When a photograph goes viral. The cat vs praying mantis.
The feedback that I have had for this particular shot of a cat vs praying mantis has been overwhelming to say the least. It went viral on three separate occasions that I am aware of, the latest trigger site being Colossal. It was originally posted to my flickr and there were times where a simple browser refresh would indicate tens of thousands of views within a matter of a second. Between Flickr, 500px, this site, and the myriad of blog reposts, well over 1.5 million hits have been generated that I am able to track. For me it was just a funny shot without much merit to speak of other than it’s perspective and the capture itself. Trying to put the mantis in the power position meant pressing the side of my face into the grass and aiming my 105mm upward in order for the story to be captured from the mantis’s perspective. Obviously not much of an upward angle can be obtained on a horizontal plane but if you understand the size of the 105mm along with it’s somewhat slow autofocus, getting the shot that I did was enough to make me happy for what I had on hand at the time. Looking back, I kind of wish that I had my fisheye with me.
I decided to post the outtakes from it here because everybody wanted to know the outcome and who won, the story is more comical when shown visually, the blurry shots being my personal favorite. The truth is, I was already out shooting when I noticed the cat was caught up in some sort of conflict. Abrupt bolts of nervous reactions indicated something entertaining was happening. When I noticed what was going on I propped my 105 on the lawn and watched through the lens while trying to take the shots that I was hoping to get from the moment. The mantis did win, not by any sort of carnage or devouring the cat’s head as it tends to do at times with it’s mate, but it was fierce enough to signal the cat’s inner instinct to let it be. That’s pretty much it, a simple moment, a quick story, and a few entertaining shots.
Sidenote: The requests to purchase this shot has been more than I can keep track of, but interested parties can go here as this photo is now licensed through Getty images, my apologies to those who have asked for private sales on this particular image but the shots that I determine to be licensed through Getty can only be issued through Getty though the majority of my work is open to private sales, many of which can be found here.