Mantispid is this Insect's Name -- Macrophotograph of Live Insect by Ron Sterling, 1963

        This Photograph Won the US National Division of Wikipedia's Worldwide 2017 Science Photography Contest

      From Wikipedia: "Ron Sterling is honored for Mantis Fly, a very close black-and-white film macrophotograph of a live mantisfly found in the Santa Rita Mountains of Arizona in August 1963. The original 12x15 black-and-white print was scanned in 2010 to produce a digital version of this photograph. Sterling also contributed a collection of wildlife photographs taken over the course of decades."

      I call this one of my many miracle insect photographs taken during the years 1960 through 1966. It had to be a strange sight for others to watch me, a gangly 17 year old, leaning against a campground bathroom wall at night, inching along as slow as possible to not scare off the mantispid and holding a 35 mm SLR, with a 50 millimeter lens attached to a 40 millimeter extension tube with an old-style, early electronic flash system called a Strobonar Futuramic mounted sideways directly above the lens, stalking this mantispid while it stalked food, in the Santa Rita mountains of Arizona. Talk about hunting small game! When the Strobonar went off at a distance of about six inches from an insect like this mantispid, it is a bit of a shock for them to say the least, yet, this one just trucked on over about a foot away and continued to hunt. Not sure I have seen that kind of non-startle in an insect ever.

      I became what I would call a die-hard "naturalist" during my sixth grade year (1957). My first published article with its photospread in 1965 was called "Viewpoints on Nature." I switched to live insect collecting by way of photographs in 1960 after getting really bored of just catching, killing, and displaying dead insects. I lived just across the street from a very prolific swampland in Southern California, so I became an expert on macrophotography of live dragon and damselflies in the field. You can call me a geek, for sure. I developed my own film and printed my own photographs in my own darkroom built inside the garage.

      Finding out about the competition was purely accidental after bumping into notices about other photographic competitions at Wikipedia. I was happy to discover that not only was there a competition in the realm of science photography, but that Wikipedia would be a great place to donate many very informative and inspirational photographs that have been in storage for years but not popular subject matter for generating income. Almost all of my insect, bird, and small animals photographs were done long before digital arrived. It wasn't until 2010 that high-end digital scanners became affordable and I started converting my film-based collection to digital images.

      Read more about the 2017 Science Photography Competition by clicking here.

        Thank You for Visiting!

                 Best wishes! Ron Sterling

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