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Firefly Glow


The images below are results of thousands of photographs that I took over last seven years. It takes a tremendous patience to capture photo of a firefly, in almost complete darkness, while it flashes. I have not used any digital manipulation when creating these images*. Please enjoy the photos, and share it with your friends. Come back regularly as I add new firefly photos and videos.

* Note that some photos have been created from multiple exposures, noted under each photo.

Photos of Synchronous Fireflies

Synchronous Fireflies
in from The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, near Elkmont, Tennessee

Firefly illuminating flower Wood Anemone Wildflower

Title: A Flash of Hope, 2017

Firefly Illuminating Wood Anemone Wildflower. Single Exposure.

Image ID: 170518_958

alishan mountain taiwan with waterfall and fireflies

Title: Alishan Mountain, 2017
Image ID: 152270

Alishan Mountain Waterfall with Fireflies, Taiwan. Multiple 30 second exposures.

mist flowers and fireflies

Title: Misty Dream, 2016

Fireflies during misty night with black-eyed-Susans, Faifield, Iowa. Multiple 30 second exposures.

Image ID: 134531

path synchronous fireflies smoky mountains NP, Tennessee

Title: Path (horizontal), 2016

Synchronous fireflies from The Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee. Multiple 30 second exposures.

Image ID: 138764

path vertical synchronous fireflies smoky mountains NP, Tennessee

Title: Path (vertical), 2016
Image ID: 139723

Synchronous fireflies from The Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee. Multiple 30 second exposures.

Photuris mysticalampas fireflies

Title: Mystical Lantern, 2016

Mystical lantern firefly (Photuris mysticalampas) in the Atlantic white cedar forest in Delaware. This is a very magical species that glows very slowly in the swampy forest, and gives you feeling like you were among fairies.

I took the photo in June with Christopher Heckscher, PhD. who was the first to discover, name and describe this species. Photuris mysticalampas is possibly endangered by habitat loss, since it lives most likely in very small area. I was happy to help document it. Note the rising moon in the photo.

Multiple 30 second exposures.

Image ID: 143150

Path to Heaven with fireflies

Title: Path to Heaven, 2016

From The Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee. Single 12 minute exposure around 11 p.m. with cloud illumination. While many of my photos turn blue, later at night, long exposures can start to have more yellow or golden tint.

Image ID: 160624_C02216

Fireflies and Stars, As above so Below

Title: As Above, so Below, 2016

This is photo from Fairfield, IA. Single exposure. Color adjusted.

Image ID: 160624_C02216

Firefly Moon Solitude

Title: Moon Solitude, 2016
Image ID: 160720_8338

Single Exposure at the end of summer, South East Iowa.

Synchronous Fireflies, FairfyFlies, Elmont Tenessee, Gathering of Souls

Title: Gathering of Souls, 2014

Souls of many countries, nations and celestial bodies have gathered to experience the unique natural phenomena - The Synchronous Fireflies. This image is a result of about ten minutes of consequent exposures.

Image ID: 105834

Full Moon and Firefly With Clover Flowers

Title: Clover Moon, 2012

I took this photo during a full moon, the moon was still close to the horizon, and it had beautiful color.

Image ID: 90707

Chinese Lantern

Title: Chinese Lantern, 2012

Chinese Lantern is common name of this Photuris firefly species. I have observed unique behavior when I was taking this photo. As the firefly lit up, it would bend its lower abdomen almost 90 degrees down, almost touching the leave. It gave me enough time to snap this photo, in almost complete darkness inside a forest.

Image ID: 89715

Magic Forest with Fireflies

Title: Magical Forest, 2012

This is a single exposure of fireflies dancing in the forest. Notice that some of the fireflies have different colors. Some are orange, which signifies different species of fireflies.

Image ID: 88051

Firefly - Quiet Glow

Title: Quiet Glow, 2009

A firefly illuminating on a basil leaf; the photo was taken in my garden.

