“Galaxy” on the stone arches of the Waitomo caves


“Galaxy” on the stone arches is the larvae of mushroom gnats Arachnocampa luminosa, which feed on those that fall into their traps — thin luminous cobwebs hanging from the ceiling.

For shooting insects on a long exposure needs to be dark even random flashlight beam will ruin the precious footage. Avoiding tourists, Jordan and Joan visited the cave at night. To concentrate on shooting it doesn’t always work: it was necessary to safeguard equipment, sensitive to cold and damp, and beware of bites river eels, which are found in underground reservoirs. The result of two hours of shooting (plus another hour to install the equipment) was about ten seconds of timelapse. In total the work took about 30 hours.

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