Hiramatsu: Illuminating Golden Flights

Many thanks to Smithsonian Mag for the article.

For nearly a decade, amateur photographer Tsuneaki Hiramatsu spent his summer evenings in the forests outside Niimi, in Japan’s Okayama prefecture. He was intent on capturing the spectacle of firefly mating season, when the males and females vie for attention through blinking codes. As night fell, Hiramatsu began shooting a series of eight-second exposures. He then digitally merged the images, creating connect-the-dot photos of the fireflies’ golden flight paths.

The images became a sensation on the Web and were included in a traveling museum exhibit called “Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence.” But for Hiramatsu, recognition for his artistry is secondary to engendering appreciation for the natural world. “Fireflies are little seen in areas developed by human beings,” he says. “When I feel the splendor and mystery of nature, I am glad to have everyone share that feeling.”

>> Article by Smithsonian MagazinePhotography by Tsuneaki Hiramatsu.