amanjeev sethi

science, infrastructure, photography, code

friend firefly

written by amanjeev on 2012-06-24

Ever since I first saw a firefly in India about 25 years ago, I have never been able to ignore them. They are those fascinating living stars that come out at twilight, flickering, glowing in neon lights. So, if you have been amidst a thousand of these little miracles, you’ll know. I had a moment like that a few days ago and since then, every night I cannot resist going to the field nearby, which is lit by fireflies during summer nights.

Field with a lot of fireflies

Even though I had a couple of good long exposures, I still longed for a picture where you can see the actual insect with it’s bottom glowing. This is difficult to capture. These little suckers fly constantly, usually in the dark, and glow sporadically. So, you are not sure which direction they will fly next. Also, I never wanted to capture or restrict any firefly to capture it’s glow, without it looking like a fluorescent bulb (that’s what happens with long exposures). So far, long exposure was my friend until the serendipitous moment yesterday right outside the parking lot.

Field with a lot of fireflies

This was a moment when I was just walking towards home from parking lot and this little guy was sitting and glowing. I lay flat on the walkway just to get close enough with whatever settings my camera was on and this was the last glow it created while sitting and then flew off.

As a kid, I always wanted to capture a firefly and make it my friend, forever. I guess this picture gets close enough. 😇