I vividly remember the time when I first saw a swarm of fireflies. Their flickering completely enchanted me, and of course, I also tried taking some photos. However, they were quite… underwhelming, to say the least. But photographer Daniel Kordan has managed to capture the beauty and magic of fireflies. He turned them into a series of images he kindly shared with DIYP, along with his gear and settings that he used to create them.
Daniel visited Japan’s Kyushu Island in 2019. He took this series of photos during the fireflies mating season in a dense bamboo forest. And capturing this kind of magic takes some time and devotion if you want your photos to emit that feeling you had while observing these gorgeous little creatures. I sure wish I knew that before!
For this series, it took Daniel a few hours of shooting continuously. He would set up a camera at the chosen location and take a background photo first. He shot it with ISO 100, and after that, keep running the camera on timelapse to record tracks of fireflies.
For shooting these photos, Daniel used Nikkor 58 mm f/1.4 and 24-70 mm f/2.8 on a Nikon Z 7. He took each shot at f/2.8, ISO 4000, 30 s of exposure. The total number of shots was somewhere between 200 and 400, and it took Daniel some two or three hours of recording. When he got home, he processed the images together using StaSstaX software.