Welcome to my website. I hope you enjoy the experience and leave here passionate about the art of photography. I'm a Calligrapher and Photographer and studied both at Queens College (CUNY). I have a real affinity for both, but recently had to put my Pen nib on hold.
After many years of photographing Weddings, Communions, Birthday parties and many other events, I discovered that I had more enjoyment photographing unique subjects in my studio.
As a young boy, growing up in Greenpoint Brooklyn, I would frequently play marbles in the streets next to the curb. It was here that I first noticed a Praying Mantis and was immediately fascinated by how interesting and beautiful this little creature was. A passer-by noticed how intrigued I was by this insect and told me that there was a $500.00 fine for killing it. I was 11 years old in 1963 and thought that it seemed like a really big fine for the killing of an insect, but I had really no intention of committing such an act. I was in fact captivated by this creature. Doing research, I later found out that the Praying Mantis was good for the eco-system. It is very adept at killing other insects, many of which can be harmful to any garden that grows fruits and vegetables.
About 4 years ago, I embarked on a project of photographing the Praying Mantis. I discovered that there were many exotic species of the Mantis. This was really interesting to me and I was very curious to see what they looked like. I checked the internet and was amazed at how beautiful and awe inspiring they all were. I purchased two different species, the Violin and the Devil Mantis, which were approximately 1/2 to 3/4 inches in length.
Raising these little guys to adulthood was a big challenge in itself, due to the special needs and attention they required. My stepson, Orville, being a nature lover, played an integral part in getting these babies to maturity. Without his help, the photos you see on this website would not have been possible. I can not thank him enough for his help in making this project a possibility.
During this time period, I've photographed four different species of Mantis. These are the Violin Mantis, the Devil Mantis, the Chinese Mantis, and male and female Orchid Mantis.
These are a few of my favorites and I hope you enjoy viewing them all. They are each unique in their own way.
I also have a great collection of Butterflies, Flowers, and Frogs photos. There is also a collection of miniature Log cabin scenes with old classic cars, different animals and of course, an Outhouse which is a throw-back to the good old days. I will be adding these photos to the website in the near future.
EQUIPMENT AND PROPS USED TO PHOTOGRAPH THESE LITTLE CREATURES
1) Mamiya RZ Pro II medium format Camera
2) 140 Macro Lens
3) 350 Telephoto Lens
4) #1 and #2 Extension Tubes
5) Four Studio Lights (above, both sides, front)
6) Real and Artificial Flowers
Leslie Crotty joined Pixels on June 4th, 2012.