I had three nights to capture the magical scene in the forest. Tripod in hand, I hiked with my colleagues into the misty forest at dusk. I set up, and we waited, our banter dissipating as the daylight waned and tiny specks of light emerged.
According to our guides, visitors are usually not allowed to photograph the fireflies because the presence of artificial light from electronics can affect their habits. As I started shooting, I adjusted my exposures constantly to account for the fading light. In order to get the composition that I wanted, I placed my tripod on a steep, rocky path and had to steady it during the long exposures. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal, but the fireflies were very interested in the camera and, by extension, in me. I stood completely still while they crawled all over me -- my arms, my hair, my face -- and tickled my nose and cheeks. From what I observed, peak firefly presence happens for only about 20 minutes each night, so I had time for just a few tries.