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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> how do you get bugs to stay still?
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08/02/2006 01:19:32 PM · #1
I've been blown away repeatedly by some of the macro shots on DPC, but one thing keeps puzzling me: how do you get 'em to stay still?

That said, I was lucky enough to have a butterfly land near me and sit still for 5 minutes. But I don't think I've ever seen wasps, bees, flies, etc. do that.

So is it just luck? Or are folks scooping them up and refrigerating them?

Or picking a certain time of day when they're sluggish?

Message edited by author 2006-08-02 13:26:26.
08/02/2006 01:21:30 PM · #2
You can use patience, refrigeration, adhesives or a shoe. That last one never fails.
08/02/2006 01:22:10 PM · #3
A pin?
08/02/2006 01:22:29 PM · #4
I've heard you just stick em in the refrigerator for a while -- but I don't shoot bugs, cause bugs are ICKY!
08/02/2006 01:22:56 PM · #5
DrAchoo kills them, but he's funny that way

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08/02/2006 01:24:54 PM · #6
Originally posted by scalvert:

... a shoe. That last one never fails.


Yeah, but it's hard to get them to hover afterward!
08/02/2006 01:25:21 PM · #7
Bees get slow on flowers when collecting pollen.

Also, high shutter speeds, small aperture settings, (meaning lots of light or high ISOs) and lots of shots help.
08/02/2006 01:25:31 PM · #8
Most of the bugs you see depicted so well in DPC are actually professionally-trained bug-models. There are several web sites devoted to selling and/or renting out these bugs to photographers. They respond to hand signals and are very easy to work with. They are kind of expensive, of course, but it's worth it if you get a ribbon.

I have used bugs from www.bug_be_still.com in the past, myself. Only trouble was, I forgot to return them by the deadline and when I DID get around to returning them they had already passed away. The "restocking" fee killed my budget for the month, so I don't shoot bugs anymore.

R.
08/02/2006 01:25:36 PM · #9
ask dr. aglue
08/02/2006 01:25:46 PM · #10
i just follow them till they stop, then without making any noise, carefully approach. :)..
08/02/2006 01:25:56 PM · #11
You can kill or stun by freezing or popping into a kill jar. Long time = kill. Short time = stun.

You can also kill by immersing in alcohol. This is good for keeping them soft. If you have a dry, crusty bug that you want to manipulate just drop it in alcohol until it softens up. Also good for keeping the stink down.
08/02/2006 01:26:07 PM · #12
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Most of the bugs you see depicted so well in DPC are actually professionally-trained bug-models. There are several web sites devoted to selling and/or renting out these bugs to photographers. They respond to hand signals and are very easy to work with. They are kind of expensive, of course, but it's worth it if you get a ribbon.

I have used bugs from www.bug_be_still.com in the past, myself. Only trouble was, I forgot to return them by the deadline and when I DID get around to returning them they had already passed away. The "restocking" fee killed my budget for the month, so I don't shoot bugs anymore.

R.


LMAO Robert!!
08/02/2006 01:28:20 PM · #13
Originally posted by idnic:

I've heard you just stick em in the refrigerator for a while -- but I don't shoot bugs, cause bugs are ICKY!


Every time I stick bugs in the fridge, their legs curl up. Maybe I left them in too long. :(

08/02/2006 01:28:21 PM · #14
Post leeeeeetle tiny stop signs.
08/02/2006 01:28:39 PM · #15
Originally posted by greatandsmall:

You can kill or stun by freezing or popping into a kill jar. Long time = kill. Short time = stun. ...

What's in the kill jar?
08/02/2006 01:29:18 PM · #16
Originally posted by elsapo:

i just follow them till they stop, then without making any noise, carefully approach. :)..


Love your recent ribbon winner (as well as all of your insect shots). Curious, though...that guy looks like he had stopped permanently. Am I wrong in assuming that he is deceased?
08/02/2006 01:29:34 PM · #17
it's a little more difficult for point n shoot camera users due to the way those cameras focus. Autofocus is very slow up close and manual focus seems useless to me on those cameras (my wife has a powershot S3).

this is where digital slr's have an advantage in my opinion
08/02/2006 01:29:52 PM · #18
Originally posted by greatandsmall:

You can kill or stun by freezing or popping into a kill jar. Long time = kill. Short time = stun.

