Wulai Firefly Farm, Taiwan 6

Before anything, I must apologize. You will not find any pictures of fireflies here. I tried, I really did. There were thousands of them flying about. The problem was that there was no outside lighting and no flashes allowed. Flashlights were permitted so that people wouldnt trip on the uneven ground, but they could only be pointed down and had to be covered with red cellophane (insects generally see in the higher wavelengths of the light spectrum, like UV, so red light would be invisible to them).



What this means is really, really long exposure times…too long to capture flitting lightning bugs. Take this photo, for example. The shutter was open for a full 8 minutes at f/8 in the pitch blackness of 8PM. If you squint, you can kinda…sorta…make out a couple of firefly trails. To put it in context, there were dozens of lightning bugs in front of the camera.




If given the opportunity, Id try something shallower and faster, like 60 seconds at f/2.8…but then focusing becomes an issue.


Failed photographic flings aside, the trip to this firefly farm in Wulai was a wonderful one. It started with a short presentation on the science and biology of lightning bugs and a listing of the rules (which I outlined above and which caused many a camera-toting tourist to groan audibly).



This was followed by the distribution of glow-jewelry so that in the murky blackness of the night parents could keep track of their children and vice-versa.



And then we were led down a dirt path away from the welcoming lights of the visitor center, past an artificial lake, and to a forest-surrounded field filled with dancing lights.



This farm is located about 15 minutes from the Wulai waterfall but in the opposite direction. They are open daily from 4-8:30PM, although the night my family went we left closer to 9. Firefly season starts in late spring and goes through much of the summer.



So I couldnt get any pictures of lightning bugs, but Ill include a couple firefly sketches Ive done. :-)



About Brian

Brian Q. Webb is a photography enthusiast from Los Angeles, California who spends most of his time in Taipei, Taiwan. He is especially interested in street photography as well as large format portraiture and pinhole photography. He also likes to shoot lifestyle portraiture and occasionally acts as an agent for foreign newspapers wanting event coverage in Taipei. He was also on the staff of deviantArt and is co-founder of PhotoMalaysia, the largest photography community in that country.

  • Khoking

    Love the sketches!

  • photojazz

    Thanks, K!

  • Pingback: Random Encounters: Wulai Township in 15 minutes | Brian Q. Webb()

  • meiling

    Hi, how much is the firefly tour?

  • http://photoJazz.ws/ Brian

    I don’t know the price of the place specifically as it was part of an overall bus tour

  • http://photoJazz.ws/ Brian

    The owners mobile phone number is on the sign in the last photo. You can also ask if firefly season has started yet so you know that there will be some to see as they are not year-round.