Prompted by Nick Mayo’s new collaboration project (you should really join in on the community if you haven’t already), I took to the country over the weekend to attempt to capture fireflies at night. No, not in a jar, that’s kids stuff. I’m talking about 30-90 second exposures to get organic light trails from our little lightning bug friends. This adventure, with a fellow friend (also named Matthew) as my second pair of eyes, turned into getting many more shots that I’ll share with you below.
These captures were not exactly a walk in the park. Since the NEX-7’s EVF essentially goes black in low light–where here it was almost completely dark–all of the country shots were done blind, focusing and all. If it wasn’t for the hard infinity stop on my 50mm f/1.8’s focus ring, finding general focus would be next to impossible. This is indeed one of the few areas where an optical viewfinder will always be better than an EVF, but that’s a topic for another day.
And a note to myself, I need to get a remote for tripod shots so I don’t have to actually HOLD the shutter open for a minute and a half in bulb mode!
In this shot since I held the shutter open for 90 seconds, the landscape is blurred due to camera shake, yet the fireflies still remain as point sources of light, interestingly enough. Due to the short panoramic nature of this shot, it’s best seen full-size (click on it!).
50mm, f/1.8, ISO 400, 90 seconds