Some of the blogs on the web took liberty (without email or contacting me) with what Mr Robert Nemiroff and Mr Jerry Bonnell wrote up and published on the NASA APOD site, therefore I've compiled the below.
I'd like to add this image came out of my multiple attempts at capturing fireflies last Summer in a pleasing way, not by accident!
We have 2+ acres, and front is 1 acre of wildflowers, so lots of insects/butterflies/spiders/etc live there + wildlife (deer/etc) go thru there.
That's why we have fireflies there, we choose to be more natural/green instead of lawn.
Facts/History behind this shot:
Summer of 2010 I attempted the single exposure for firefly capture, just a few green dots in single 20 sec exposure:
June-16-2010 attempts these 2 :
Can you see the fireflies?? well neither can I...but all part of the learning trial/error process
Then July-11-2010 my 1st stacked attempt gave so-so results, but showed some possibility for neat shot:
This 2nd stacked attempt of 8 second images from July 14-2010 had more promise:
What I learned is the time of evening/dusk to begin shooting at, taking trial shots to balance exposure/capture of fireflies vs over bright sky, etc.
Then I backed up more for this multi-exposure shot taken July-16-2010, which included star trails.
In my mind, this was where it was at, fireflies + star trails, so that was my mindset for next future attempt .
Moving to the bottom of the driveway for more wide field view and rules of 1/3 was learned by this July-16-2010 capture in portrait orientation - with fireflies
and winter star trails image taken Feb-4-2011 here in landscape orientation:
Therefore, when my wife asked me to capture the fireflies on July-20-2011, I took all the above lessons learned:
-multiple captures over time
-composition rules of 1/3 for the scene
-choose landscape over portrait
-special software to process the image
and also got lucky with timing to capture the rising moon in the garage 2 window reflection.
Which, as some may have noticed there is a ladder leaning against the garage side.
I was doing the 5 year loghome re-staining, so the window screens were off, thereby letting the rising moon light reflect and be captured in each 20 sec exposure.
IF I was not re-staining chances are the relative brightness of the moon's reflection would not be apparent off the screen covered windows.
Lots of things came together to make the August 5, 2011 APOD shot; chance + learned skills.