlife, Photo of the DayTags:

If there's an advantage to having a polluted sky, it's that sometimes the sunlight filtered by the pollution can be quite extraordinary; bright and warm without being harsh. Such was the case yesterday afternoon, so I decided to hide out for a few minutes behind a bush hoping that the local Sunbirds would visit. While waiting, I suddenly became aware of another life, totally unexpected, and as I watched him, he suddenly noticed me, perked up his head and looked straight back at me; a praying mantis. Here is one of the photos I was able to take in that short fortuitous time.

Praying mantis on Guard

Stop watching me! You'll tip off the birds to my presence!!!

For a larger version, click here.

And for a later photo of the same mantis watching carefully for any birds flying above, click here.

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22 Responses to “Who you lookin’ at bub?”
  1. donna says:

    i love this shot it seems so cool that hes looking at the camera right when you take a picture of it

  2. toracat says:

    Woo, my Goodness, those eyes are so sharp!

  3. yinyin says:

    wa~ nice photo! its such a great photo! i could hardly get a good photo of animals/ they move too far or should i say my camera is too slow..... better to get myself a better camera? is the nikkon D40 okay? but it seems so heavy~

  4. Thumbs up! says:

    Woooow!
    You just captured the precious moment. Love the vibrant colors too.
    Btw, what lens did you use?

  5. Alex 5毫子 says:

    This is a stunning shot!! Please, just tell me how to take photos like these!! Oh......hang on......I can't find the shutter button......

  6. 河國榮 says:

    yes. that he's looking right at the camera is what makes it special. I was very lucky that he noticed me noticing him ;-)

  7. 河國榮 says:

    I've recently discovered that when shooting subjects less than 8' away with a 300mm lense, even at f8, I only get a few millimetres of Depth of Field. the bright polluted sunshine on this day allowed me to shoot with f16 which helps to keep the eyes in focus. and manual focus to fine tune the automatic focus is absolutely necessary to get the important pieces in sharp focus.

  8. 河國榮 says:

    the only thing I know about Nikon is that one of my friends just bought the new D3 and it's an amazing camera. but I'm sure the D40 is pretty good too. getting photos like this though requires patience, practice and luck!

  9. 河國榮 says:

    hi Saphire.

    I used the Canon 70-300DO which I seem to use most of the time at 300mm. the 70mm end of it almost never gets used!

    btw, I upgraded in August to a 1D Mark III :-). it's a very nice camera.

  10. 河國榮 says:

    hi Alex.

    I can understand the confusion. there are so many buttons and knobs on cameras these days that it can be hard to find anything. however, the shutter button is generally a small round button on the front of the camera, usually near the right top corner :-D

  11. 河國榮 says:

    'the vibrant colors' — a little too vibrant by my reckoning. in a later version of this photo, I desaturated it a little. I think the pollution-filtered sunlight jacked up the saturation big time!

  12. sapphire says:

    1D Mark III??? You're making us jealous!!!
    That is our dream gear too.....we're still using 5D. :(

    Hope to see more brilliant pics from you soon!

  13. 河國榮 says:

    Sapphire,

    (you are aware of course that you can respond directly to my, and other folks', comments.)

    I was using my 350D for quite some time while you were using that wonderful 5D ;-) I was given a unique opportunity to upgrade to the Mark III and even though expensive and a stretch on our budget, I couldn't let it go. I haven't regretted it. it's a wonderful camera although the LCD screen on the new Nikon D3 makes the Mark III's LCD look pre-historic!

  14. sapphire says:

    Sorry ....not aware of the direct response before. Thanks for telling me. Hehe!

    5D looks like antique when the whole world is now talking about 1D and D3.
    The major drawback so far, 5D seems like a giant dust magnet. We've already replaced the sensor once this past summer. :(

    Enjoy your new gear and happy shooting!

  15. Jeremy says:

    At first, I thought I was looking at a new feature from Pixar animation, and you were hired to do some voice overs :-). The colours in that photo are simply fantastic. You'd give Ken Duncan a run for his money.

  16. themamakcorner says:

    impressive. I wish I could "snaP" like that..

  17. Joshua says:

    Very good photo! If the photo has a larger resolution, I might even consider using it as my desktop. But I guess you must have cropped out the surrounding of the original in order to focus at this little guy?
    BTW, I think he (or she?) might be waiting more for an unsuspecting butterfly or bee than a birdie. What do you say?

  18. 杜格拉斯 says:

    呢張可以攞去參選。:) 大師榮。

  19. Jam says:

    I've never seen a mantis staring @ the camera before...Gee you're so good on these shots...keep up the good work mate.

  20. jam says:

    this is really lovely. you couldn't have taken this pix at a better time. good on ya.

  21. BoBo says:

    You have captured it like a cartoon character coming to live!! Very well done. I had a similar photo in Dec with a bee on (not necessarily the same flower though..hahah), but not as sharp and rich as yours... keep up the good work...amazing!!

  22. linda says:

    Nihao: Now I know both your Chinese and Australian English name. Well, how do you do? I have been a fan ever since my husband, Woon, can come home with tapes from his Dad's LA home. I am impressed of course with your Chinese. I have wanted my son, Alvin, to meet you but I don't know your name. Now, I can show him all your online stuff and your photo. Thank you very much.

    just a fan, zicailindaahying((*_*))