fireflies

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Photography

A Dazzling Series of Photos Captures the Soft Glow of Firefly Mating Season in Japan

March 2, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Daniel Kordan, shared with permission

An enchanting series by Russian photographer Daniel Kordan (previously) frames a sea of flickering fireflies as they populate a dense bamboo forest. Captured in pockets and trails of light, the insects radiate across the thick vegetation on Japan’s Kyushu Island, which Kordan visited back in 2019 during their mating season.

The beetles search for partners from about May to July, with the males first producing the flashes of light and the females generating responses. Generally swarmed together, the exchanges have a twinkling effect that emits a continuous soft glow across the area. “Fireflies are very sensitive. They need clean water nearby, warm humid air (but not rain), and no lights,” Kordan says. “Not a single photo can show how beautiful it is—shimmering and blinking forest full of little stars.”

Kordan shares technical details about his equipment and timing for the magical shoot on Instagram, and if you’re interested in adding the radiant images to your collection, pick up a print in his shop. (via designboom)

 

 

 



Photography

Photographer Takehito Miyatake Captures the Brilliant Natural Light Shows of Japan

August 21, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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Scores of fishing rafts floating in the Uchino-umi highlighted by the light from the full moon

Japanese photographer Takehito Miyatake is known for his accomplished long-exposure photographs of fireflies, volcanic eruptions, and beaches awash in bioluminescencnt firefly squid. His exposures, which he refers to as “the light of Japan,” can last anywhere between 15 seconds and 30 minutes and are rooted in an almost meditative approach to photography that he likens to a form of poetry in an interview with TIME. His time spent waiting for each exposure hasn’t been in vain, Miyatake recently won the Grand Prize at the 2014 Nikkei National Geographic Photo Awards. You can see more of his photography on his website and over on Spoon & Tamago.

In spring, firefly squid (hotaru ika) rise 2000 feet to the surface of the water and offer a fleeting glimpse of their magical lights

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Genji botaru fireflies around a small bridge over the Shimanto River (Kochi Prefecture)

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The moon lights up a waterfall against geometric rock formations / A close-up of the red-hot cinders erupting from the Showa crater on Sakurajima

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Volcanic lightning during the eruption of the Sakurajima volcano

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Photography

Time-lapse Scenes of Swarming Fireflies by Vincent Brady

March 26, 2014

Christopher Jobson

This is a fantastic feat of photography and editing by Vincent Brady who shot this montage of firefly timelapses in 2013 at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri and around his home in Grand Ledge, Michigan. To make the timelapse Brady had to master several different cameras, learn about photo stacking, 360° panoramas, and even how to pilot a pontoon boat to get all the requisite shots. While we’ve seen several articles here on Colossal featuring long-exposure fireflies it’s still fascinating to see them in motion like this. You can read about Brady’s adventures on his website, and learn more about the science of fireflies on It’s Okay To Be Smart. (via It’s Okay To Be Smart)

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Photography

Long Exposure Photographs of Fireflies in the Forests of Nagoya City by Yume Cyan

June 4, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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For the last month or so photographer Yume Cyan has been shooting some magical long exposure photographs of fireflies in a forested area around Nagoya City, Japan. By keeping the camera’s shutter open at a low aperture Cyan captures every bioluminescent flash of each insect resulting in dotted light trails that criss-cross the frame. You may remember a similar series of photographs also shot in Japan from back in 2011. You can see these a bit larger over on 500px.