Long-Exposure Photos Capture Lit-Up Fireflies Dancing During Japan’s Summer Nights

Japanese Firefly Photos by Usadadanuki

In Japan, the beginning of spring is famously marked by the arrival of pink cherry blossoms. And in summer, there’s an equally beautiful phenomenon. June and July is firefly (or hotaru) season, when many people flock to rural areas and forests to catch a glimpse of the bioluminescent bugs. Japanese photographer Usadadanuki witnessed the magical event and shared his fantastic images online.

In Japanese culture, fireflies are thought to be the souls of soldiers who died in war. During hot summer nights, thousands of insects fly across the landscape while their lights illuminate the scene. However, since fireflies inhabit only clean streams, their numbers have been decreasing in recent years due to pollution. That’s why many photographers, including Usadadanuki, are particularly keen to capture the mesmerizing event.

Photographing fireflies is no easy feat, but Usadadanuki managed to capture their fleeting movements using the long exposure technique. The resulting, atmospheric images look like something from a real-life Studio Ghibli film. The soft-bodied beetles appear as otherworldly flashes of light that seem to dance through forest floors, rivers, temples, and shrines.

Check out Usadadanuki’s incredible firefly images below and find more from his photography portfolio on his website and Instagram.

Japanese photographer Usadadanuki captured breathtaking images of fireflies at night.

Japanese Firefly Photos by UsadadanukiJapanese Firefly Photos by Usadadanuki

He uses the long exposure technique to capture the bioluminescent bugs in motion.

Japanese Firefly Photos by UsadadanukiJapanese Firefly Photos by UsadadanukiJapanese Firefly Photos by UsadadanukiJapanese Firefly Photos by UsadadanukiJapanese Firefly Photos by UsadadanukiJapanese Firefly Photos by UsadadanukiJapanese Firefly Photos by UsadadanukiJapanese Firefly Photos by UsadadanukiJapanese Firefly Photos by UsadadanukiJapanese Firefly Photos by UsadadanukiJapanese Firefly Photos by UsadadanukiJapanese Firefly Photos by UsadadanukiJapanese Firefly Photos by UsadadanukiUsadadanuki: Website | Instagram | Twitter
h/t: [Design You Trust]

All images via Usadadanuki.

Related Articles:

This Summer’s Magical Photos of Japan’s Annual Flurry of Fireflies in Forests

Magical Photos of Fireflies Lighting Up a Forest in Japan

Beautiful Long Exposures of Firefly Trails by Vincent Brady

15 Creative Long Exposures Capture a World Unseen

Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.
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