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posted: 10/7/2013 1:06 PM

Warrenville photographer's praying mantis image captures monthly prize

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  • Eugene Bordelon of Warrenville took first place in our September Photo Finish contest with this image of a praying mantis.

    Eugene Bordelon of Warrenville took first place in our September Photo Finish contest with this image of a praying mantis.


When Eugene Bordelon retired from Bell Labs, he didn't exactly head for a rocking chair on the front porch.

Instead, the Warrenville man found himself with time to focus on some favorite hobbies, from repairing old clocks ("people bring them to me and I fix them up") to working in the garden to taking pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.

Bordelon says he likes to take photographs of just about anything of interest, from family gatherings to landscapes.

While he's always on the lookout for possible subjects, one of his favorite places to shoot is his own backyard among the flowers and the veggies, and especially around his small pond.

"I take lots of pictures around the pond," he says, "of frogs and fish and things like that."

He happened to be walking near that pond this summer when something flew up against a window of his house. At first, he says, he thought it was a grasshopper. Upon closer inspection, though, it proved to be a praying mantis that seemed as fascinated by its own reflection as a praying mantis can be.

"It was moving its legs up and down and moving its body back and forth while watching its image do the same," he wrote when he submitted his picture for our Photo Finish contest.

Bordelon says he snapped maybe a dozen images of the mantis and submitted his favorite. "I thought it would be an interesting picture," he says.

Our DuPage County photo staff agreed and selected it as our monthly winner. As a result, Bordelon will receive a $50 gift certificate from PJ's Camera in Pickwick Plaza, 662 Roosevelt Road, Glen Ellyn.

"I like the symmetry of the praying mantis and its reflection. That makes it much more graphically interesting," DuPage Photo Director Scott Sanders says. "The photographer also did a nice job of getting in close and blurring the background, which makes the subject of the photo stand out."

Bordelon says he captured the image with a Canon 520HS, one of those smaller cameras you can easily slip into your pocket.

He says he likes to keep it with him, because you never know when a photo possibility is going to present itself, whether it's at a family event or during a bike ride past the bison at Fermilab.

"I like to keep the camera handy," he says, "just in case."

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