Introduction: Insect Cooperation Assistant

Ever wanted to get up close to a bug but you really don't want to just sit with it in your hand? I do lots of extreme macro and this makes the subjects more coopertive without harming them.

Step 1: Materials

1 Bic round Stick Pen (or similar removable on both ends pen)
1 piece of soft cloth
Masking Tape
1 Rubber Band
Fishing string or thread
Scissors

Step 2: Preparation

Remove both ends from the pen and cut a small section of cloth about as shown. You want to fold it over about 4 times and have it not much wider than the end of the pen.

Step 3: Band Hand? Fold!

Fold the cloth over 4 times then to keep it together use a couple pieces of masking tape.

Step 4: Affixiation

Tape the cloth to the pen fairly tight so it doesn't slide around and cut off the excess.

Step 5: String It

Thread your string over both sides of the cloth down and out the bottom of the pen. Tie a knot in the end and trim to the desired length. I would say about the length of the pen coming out the end would be enough you can always trim it down.

Step 6: Banding Experience

Wrap the rubber band around the pen and the string going back up the side of the pen. This will make your string stay in place and not be too tight to hurt your subject.

Step 7: Subject Aquisition

This was the first subject I have found so far so I just used it for the instructable. This was a little small but as you can see without really any pressure on the spider I was able to keep it still and get this beauty shot. The only thing I would say is if you have a pair of latex gloves it makes it easier to get it on at least then afterwards you don't need to worry. Using the white cloth and since my macro is so close you can get some good shots without the string in the way.

Comments

author
corsairdude (author)2011-08-24

I just realized how much those really scare me Dx

author
Superchef (author)2011-04-29

Really awesome instructable, but it doesn't reduce the extreme fear I have of bugs/insects.

author
jeoncs (author)Superchef2011-04-29

Well from everything I've seen on tv is exposure to your fears is how you overcome them. And when has tv ever been wrong?

author
jlms (author)jeoncs2011-07-18

When you fear tigers?

author
jeoncs (author)jlms2011-07-18

I would go on safari or maybe to a trained one. Then again I live in Michigan if I see one out of a zoo I don't know what I'll do

author
Light_Lab (author)2011-05-01

Most pro photographers just put the insect in the fridge for a while. Most insects metabolism slows down as it gets colder. Apparently it does not harm them if you don't freeze them solid.

author
MadreMia (author)Light_Lab2011-06-28

After reading the above comment...

Hubby: "I like 'em better from the freezer. They're crunchier."
Me: "Gross"

author
Light_Lab (author)MadreMia2011-07-09

That's nothing; here in Oz we have the Queensland Toadcicle, a frozen cane toad on a stick.

author
jeoncs (author)Light_Lab2011-05-01

Yea I'm guilty of that one sometimes

author
StickMaker (author)2011-05-01

A very good idea. I love to photograph BIG GAME such as Moose, Bears, etc but sometimes the VERY SMALL wildlife is just as cool.

To shoot insects and arachnids, I just SLOWLY crawl closer and closer. One WOLF SPIDER offered me some shots e.g. this one:
http://www.sticksite.com/insects/bug(13).html and if you remove the bug(13).html part, you can see the others.

THIS made me realize one of my all time favs in NOT on that page; will try to add it today.

Thanks for the Instructable!

author
jeoncs (author)StickMaker2011-05-01

awesome I just did some good ones where I was letting one run free. The newest are at the bottom of the set but I was pretty happy with it http://www.flickr.com/photos/jongavinliz/sets/72157602540392366/with/5660392002/

author
Silence (author)jeoncs2011-05-01

@ StickMaker, Fretka and jeoncs
VERY NICE.... what do you folks use for macro ?
I have a set of extension tubes I use with a 70-300mm lens (+crop factor) My pics are up on Facebook, If anyone's interested in a look, send me a message.

author
Silence (author)Silence2011-05-01

I decided to sign up for a flickr account. check it out
http://www.flickr.com/photos/neuralatrophy/sets/
Still in the process of getting figuring it out and getting everything up.

author
StickMaker (author)Silence2011-05-01

Lately, I've been using the Canon SX20 IS and nothing else. Has a SUPER MACRO mode that works fine.

