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Believe it or not (But dont miss it)

Believe it or not (But dont miss it)
Photo Information
Copyright: Pankaj Bajpai (pankajbajpai) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1470 W: 102 N: 4711] (16627)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-10-06
Categories: Insects
Camera: Nikon D80, Sigma 70-300 4-5.6 APO DG MACRO, 58mm UV
Details: Tripod: Yes
Map: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): portfolio of a killer, Superb Macros, TN Classics, Trentaure at its Best, eliz's Favorites II [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-10-10 2:36
Viewed: 5889
Favorites: 6 [view]
Points: 80
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The title of this post resembles to a famous Television show, Actually i was quite confused what title one could give to something like this?????. I thought living on the edge could be a good one?

During my recent encounter with a mantis i had enough time to sit and enjoy the movements of this insect. I was watching it through my lens and all of a sudden a dragonfly came and landed on the neck of the mantis. Two of the three envolved in this scene were shocked and and were freezed. Me and the mantis :-0). I had never seen something like this before and started shooting it.

Here i could realise why we call mantis a great predator. The poor dragonfly couldnt realise that it wasnt a part of the plant but a mantis.

This is one of my most precious capture as i never dreamt of shooting something like this.

The next part of the story will be posted soon. This is my second mantis post in a row and i hope that it will evoke some interests of the people studying the behaviour of these insects. Lets see if you could guess what would have happened next????

The composition is original as no cropping has been done, the image has been framed and resized for the presentation.

Your critiques and comments are most welcome.

aes_thor, Argus, iris, uleko, ramthakur, siggi, Pearl, haraprasan, SelenE, horia, eqshannon, Maite, jaycee, Silvio2006, MMM, Juyona, gracious, marhowie, Alex99, anel, tomszat, pushpinder, jusninasirun, cicindela, cataclysta, nazirbadar has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-10-10 2:45]

Wow! Very impressive, Pankaj!!
How lucky you are to capture a dragonfly on a Mantis... that doesn't happen every day :-)
Excellent sharpness.
Superb composition.
Great light.

Very well done!


p.s I guess the Mantis then ate the dragonfly... look he's eyeing him up right now! :-)

Hi Pankaj!

Really amazing situation You've captured. Great focus, colours and composition. Something new:) Mantis looks really surprised! Well done!

Fantastic portrait of a beautiful insect, sharp focus. Well done.
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-10-10 3:05]

An amazing capture Pankaj!
That a dragonfly should settle on the back of a Praying Mantis shows how well the mantis is camouflaged. But the mantis cannot get at the dragonfly in this position, even though he seem aware of its presence.
Wonderful sharp macro in a great composition where both insects are well seen against a contrasting dark BG from a fine POV.
Well seen, well taken and thankfully shared!

  • Great 
  • iris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 479 W: 60 N: 970] (3088)
  • [2008-10-10 3:20]

Sure enough Pankaj, this is absolutley landing and living on the edge....what an amazing moment you were able to document...both the predator and the prey are picked up with fantastic details and clarity..the dark BG adds to the beauty of the composition ....the mantis yes, merges very well with its environmnet and no wonder the dragon fly didnt realis the folly it committed ...i am sure this drama is going to climax in your coming post(s)...


Hi Pankaj,

This is amazing picture,story of the prey & predator well noted,and you are keeping the suspense going :), Its a very rare capture, haven't seen anything like this before.TFS.

Hi Punkaj excellent job. Never seen like this before even in photographs. Good documentary image. Well composed good DOF & sharpness. Well done. Cheers - Adil.

A truly original shot of its own kind, Pankaj.
This is a moment that would delight any nature photographer worth his salt.
At this stage, the Slender Skimmer has landed on the head of the Mantis and made the last mistake of its life.
I can only guess -- the Mantis would have a few challenges to confront before making a meal of the dragonfly.
But then this is a suspense drama which can end either way; I shot this very Slender Skimmer catching a fly in front me and then eating it a foot away just under my nose.
Only that the victim of the dragonfly is rather small in my case and not as dramatic as this one.
Looking for the grand finale in the next shots.
The image is perfect in terms of sharpness and colours.
Waiting, waiting, waiting . . .

