Igor Siwanowicz

Igor Siwanowicz has spent years carefully acquiring, breeding and photographing praying mantises and other bizarre insects.

"I have always been fascinated by insects even from childhood," he says. "You could say that I am sort of a public relations representative in service of creepy-crawlies. I think mantids are totally slick and sexy, and have style. I take 'weird' and 'bizarre' as positive adjectives."

Igor Siwanowicz, Macro Insect Photography

Apart from the standard challenges presented by close up and macro photography in the form of camera shake, operating with a limited depth of field and ensuring enough light is available, Igor must also contend with the temperament of his subjects. "Animals are very unpredictable and uncooperative, and there is almost no way to force them into collaboration," he said. "One can use tricks though - moths and butterflies are very docile freshly after hatching. Most otherwise fidgety insects can be approached early in the morning, when the temperature is low and their metabolism hasn't kicked in yet."

Igor Siwanowicz, Macro Insect Photography

Igor cites his main influence as the works of the designer of the monster from the Alien films, HR Giger.