Maybe my own fav is this one which I printed, framed, and hung on the wall full-size:
http://www.sticksite.com/insects/bug(10h).JPG

Good enough for an amateur such as I anyway.

author
jeoncs (author)Silence2011-05-01

I use a reversal lens 28-80 canon and a ring flash sometimes a manual bellows

author
Fretka (author)StickMaker2011-05-01

I just had to say... I went to your page and spent a good portion of my day looking at the photos...I didn't get any housework accomplished, but I totally enjoyed my self looking at the amazing pictures you took !!
Thank you for sharing and the work you did !

author
StickMaker (author)Fretka2011-05-01

THANK you for that, Fretka; that made the page(s) worth doing. Must be tough to be an entomologist!

author
mickryobe (author)2011-05-01

This is a great idea.

I wonder if a very thin, transparent, monofilament thread would not serve as well as the string or thread and be less noticeable.

author
jeoncs (author)mickryobe2011-05-01

depends on how close you are getting. I've used fishing string before and because of how closer you get you can still see it. Main thing with this it really is good for cataloging or if you a REALLY close which I only operate in REALLY close haha

author
mickryobe (author)jeoncs2011-05-01

In my experience with insects the closer the better. They are rather small, at least in Ontario where I live.
If I were in the jungles of South America I would be a little more circumspect (cautious, cowardly, stand offish).

author
mothflavour2 (author)2011-04-29

Your subject is missing a leg!

author
jeoncs (author)mothflavour22011-04-29

Yea I found him that way :/ It didn't seem to bother him too much though

author
skittlespider (author)jeoncs2011-04-30

Well, he does have a few extra.

author

If I remember rightly, they grow new ones when they shed their skin.

Here's an idea for the capture rope: Kevlar thread, available from magician's suppliers as Invisible Thread. (Also on Ebay.)

It looks like ordinary thread, but when you strip it down, there are 120 tiny individual threads, each having a breaking strain of about 3/4 ounce (20 grams) (If you buy it ready stripped, it's incredibly expensive.)

You will need strong reading glasses (or a fixed magnifier), good tweezers and excellent dexterity to handle it. Cut a length, e.g. 12", then tease out a single strand and pull. Stick each end to a tiny piece of card for ease of handling, take the center of the loop through your pen with a needle.

Post the results !

author
lovejess (author)2011-04-30

What kind of spider is that?

author
jeoncs (author)lovejess2011-04-30

I am not sure to be honest I thought it was a Dandy Long Legs but I don't think it is after seeing it closer. It has long legs like one I found it in a cool corner in a web off of cement walls. Maybe we have some arachnid experts around :)

author
etymological (author)jeoncs2011-05-01

Probably a cellar spider of some variety.

author
Cephus (author)2011-05-01

It's a blast-ended skrewt!

author
Parrhesia (author)2011-04-30

The American House Spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum) seems like a match - check out insectidentification.org. "Arthropodidentification.org" might be more accurate, but maybe not so accessible to their target demographic. The site is geared toward people who are interested in "bugs" and want to learn more.

This is a nifty and kind little device, thanks for sharing it!

author
malsonc (author)2011-04-30

I hate to point out that the creature in your intial photos is NOT an insect. Spiders are quite different creatures - and ones I don't care to get any closer than a fly-swatter to. :-)

Otherwise it was a good Instructable - Thanks!

author
jeoncs (author)malsonc2011-04-30

:D

author
skittlespider (author)jeoncs2011-04-30

Man, I had hoped to be the first to say that the "insect" in the first photo was actually a spider.

Anyway, this is a great idea! It seems like a very humane way to photograph our little friends without harming them.

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Bio: I'm a photographer and a father. I've been married almost 10 years and have a 8 year old son and a 6 year ... More »
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