Today’s very unusual tripod challenge: photograph fireflies. My friend and I have discovered a spot where fireflies are plentiful… if you get there at just the right hour. We got there with our equipment at the wrong hour. There were only a handful of fireflies available. Not having a clue how to photograph fireflies, I was pretty discouraged. Imagine taking a photo in darkness. What do you focus on and how do you focus? What camera settings do you use? Those are all very good questions and I didn’t know the answer to any when I began. It was a shot in the dark… pun intended.
I took 10 photos (which is normally far less than I normally do) but I had zero confidence anything would turn out. When I looked at the photos on my camera I saw nothing.
But then I downloaded them. Take a look at the photo below.
The sparkly light in the top right corner is a light post.. and while pretty and sparkly … that’s not the excitement in the photo.
The bottom left portion of the photo has a streak. That is not Photoshop. That is a firefly! You might ask why it’s a streak. The shutter on the camera was left open for a very long time. Because of that, the movement of the firefly is tracked by the camera.. resulting in a streak effect.
Exposure time: 30 sec
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II (Big Bertha)
Lens: My beloved 100 mm macro lens (Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L macro IS)
Equipment: Manfrotto MK190XPRO3-BHQ2 Tripod
Notes: For each of my attempts I tried to get a lamp post, trees or the horizon to give some perspective.
Today’s blog has bonus content. For your viewing “entertainment” I have uploaded a video, I have aptly named: Firefly. The video shows multiple fireflies near the trees and in the background you can hear a frog concert. Enjoy!