Nature’s fireworks! Dreamy time-lapse pictures of fireflies blazing beautiful patterns in the dark under a star lit sky
These beautiful, surreal photographs show a valley brimming with fireflies while the milky way flashes in the sky.
The result of perfect timing and careful preparation, ideal circumstances allowed these photos to be taken without a no need for light or a flash – the natural elements provided any light necessary.
The photos were taken by starry-eyed photographer Adam Dorn, 29, who waited patiently for ideal shoot conditions.
The sky had to be dark and clear enough to capture the milky way, while it also had to be warm and humid enough for the fireflies to be active.
The images were captured in a coulee in Elmwood, Wisconsin over the course of one and a half years.
The project started when Adam, a self-taught product photographer for a manufacturing company, discovered the valley buzzing with fireflies while fly fishing.
He immediately ditched the fishing and got his camera, spending half a night photographing them. It wasn’t until a year later that he returned to the place to capture some more photos.
He said: “Since then I had created ideas and visions for a photo of a field full of fireflies with the galactic heart of our Milky Way galaxy in the distant sky.
“I knew everything had to come together for this one perfect moment in time. Where life itself would illuminate and create it’s own light from within, mimicking the very light that sustains all life on our planet. A powerful feeling, and a powerful moment I knew I had to capture.”
“I studied the movement of the Milky Way through our night sky. I studied the moon phase to know when I would have the most opportune moment that left me with the darkest sky to work with. And when the fireflies would be most active.
“All of these elements had to come together, along with the significant population of fireflies. It was a lot of careful planning.”
The unique phenomena of the bugs being able to light up is because of bioluminescence. This is created when a pigment and chemical react.
Fireflies use two chemicals – luciferase and luciferin. The former glows when combined with the latter. It is their means of communication and attracting a mate.
The images took Adam anything from a few hours to an entire night to capture.
Impossible to capture in just one image, Adam creates a composite for the final photo. About 10-20 photos are merged together and aligned. This is because a camera simply couldn’t capture this in a single photograph.
Adam said that it is getting harder and harder to find good locations for fireflies as their natural habitat is under pressure from the urban sprawl of humanity.
He said: “Watching these creatures create their own light in the darkness was something magical. Almost an out of this world feeling. As if they if they faded into stars, creating their own sustaining light. To share their energy of life.
“The thought of capturing light glowing from within a living creature, the very thing that sustains life, just resonated within me. I had to capture this feeling it gave me, this sense of awe for this world and the universe we live in.”