Time-Lapse Photography Shows the Gorgeous Luminous Activities of Fireflies

Using long exposure photography, Missouri-based photographer Vincent Brady captures some magical images of luminescent light trails left behind by fireflies as they do their daily night dances in the American Midwest. Fireflies have always aroused thoughts of the mystical, and as as kids they seem like the closest we will ever come to anything from the fabled wonderland. Brady used time-lapse photography to show the gorgeous luminous activities of fireflies as they streaked through the evening darkness.


In these amazing images, we not only see the fireflies’ bright glow, but also their movements which make them appear like magical cosmic flower petals. By having the camera’s exposure open as they fly around, Brady was able to document their light and motion as they light painted the evening.

fireflies time-lapse

Brady shot these surreal pictures during the summer of 2013 over at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri and at Grand Ledge, Michigan.  On humid nights when fireflies are likely to show-up, Brady had his camera ready. Using bioluminescence to attract mates or prey, these winged beetles put on quite a show. The light they give off is referred to as ‘cold’ because it generates no heat or infrared and ultraviolet radiation.

fireflies time-lapse photography

The glow they radiate which is caused by a multifaceted sequence of chemical reactions is created and emanates from their lower stomach.  The light comes in a few hues, and can range from green, yellow or pale red. Brady is quite taken by these creatures, more so after coming up with these amazing pictures.

vincent brady

“If your significant other ever says, ‘Honey, we need to spray the yard, we have a firefly problem.’ Break up, divorce, and get a restraining order right away!” said Brady in jest on his website. “Fireflies just bless you with their presence, light up, make love, and call it a life.” Judging by the time-lapse video, fireflies evoke a sense of the magical and enchanted, and one would think that fairies, dwarfs, and other mythic figures are not far behind.

fireflies long exposure

See the rest of the images here.

Be sure to join us on FacebookTwitter and Google+ to stay updated on our most recent posts!

Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.