In the summer, from dusk until the moon rises, the photographer finds his subjects along quiet stretches of farmstand highway, in abandoned fields, hidden pockets of woods and under power lines.
Ailsa Chang is the host.
In many parts of the country, fire flies are synonymous with summer, but photographing them can be difficult. A man has been working on a process for almost a decade. The reporter was in the Hudson Valley.
Pete has a flashlight in his hand and is wearing highway safety gear. The traffic cones in the trunk of his car are matched by his oversized orange T-shirt.
A lot of people think I'm a state trooper.
During the summer months, from dusk until the moon rises, he finds his subjects along quiet stretches of farm stand highway, in abandoned fields and hidden pockets of woods and the grassy tracks underneath power lines within a 30 mile circle of his home in Tivoli, N.Y.
MaUney never gets tired of it.
The temperature stays above 60 degrees and there is no rain.
It's not enough for me to have the bugs do the heavy lifting, so I always try to construct the images and construct a good image.
A good image begins with location.
Madame, are you able to see them? There is more to this than we were before.
A man is setting his camera on a tripod. He pointed it towards a line of trees. There is a small problem behind us.
Except for how bright that small porch light is.
A man emerges from a house with a porch light and is dragged by a golden retriever.
There is aOUNDBITE of a dog barking.
Madame, how are you doing?
He was told that his property is an off-the- grid hub of activity. It doesn't look special, but it's an important place to document species that are being affected by pesticides and light pollution.
A person asks if that should be turned off.
Madame, turn off the porch light.
A person says yes. It's true.
He got the guy to turn out the light. I can see thousands and thousands of dancing lights in short bursts and more sustained flashes as it is now very dark. He will leave his camera and position for up to five hours. He compiles these in a way that creates images that are chaotic, real and absolutely fantastic.
The bioluminescent insects are a small percentage of all the other insects. A lot of what we don't see is shown in the photographs.
To help others see what they might be missing, Mauney is collecting information for a project. The first dictionary to match firefly species is being created.
I live in New York.
"Firefly" is a song from the movie "Independence Day."
You wouldn't believe your eyes if 10 million people lit up the sky.
An NPR contractor creates NPR transcripts quickly. The text may be changed in the future. Availability and accuracy can be different. NPR has an audio record.