Insect Cooperation Assistant





Introduction: Insect Cooperation Assistant

About: 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 old daughter. I like to put stuff where it doesn't belong to create even better stuff. I work for an ...

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

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.



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    I just realized how much those really scare me Dx

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

    3 replies

    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?


    When you fear tigers?

    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

    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.

    3 replies

    After reading the above comment...

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

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

    Yea I'm guilty of that one sometimes

    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: 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!

    7 replies

    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

    @ 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.

    I decided to sign up for a flickr account. check it out
    Still in the process of getting figuring it out and getting everything up.

    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:

    Good enough for an amateur such as I anyway.

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

    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 !

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

    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.

    2 replies

    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

    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).