Thursday, June 27, 2013


I've been on a mission the last couple of nights to photograph the lightning bugs. Or fireflies... whichever you prefer. We've been noticing them on our walks in the evenings and they are present in large numbers.  Of course it also gets pretty dark out here so maybe we can just see them better.

I Googled "photographing fireflies" and turned up some pretty awesome results. See here and here. Now obviously I'm not this skilled but thought I'd give it a try anyways. So night #1 I set up my tripod and started messing with the settings. This is what I got:

fireflies copy

Not terrible. But not really amazing either. Part of my issue was that most of the tutorials I read discussed merging multiple photos together. And I could not figure out how to do this effectively.

Night #2: I did more reading. Then went back outside and setup my tripod. I also adjusted my settings slightly. I've been shooting in manual mode, which alone is new for me. Based on what I read, my settings were adjusted to somewhere around  f/5.6, ISO 3200, 8 seconds. This was the result:

fireflies3 copy

Much better. I should note that this is actually 8 different photos overlapped together. And the biggest difference from night #1 is that I learned how to overlap the photos properly. (Thank you Google.) I believe the proper term in Photoshop is "lighten blend mode."

It's this option here:

lighten blend

See I learned something tonight :)

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