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-10-10 3:49]

Hello Pankaj,
What a brilliant and well-timed capture! :-) The Mantis looks quite shocked! Great focus on the two showing sharp details. A lovely composition in fine colours. I can't wait for your next post!!
TFS and cheers, Ulla

Wow! I'll say like you, this is a precious capture. I have never seen such a picture before! This is truly amazing! Nature is so surprising. The picture is sharp, unusual and very well done! Congratulations!

this is fantastic! :-) a dragonfly piggyback riding a mantis, awesome macro-shot with amazing details and perfect sharpness.
superb job & looking forward to the rest of the story, thor.

Hello Pankaj,

Splendid capture of this mantis and dragonfly. I worry about the poor dragonfly. Excellent composition, POV, DOF and sharpness. Great light and colours. Waiting for you next picture.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-10-10 4:23]

Hello Pankaj ,
What a beautiful macro photo from this Dragonfly up Mantis ,good sharpnes compositie
colour pov and dof ,very good ,nice weekend Siggi.

  • Great 
  • Pearl Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 105 W: 25 N: 76] (321)
  • [2008-10-10 5:10]

Hello Pankaj,

You captured a splindid shot of this unusual scene. Excellent focusing, natural colors and a nice composition. A good macro shot. Well Done. TFS.


  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2008-10-10 5:13]

hi pankaj,
just amazing situation and beautifuly captured. once in a life time kind of image. your luck won't get better than this, in photography. tfs.

Hi Pankaj Da,
What a stunning and unique capture of this beautiful mantis and a confused ground skimmer thinking of it as a leaf. Very well composed with sharp details. Many thanks for sharing this.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-10-10 6:12]
  • [2]

Hi Pankaj

This is absolutely fantastic! Indeed such behavior is extremely rare and even rarer when captured in a shot or film. Your patience in shooting this impressive animal paid of and you were rewarded with this unique moment. My compliments!
...And i perfectly understand you when you say: "This is one of my most precious capture as i never dreamt of shooting something like this" :)

The photo itself is terrific and it shows exactly how well the mantis blends in its habitat. It confused even a dragonfly - an insect renowned for having excellent eye-sight.
The details are impeccable, especially if we consider this is a full-frame shot, the DOF is spot-on and the light and colors are lovely.

Such a magnificent shot can only go straight into my favorites! Again congratulations!
And if i can guess what happened next...perhaps it's shown better here in one of my older and very lucky shots :)


Hy Pankaj
Wow wow wow! I am curios for the next episode! Amazing shoot! I don't have any words.
All the best, Oana
P.S. There are some pictures here, that word are useless

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2008-10-10 7:36]

Hi Pankaj,very nice situation to take,i like a lot your words in the note..ehehe...the black background make a difference,excellent work,have a nice day,Luciano

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2008-10-10 8:28]

Hi Pankaj
Perfect shot and good sharpness.
Have a good weekend.
Regards Jiri.

wow..I went to bed early and missed this last night...I can see by 4 fav's that it is one of the best...I added it to the classic theme...Superior and beyond..what a lucky catch by a great photographer!

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-10-10 9:41]

Hi Pankaj,

This is a photo you will cherish forever. You must frame it and hang it on your wall! An unbelievable sight. You have great reaction time to get this perfect shot as you did. Razor sharp details, magnificent colors and background. The Mantis looks as if he has no idea what landed on him. Can't wait to see the next chapter. Bravo for this!!!!


Hi Pankaj,
Amazing shot. I only can say what happens tomorrow when you post another one.!!!!?
This is a dream shot of a nature photographer and it shows the natural history part. Keep up the good work.

