Peter Miller’s Fireflies – Exposing Fireflies to Photographic Paper


    Artist Peter Miller performed an interesting experiment, and as we say – “fortune favors the bold.”  Peter took some fireflies (you know, lightning bugs) and put them in a room with some unexposed polaroids, and then once again with unexposed color photographic paper.

    A simple experiment.  An interesting experiment.  I certainly didn’t think of it.

    About Peter Miller:

    Peter Miller is an artist living and making work in Cologne. He took his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, is originally from Vermont and apprenticed to be a silversmith. His films are distributed by Lightcone and are in the collection of the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

    His film and photographic work is preoccupied with magic and generally investigates the phenomena of the cinema and its constituent, irreducible elements: lens, light, flicker, audience, projection, etc.

    Check out the resulting images – the first is the fireflies on polaroid papers:


    The second image is the opposite, on a background scale at least.  Having the lightning bugs on color photograph paper gave the effect of a white background:


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    1. Cool!

      I have a question. What is the color of unexposed color photographic paper? If I expose it to sunlight, will it “print out” or otherwise darken without development like black and white paper does? Does it then show some response to color?

      I am interested in trying to use color paper in a pinhole camera, where i have been making long exposures with black and white paper and then scanning the paper directly rather than developing the image out.


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