Luciola parvula fireflies appear in the spring and summer in Japan, at different times varying with location.
Fireflies use bioluminescence displays for courtship and reproduction. Each type of illuminated insect has a unique flashing pattern, to ensure that they can distinguish members of their own kind, as different species sometimes overlap in range and period of activity. Himebotaru fireflies flash briefly as they move, producing a circular, or roughly circular, pattern of light when photographed.
In real life, the insects in a given area do not all illuminate at once. They come and go, travelling around looking for mates.
To capture this image, I set up my camera and stayed in one location for four and a half hours. Due to the extended time period and unpredictability of firefly appearance and movement, I maintained vigil and manually triggered my camera whenever I thought that an interesting insect or insects would come into frame. In the end, I took 114 frames, manually adjusting settings as conditions changed, from which I selected frames to create this final composite image that compresses 4.5 hours of time into a fictional, but representative, moment that strives to convey the magnificence and artistry of life on Earth.
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