Hi Pankaj,
Impressive shot, really! With its head which can turn completely, the mantis can see, catch and eat the damselfly... A really dangerous landing for this nice blue damselfly. I'm waiting what has happened. Best regards,

Ciao Pankaj, fantastic amazing capture, a dragonfly on a mantis, that's incredible, I think that you made it with attack:)
wonderful diagonal composition with fascinating duo, fine details and splendid sharpness, superb composition, BRAVISSIMOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!very well done, ciao Silvio
PS I'm waiting fortehe next, I hope you soon post:)

Hello Pankaj
Amazing capture - you've chosen very good title for the picture :)
Technically perfect.
I'm waiting for your next posts.
Thanks for sharing

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2008-10-10 13:50]

Hi Pankaj.
That is an oustanding image.Perfect timing and excellent POV.Light and colors are beautiful.Your image is also very sharp with excellent detail.Very well done congradulation
TFS Michel

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2008-10-10 13:59]

:)) Hola Pankaj
realmente original,
"dos asesinos juntos"
fina macro y exquisitos detalles,
saludos amigo

Hello my friend Pankaj,
very impressive and blessed for such a wonderful shot, suddenly here come a dfly landed on the Mantis, awesome indeed!
both are sharp with good lighting, colour and details
well done
take care and my sincere regards to you and family

Hi Pankaj,
Not seen anything like this before..Think I'll make this a favorite :)
Thanx for this wonderful image, it represents the infinite possibilities of macro work.

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-10-11 8:29]

Hello Pankaj, Perfect shot and a superb one. I wish I had a scene like this. I had one lady bug came near a mantis and I wish I was carrying the movie camera to post to National Georgraphic channel. Superb one. Ganesh

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2008-10-11 8:53]

WOW!! What a capture!!! This is the unusual one among a million! Really amazing and so perfectly captured as you allways do. How delightful to see it!
Congratulations and thank you very much for sharing, dear Pankaj.

PT :)

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-10-11 10:22]

Hi Pankaj,
What an interesting pose you captured here... That's great! I love the lighting a lot. Very good details too. TFS

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-10-12 1:48]

Hi Pankaj.
This is fantastic. My congratulation. I cannot believe at all. You are great master that you could reflect this unique scene and that you did it so perfectly. Bravo. True luck for any photographer.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2008-10-13 1:33]

hello Pankaj,
This is indeed a most interesting and astonishing shot. I never would have imagined that a dragonfly would land on a mantis. I'm also very curiuous to know about what happened next.. the dark background makes the picture even more dramatic, it is almost like on a stage.
Thanks and b est regards

Hi dear Pankaj ,
What a great shot.
At wonderful moment.Excellent details and nice BG.
Very well cone.
Kind regards

Hi Pankaj,
It really is amazing, fantastic capture of this unique situation, Mantis look like it's preparing to catch dragonfly, beautiful work!
TFS & best regards!

what an amazing capture...loved it all the way.
no nits!!

Flirting with danger.
This habit of dragonfly to come back to the same place is strange. I guess the idea behind is that if they are still alive it means that the place is safe. Well it doesn't apply in all cases.
In addition to be a rare event and quite moving situation, the pic is technically perfect: Crisp clear, brilliant POV and composition, the counterlight is a plus.
I'm impressed!

Oct 16, 2008

Hi Pankaj. By looking this image, your mantis is rather big. The slender skimmer perched really well on the head and probably did not know that it can turn into meal before long. Super sharp shot of this image that I have never seen before. Really brilliant and deserved to be in its own league. TFS and best regards. Jusni

Hello Pankaj!
This picture is simply amazing! You were in right place at right time! And you were very lucky to photograph such unique situation.
What can I say more? This is my favourite picture! :)
Greetings from Lodz,

Hi Pankaj
Fantastic moment, great observation. I have never seen a similar situation. Nice sharp image with good OOF background

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