Macro Mantis: Insect Photography Up Close

3 Jan

I see the world in new ways since discovering iPhoneography, especially in close-up macro view. A rich universe of detail exists all around us, all the time, just waiting to be appreciated. And with only a little effort we’re free to visit whenever we want.

Praying Mantis – Here’s Looking At You!

Macro Mantis by rsmithing

Macro Mantis, featured recently at the 1000 Words Showcase by the WeAreJuxt team.

I noticed this mantis on the porch one morning and brought him to the kitchen table with a glass and some paper. He seemed fine with that, and I was careful not to harm him throughout the shoot.

With my iPhone 4, a macro lens by Photojojo, and a high-powered flashlight from Home Depot, I captured several shots, some like this using Hipstamatic’s John S. lens and Rock BW-11 film. The app adds a random depth that I like.

Experimenting with the light and camera positioning, I coaxed out varying shadows and highlights, the most dramatic being when the beast seemed to stare right into the lens. No doubt he was experiencing what being abducted by aliens must be like for humans.

After about five minutes of that, it was back to the wild on a bush in the yard where he blended in much better than in the kitchen.

The good folks at Juxt recently featured this mantis shot of mine in their 1000 Words Showcase.

What do you think? Ever done any macro photography? What are your techniques? Let us hear from you in the comments.

6 Responses to “Macro Mantis: Insect Photography Up Close”

  1. Piscis January 21, 2013 at 1:37 am #

    Not bad at all for a phone-shot! Didn’t realize they made add-on lenses for the iPhone.

    • rsmithing January 21, 2013 at 7:35 am #

      Thank you! Indeed, all manner of lenses are available. has excellent customer service, too.

  2. susanmaedetera January 8, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    wow, i didnt know you can do this on an iphone! amazing to think that ive been doing macro on dslr! will try this out…thanks for sharing this…..btw, thanks for visiting my blog Gasm Travels and commenting on one of my photos at

    • rsmithing January 8, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this, Susan. And what a coincidence; just this week I received a band-style macro lens and will now be using that along with the magnetic-style attachment. I’ve found the band lens lets in less light, but has a greater depth of field. Still, for only a few bucks, they add a world of fun. I encourage you to check out if you’re interested. Thanks for commenting, and I hope you keep coming back.

      • susanmaedetera January 9, 2013 at 1:01 am #

        i will check it out…thanks…will surely keep on coming back….

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