You can also kill by immersing in alcohol. This is good for keeping them soft. If you have a dry, crusty bug that you want to manipulate just drop it in alcohol until it softens up. Also good for keeping the stink down.


What's a kill jar? I know what a killjoy is ...

And sheesh, can we let the dead ladybug picture er ... die? There's been ample smacking already. I mean, I don't want to kill them, but there's no need to go on and on about it again.
08/02/2006 01:30:14 PM · #19
Originally posted by levyj413:

I've been blown away repeatedly by some of the macro shots on DPC, but one thing keeps puzzling me: how do you get 'em to stay still?

That said, I was lucky enough to have a butterfly land near me and sit still for 5 minutes. But I don't think I've ever seen wasps, bees, flies, etc. do that.

So is it just luck? Or are folks scooping them up and refrigerating them?

Or picking a certain time of day when they're sluggish?


so far, all my bugs have been alive at the time i photographed them...

to get this little one to sit still, i tapped on the roof of my truck (where she was walking) and she just sat and waited for me to take a few shots...
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actually... had to ask her to move along so i could drive off...
08/02/2006 01:30:50 PM · #20
Originally posted by glad2badad:

Originally posted by greatandsmall:

You can kill or stun by freezing or popping into a kill jar. Long time = kill. Short time = stun. ...

What's in the kill jar?


There's a lot of ways to make them.

Here's one that seems pretty simple.

Message edited by author 2006-08-02 13:32:00.
08/02/2006 01:31:40 PM · #21
I heard that there's a farm that rear bugs for that purpose.. They would carefully select their stock and genetically engineer these bugs to have the perfect features.

In fact.. you can get more info at www.DesignerBugs.com.

I heard their latest creation is a talking ladybird...
She communicate in 14 languages and 38 different dialects...

Cool ehh... :)

[Wink]

Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Most of the bugs you see depicted so well in DPC are actually professionally-trained bug-models. There are several web sites devoted to selling and/or renting out these bugs to photographers. They respond to hand signals and are very easy to work with. They are kind of expensive, of course, but it's worth it if you get a ribbon.

I have used bugs from www.bug_be_still.com in the past, myself. Only trouble was, I forgot to return them by the deadline and when I DID get around to returning them they had already passed away. The "restocking" fee killed my budget for the month, so I don't shoot bugs anymore.

R.
08/02/2006 01:33:16 PM · #22
Originally posted by greatandsmall:

Originally posted by glad2badad:

Originally posted by greatandsmall:

You can kill or stun by freezing or popping into a kill jar. Long time = kill. Short time = stun. ...

What's in the kill jar?


There's a lot of ways to make them.

Here's one that seems pretty simple.

A wastebasket? I must be missing the joke. Sorry. I thought you used a liquid or cotton balls with drops of ??? in a glass jar of some sort.
08/02/2006 01:33:43 PM · #23
Fixed link. Sorry, I posted another page I was looking at.

Here's one that seems pretty simple.

Message edited by author 2006-08-02 13:34:17.
08/02/2006 01:33:55 PM · #24
Originally posted by greatandsmall:

Originally posted by elsapo:

i just follow them till they stop, then without making any noise, carefully approach. :)..


Love your recent ribbon winner (as well as all of your insect shots). Curious, though...that guy looks like he had stopped permanently. Am I wrong in assuming that he is deceased?


your right :(, I found him dead in a field where I take my bug shots.. so I figured I might as well take him home with me.
08/02/2006 01:34:35 PM · #25
Originally posted by hopper:

it's a little more difficult for point n shoot camera users due to the way those cameras focus. Autofocus is very slow up close and manual focus seems useless to me on those cameras (my wife has a powershot S3).

this is where digital slr's have an advantage in my opinion


Even with a point 'n shoot you can do decent macros by prefocusing in manual as close as the lens will focus and then just leaving the focus there. Then you move the camera closer or further to get the plane of focus where you need it. This is actually the best way to shoot macros with any sort of camera.

R.
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