Watch a Gorgeous Time-lapse Video of Fireflies

Slate’s animal blog.
March 27 2014 4:00 PM

Gorgeous Time-lapse Video of Fireflies


Photographer Vincent Brady’s most recent project uses an unusual light source: the mesmerizing glow of the firefly. His time-lapse photographs and videos are nothing short of stunning. The artist spent the summer of 2013 chasing the insects around Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri and his hometown of Grand Ledge, Mich. He exercised a diverse set of skills including long-exposure image stacking, meticulous editing, and steering a pontoon boat through narrow creeks on moonless nights.

The fireflies fill the frames with a frenzied movement that enables Brady to express a sense of transience against still ponds and starry skies. This romantic nod to non-permanence may recall a lost childhood pastime, but for the artist, the insects’ unpredictability sometimes created more practical challenges. The exact time and place of the firefly “disco,” he told me, often depended upon heat, humidity, and even the phase of the moon—they prefer to “throw down” in relative darkness, he says.


But it is in this erratic behavior that the artist most admires the insects. As he writes on his website, “Fireflies just bless you with their presence, light up, make love, and call it a life.” Brady captures the whole cycle in his frames.

Audrey Wilson is a Slate intern in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter.


Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.


Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 11:33 AM Planned Parenthood Is About to Make It a Lot Easier to Get Birth Control
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 5:03 PM White House Chief Information Officer Will Run U.S. Ebola Response
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.