Glow worms turn New Zealand cave into starry night and I spent past year photographing it

Jun 13, 2016

Shaun Jeffers

We love it when our readers get in touch with us to share their stories. This article was contributed to DIYP by a member of our community. If you would like to contribute an article, please contact us here.

Glow worms turn New Zealand cave into starry night and I spent past year photographing it

Jun 13, 2016

Shaun Jeffers

We love it when our readers get in touch with us to share their stories. This article was contributed to DIYP by a member of our community. If you would like to contribute an article, please contact us here.

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Something quite special dwells beneath the surface of New Zealand and these images prove that the country is just as beautiful below ground as it is above!

The Waitomo area is famous for it’s limestone caves and within these caves are one of the most magical insects in the world, the glowworm. Glow worms emit a phosphorescent glow that light up the cave and create a surreal environment.

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Over the past year I have been back and forth to Waitomo’s Ruakuri Cave to master the art of photographing these magnificent little creatures – it’s been quite the experience! When the headlamps are out and all you can see are the glowworms, you can’t help but feel like you’ve stepped into James Cameron’s Avatar Pandora, it’s just unreal!

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Photographing glow worms is very similar to shooting the night sky, however the exposure time can be much longer. These images in particular range between 30 seconds and 6 minutes exposures. To achieve the shots, it required me to submerge myself and my tripod in cold water for up to 6-8 hours a day – it was totally worth it!

About the Author

Shaun is an Auckland based photographer specialising in commercial tourism and landscape photography.  You can find out more about him on his website, follow his work on Facebook and Instagram, or reach out to him through Twitter.  This post was also published here, and used with permission.

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One response to “Glow worms turn New Zealand cave into starry night and I spent past year photographing it”

  1. Tedy Himawari Pham-Tran Avatar
    Tedy Himawari Pham-Tran

    Did you get permission for this shot? I was there as a tourist and photography is not allow inside the cave. Btw beautiful shots, excellent, hat off to your effort.