Thrifty Thursdays feature photographs taken with equipment costing less than $500.

[Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3]

The on-camera flash options for a small digicam are pretty awful. One trick to using a point-and-shoot successfully is to avoid flash and look for situations where the ambient light is both sufficient and interesting. Here, a preying mantis in late afternoon sun casts a shadow against an iris petal.

From the other side of the flower, a more conventional image, also taken with the Panasonic with the flash turned off.