Radim Schreiber

Artist Statement

 

FIREFLIES


ARTIST STATEMENT

 

I became inspired by the beauty of glowing fireflies when I came to the USA. I had never seen this amazing, magical dance of lights growing up in Czech Republic. As a macro photographer, I started to dream about capturing the images of glowing fireflies.. I wanted to freeze this special moment when they are glowing. How will they look up close? Are they like fairies? Are they angels?

 

For the past couple of summers, I spent countless hours photographing fireflies in Fairfield starting early in the evening and going late into the night. I crawled in ditches and swamps, getting attacked by mosquitoes and chiggers - all to get the best photos.

 

It is important to me that I portray fireflies in their natural beauty and environment. Despite technical challenges, I have chosen not to use a flash or artificial lighting. My approach allows the glow of a firefly to show in its true luminosity. In order to preserve the moment in time exactly as I saw it, I do not manipulate the images in Photoshop.

 

Technical Challenges

 

  1. Focus – It is very difficult to focus during night and on moving subject.
  2. Exposure – Night photography requires long exposure (1-30 seconds), and moving objects tend to be blurry at long exposures.

 

I used the latest digital camera equipment Canon EOS 5D Mark II, allowing me to shoot at ISO 3200 at large aperture F/2.8. Then, I filtered each image using noise removal software and adjusted almost non-existent color. I had best luck during early dusk hours and when the fireflies held still.

 

Awards

 

2011 – Smithsonian Photo Contest – One of fifty finalists chosen from 50,000 entries -Grand prize winner for Nature Photography Category.

2010 – Galapagos Conservancy Calendar Photo Contest – One of thirteen winners

2009 – The Rainforest Alliance Photo Contest – Grand Prize trip to Costa Rica for two

2008 – The Rainforest Alliance Photo Contest – Grand Prize trip to Galapagos

 

                                                                                                  - RadimSchreiber, 2011