Tuesday, June 22, 2010
It's rare to find something that just can't be photographed. Fireflies fall into that category. They're invisible in still photos, unless you're lucky enough to click the shutter just as one of them lights up, and even then you just get a green speck. Their movements are unpredictable, and they only light up while they're flying, so I'm not sure how you could zero in on one with any kind of zoom or macro lens. And on video, well, they look like this.
It's kind of cool that nature can still defy the digital age, isn't it?
The New York Times recently ran an interesting essay that discussed the relationship between photographers and their environment -- it questioned the impulse many people have to record images of their surroundings, perhaps depriving themselves of a fuller experience. I thought of this essay while I made this video. Fireflies are better experienced live, no doubt about it.
I shot this in the field behind our apartment, which swarms with fireflies at dusk in the summer. The sounds of passing cars are coming from nearby Cranbury Road. One thing I've noticed about fireflies -- they seem to only light up while they're ascending. You never see their little sparks moving downward.