Image ID: 48361

Firefly - Light behind Leaf

Title: Light behind Leaf, 2012

Image ID: 81278

Photinus pyralis - Basil Shine

Title: Basil Shine, 2008

Firefly Species: Photinus pyralis

Image ID: 48365

Lightning Bug - Step into the Light

Title: Step into the Light, 2011

Image ID: 68916

Firefly - Pathway through the Night

Title: Pathway through the Night, 2010

Image ID: 69071

Firefly - Blue Flight

Title: Blue Flight, 2011

Image ID: 69702

Illuminated Firefly

Title: Amber Firefly

Image ID: 71318

Lightning Bug and Dragonfly

Title: Sunset

Damselfly and Firefly

Image ID: 69797

Firefly and Moon, Photinus Pyralis

Title: Firefly and Moon

In this photo you can see illuminated firefly and a moon filtered through tall grasses. To take this photo, I have waited for the right day when moon was low on the horizon and climbed deep into a ditch below the road so I would get a lower angle and a direct view of the moon through the grass.

Firefly species: Photinus Pyralis "The big dipper"

Image ID: 81933

Photo of Fireflies - Path to the Stars

Title: Path to the Stars
Image ID: 69096

This image is not a composite. The red hue in the sky with the stars is caused by light pollution in the nearby city, predominately lit by incandescent light bulbs. The camera exposure was about 30 seconds long.

Firefly - Peacemaker

Title: Peacemaker

Image ID: 69995

Firefly - Grass Forest

Title: Grass Forest

Image ID: 68935

Firefly in Flight - Tiny Superhero

Title: Tiny Superhero

Image ID: 71088

Bioluminscent Glow

Title: Bioluminescent Glow

Image ID: 72678

Firefly - The Surfer

Title: The Surfer

Image ID: 71142

Photograph of a Firefly, The Lightning Bug

Title: The Glassblower

Image ID: 71578

Firefly balancing on a leaf

Title: Balance

Image ID: 72109

Summer Thunderstorm with Lighting Bugs

Title: Summer Thunderstorm with Lighting Bugs

This was a single exposure. The illumination of clouds was caused by lightning. Clouds became elongated due to long exposure. One firefly launched to the space.

Image ID: 72400

Photo of Fireflies - Path to the Stars

Title: Summer Moon
Image ID: 69122

Multiple exposures combined into one. The moon illuminates the meadow with fireflies.

Firefly and Mosquito

Title: Firefly and Mosquito
Image ID: 71613

Wow. It was getting really dark, and I could hardly see the firefly through my viewfinder. Suddenly I noticed a mosquito to land on a firefly. It stayed on its back for about a minute and left. I wonder what they talked about?

Blue Ghost Firefly, North Carolina

Title: Blue Ghost, 2014

Firefly Species: Phausis reticulata

Enigmatic Blue Ghost Firefly
Something inspired me to climb to an overlook in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, despite darkness creeping slowly in and I was the last one on the mountain. On the way up I froze in my tracks when I saw a large black bear on the path. He saw me and quietly disappeared in the shady growth. Hesitantly with quite a good deal of fear I continued up the overlook, looking around if I see the bear. When I reached the overlook it was almost dark and I could see barely anything. I quickly started walking back so I can see my path and I slowed down in the spot where I saw the bear. I looked around, being quiet. Suddenly I saw little lights floating around. Within few minutes, in the small growth, I saw little fairies quietly glowing and floating around just above ferns. These are called Blue Ghost Fireflies, know by dim long lasting glow. Their glow can last for many seconds, even up to a minute. I started to photograph, and had a great experience. I have a feeling the bear knew the whole time where I was. I find this photo quite psychedelic. Enjoy.

Photo details: single exposure, 49.6 seconds long.

Image ID: 106248

Signaling Female Firefly, Photinus Pyralis

Title:Signaling Female, 2013

In this photograph is a female firefly of a common Midwest species Photinus Pyralis. This female is sending a signal so her future mate can find her. Notice that her signal light is focused to the small "box" shape area in her abdomen, contrary to male fireflies, that have larger light organs.

I am particulary excited about the clarity of this image, which can be easily enlarged to a very large print.

Image ID: 80281

Firefly on a Orange Day Lily

Title: Day Lyli Bliss, 2013

I have noticed that fireflies peak around the same time as Day Lilys here in Iowa. This firefly looks like it is in bliss, surrounded by Day Lilys.

Image ID: 80164

Firefly during daytime

Title: Firefly During Daytime
Image ID: 71302

Fireflies are not very active during the day.

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Copyright © 2018 Radim Schreiber

All videos and photos of fireflies are copyrighted by Radim Schreiber, whose permission is required for any usage.

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