If you are a macro photographer you have probably been told to “have the insects come to you” instead of chasing them to get your shot. How exactly do you do that? Well there are several pointers depending on what bugs you want to capture. Here they are:
Ground Based Insects:
Almost all regular non-flying bugs can be lured to come to you with sugar water. Simply get a bowl, glass, or whatever container that you want to photograph your insect on and fill it with water. Start adding sugar and keep adding sugar until you see that it is no longer being diluted. Once your done diluting the sugar, simply take the sugar water and place it wherever you want your ‘stage’ to be. All you have to do now is wait.
Capturing a flying insect is slightly tougher than capturing a walking insect. Here is some secret inside knowledge: insects can only fly when the temperature is above 52 degrees F. This knowledge alone will not help you though. How could it ever be possible to reduce the air temperature around the insect? Well the thing is, it’s not the air temperature that has to be that cold, it’s the insect itself. You can photograph flying insects by capturing them in a net of some sorts (after luring them in with sugar water) and then refrigerating them for 2-3 minutes. At which point you take them out and they will stand still for several minutes trying to warm back up. This will give you an opportune moment to take your pictures. If you can’t photograph them near a refrigerator then I suggest you take a very small cooler with you that’s filled with ice. Capture your insect and put it in the cooler. Be sure not to let it touch any of the ice, because that could harm or even kill the insect.
Ants are very easy to capture, but almost impossible to get to stay still. Here is yet another secret insight on how to get them to just “relax” for a few minutes. Vinegar. Ants love to swim, but they hate vinegar, put them in some vinegar and after a couple of seconds get them out with a toothpick. They will gladly appreciate the help to get out. Once out, however, they don’t move. If an ant goes swimming in water it is unaffected, but for some reason they can not stand having vinegar on them. It is probably slightly harmful to them, but it will not kill them (so long as you don’t let them drown.)
For more tips on macro photography please click HERE.