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Thread: Fireflies

  1. #11

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    Did try this experiment last year with a 35mm camera with a wide angle lens and 400 speed Fuji 400 Superia open for about 2-5 minutes. I was a little underwhelmed at the results but did manage to capture a images of the glowey buggers doing them loopdiloops of love.

    The wide angle compressed the shots, so the already small flight path got compressed even more on a small film format.

    It was fun all the same being in the meadow together with these little sugar pixies and witnessing their 2 weeks of airborn freedom as they rejoice from emerging from their pupae stage from underground for 2 years.

    However the poor buggers starve themselves to death during the process to pass their torch along, and this is really a tragedy. If they only knew how to eat.

    On top of that, there are sneaky ambush fireflies, from what I hear in the latest scientific firefly research, that attack/canabalize unsuspecting male flashers.

    So mayhaps perchance this summer I'll take out the RZ and see if I can get closer in on their flight patterns some how.

    Cheers
    I brake for fixer!

  2. #12

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    What was the f stop that worked best for you, WolfTales?
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  3. #13

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    Well I said to hoots with reciprocity of failure and just left the lens wide open for 2-5 minutes at a time at F1.8

    Thats the shot I actually managed to get something discernable. At f16, it was too dark to see the glow trails.

    If I try it again this summer I will go with a normal lens and choose a field with a higher concentration of glowworms to darkness ratio and faster color film like 800...
    I brake for fixer!

  4. #14
    keithwms's Avatar
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  5. #15
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    I think George H. Seeley's "The Firefly" is my all-time favorite photograph. I managed to acquire a copy several years ago.

    I always am pleasantly surprised and amazed when they suddenly appear around here. It seems they were a couple weeks later this year. I hope that does not portend a dire ecological situation.

    Joe

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by cknapp1961 View Post
    Sounds interesting, hope to see these images posted. I have thought about trying to photograph fire flies, they were everywhere in Southwest Michigan.

    I have been stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC for seven years and have never seen any here.
    Wow! How did you manage to get the same command for seven years!? Or is it different commands at the same post?

    In the submarine field I was in, it was 1-1/2 to 2 years training, then:

    * First Sea Tour: 4 to 4-1/2 years
    * First Shore Tour: 3 years
    * Second Sea Tour: 5 years
    * Second Shore Tour: 3 years
    * Third Sea Tour: 3 years
    * Third Shore Tour: 3 years
    * Fourth Sea Tour: 3 years
    * Forth Shore Tour: 3 years

    Even if you volunteered for back-to-back sea tours, they moved you to a different boat, and likely a different base altogether.
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by WolfTales View Post
    Well I said to hoots with reciprocity of failure and just left the lens wide open for 2-5 minutes at a time at F1.8

    Thats the shot I actually managed to get something discernable. At f16, it was too dark to see the glow trails.

    If I try it again this summer I will go with a normal lens and choose a field with a higher concentration of glowworms to darkness ratio and faster color film like 800...
    Thank you.

    Are you positive it was f/1.8? That is not too common on wides. Which wide-angle f/1.8 lens do you have?
    2F/2F

    "Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."

    - Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)

  8. #18
    jd callow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cknapp1961 View Post
    Sounds interesting, hope to see these images posted. I have thought about trying to photograph fire flies, they were everywhere in Southwest Michigan.
    Having lived in SE Michigan for 40 some years I can vouch for the firefly population. I remember a story from about 33 years ago about some guys sharing a pipe one night in the woods behind my folks house. As they stood in a circle passing the pipe back and forth an abundant flock of fire flies flew around them until one flew into the pipe itself -- sizzling like a tiny sirloin as it flared up for the last time. No photo's were taken to my knowledge.
    Last edited by jd callow; 07-09-2009 at 11:10 PM. Click to view previous post history.

    *

  9. #19

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    A couple of years ago I was returning home just after midnight from a trip to Des Moines, IA. I drove into an area of thousands of fireflies. I felt a little bit bad as they kept hitting the windshield, their chemical entrails leaving a ghostly glow on the glass for several seconds after their demise.

    I stopped the car got out and was mesmerized by the number of them in the fields all around.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  10. #20

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    2F/2f your right. It was last summer and I have changed camera systems several times.... my bad!

    It was just one big experiment in bracketing really. I think I went through 3 rolls of 36 exposures that night. I learned alot but really it's just a basic starting block for future experiments. I was pretty underwhelmed with my results.

    I tried a couple of lenses that night, a F1.8 50mm and a 2.8 24mm. Wide open.
    For focus, the one that came out the best, I estimated where to focus and then just set the focus manually as a guestimate. Think I tried leaving it at infinity too for shots where there was firefly action beyond 30ft... Those were too dim to see in the photo tho...

    I got better results with the faster lens chasing trails closer up then I did with the wide angle slower lens.

    So basically I would search for an active spot, run with my tripod and camera and 50mm lens and open up the shutter for 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Then the activity would die down, and I would scan again, pick up the camera and run to the next spot and take another 30 second to 2 minute exposure and hope I would catch em in action.

    The wide angle experiment, I just left in a field stationary for a long time with the shutter open for 5 minutes.

    Also got some nice star trails at the end of my adventure. Just pointed the camera up with a fast tele lens for 5 - 30 minutes, wide open at infinity.
    Last edited by WolfTales; 07-10-2009 at 09:08 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    I brake for fixer!

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