I think it is fair to say that Pete Mauney is obsessed with photographing fireflies. For more than twenty years he finds solace in his nocturnal wanderings and an inexhaustible challenge for the next interesting composition. Through his photographs, Mauney invites us to see the world around us with new eyes and remember how much is unseen by our normal perception.
What we are shown is an abstractions of the actual experience, something like a condensed version of reality, both technically skilled and emotionally evocative. I can only imagine what it feels like to witness thousands upon thousands of fireflies flashing in unison, but it must be a bewildering spectacle — A mesmerizing manifestation of collective animal behavior and an archetype of biological synchrony.
The bioluminescent insects are a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny percentage of all the other insects that are out there that we’re not seeing. They’re giving us an indication, through the photographs, of what else is there — which is a lot. There is a lot that we don’t see.Pete Mauney