How to Photograph Fireflies Like a Pro This Summer

fireflies at night
Photo edited with Perfectly Clear

Do you remember the first time you saw a firefly light up against the dark? The sight is magical, and you can’t help but want to capture it. If you’ve tried without any preparation, it probably didn’t come out quite right. Here is how to photograph fireflies. Take your shots while you still can; the species is slowly disappearing.

Whether you’re a professional photographer or just photograph a few hours a week as a hobby, you need to edit your photos. Make this step easier than ever with Perfectly Clear! All you need to do is upload your photos and let our software do the rest. We will add up to 40 automatic corrections to each photo so you don’t have to. Try it for free for 21 days!

5 Tips on How to Photograph Fireflies

1. Come Prepared

When you photograph light, you know that you’ll need a long exposure (we will get to that later). If you take a long exposure image, you will need your camera to be still or the photo will be blurry. So, always make sure you have a tripod or something that will hold your camera steady.

2. Your Camera Settings

To let enough light into your camera, you’ll need to change the settings to long exposure. Determine your aperture, shutter, and ISO settings experimentally. We recommend shooting 3-5 second exposures with ISO 200 as a starting point.

Later on, we recommend stacking them with a software like Photoshop. If you leave the shutter open too long, your background image will be just as bright as the fireflies and will look awful. The darker the background, the better.

3. Don’t Forget About Your Composition

Just because your main goal is to photograph fireflies doesn’t mean you can forget about the photo as a whole. A ton of fireflies in a clump won’t give much movement to the eye. If you’re stuck, just use the rule of thirds! Trees, rocks, and other usual outdoor objects make a great background for your firefly images.

4. Stacking Your Photos

If you have a software like Photoshop, you can upload some of your best photos as layers. You’ll be able to layer them on top of one another so only the best features (the fireflies) stand out:

  1. Load each image as its own layer.
  2. Set each layer’s blending mode to “lighter color.” This will make it so only the brightest parts of the layers (the fireflies) are visible in the layer above.
  3. Once you’re happy with your image, flatten the layers to turn them into one photo. Now, you’re ready for further processing!

5. Time to Edit!

Stacking those photos is a lot of work, so we’ll make the editing portion easy. All you need to do is upload your flattened photos into Perfectly Clear! The best part? Perfectly Clear works as a plug-in to Photoshop so you don’t even have to switch programs. Our software will take care of the rest– we have everything from a “Fix Dark” option to an automatic, one-click edit that will work for nearly any photo. Plus, our software is a one-time purchase. Once you own it, you own it forever!