3rd Place; Billions of Synchronous Fireflies Light up a Tiger Reserve by Sriram Murali
Searching for stars near my hometown of Pollachi, India, I was led to the forests of the Anamalai Tiger Reserve. The further I moved away from the towns and their lights, the darker it got and the more I could see stars and fireflies.
I was fascinated by the hundreds of fireflies flashing at the edge of the forest, but recalled hearing stories of trees laden with fireflies deep in the forest. So, in April 2022, I set out to a remote area of the reserve with forest officials. Flashes of green started appearing at twilight and as the Place; grew dark, millions of fireflies started synchronising their flashes across several trees. The flashes would start in one tree and continue across other trees like a Mexican wave.
Such large congregations of fireflies are very rare, and this series captures the phenomenon of fireflies turning an entire forest into a magical carpet of yellowish-green light. The images were created by stacking several photographs.