More often than not, the images in my head just don’t come to fruition. So these next two photos are the perfect examples of “shots that almost were.” I’ve learned that when photographing fireflies, it really helps to kick in the imagination of what you want the final image to look like. When the sun slips beyond the mountains here, the forests grow with darkness fast.
This old tree made for a perfect little portal into the open fields in the back. Light was still creeping in from that field. There were many more Chinese Lantern fireflies floating back there, so I had to grab my gear and make an adjustment before the blanket of night made it too hard to compose a shot. Not before capturing this shot below.
“Landscape photography is the supreme test of the photographer – and often the supreme disappointment.”Ansel Adams
Onward to the Chinese Lantern fireflies! These are always fun to watch as they start out low and glow as they fly upwards slowly. It was the first time I was in front of so many and it was mystical. Cloud cover was whipping in only allowing small portions of sky reveal stars. Just as I was finishing, the moon began to grace the scene with touches of moonlight.
Just after midnight on one of the nights, I had wrapped up a session with fireflies, but knew I had some time to squeeze a Milky Way photo. Clear dark skies were in the forecast and I scouted out the area below in the day time. I knew things were going to line up, but I had no idea that the skies were going to be this dark and clear. Perfect for grabbing few photos and sky gazing.
I didn’t intend on actually using this shot. The sign was a light hearted message that I was trying to find a way to fit into the shot. After taking the shot and seeing the firefly wanting to make an appearance I knew it was a keeper.
Now this was the shot I was looking for. A beautiful galactic core reaching over the sky, with Jupiter shining bright on the left. It was a perfect summer night. 70 degrees, no humidity, and completely peaceful.
Galactic Justice! It sounds like a solid B movie title from the 70’s, but it fits. List this as one of the most unexpected things I’ve seen in a long time. I’m thankful for being able to squeeze in a trip in the midst of a global pandemic. When I took this trip in late June, things were looking like they were getting better in my corner of the world, but it was only a temporary respite. It was unnerving traveling such a far distance when I had been on lock down mode for nearly 4 months. Many precautions were taken and I packed as much food and water as I could. It’s a good thing that this adventure was not only in remote forest areas, but at night. If that’s not being socially distant, I don’t know what is.
Missed out on part 1? Click here then!