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Blue Ghost Photography Tours

Mon, May 17, 2021
8:00 pm
- Tue, May 18, 2021
12:00 am

|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on Sun, May 23, 2021 at 8:00 pm

One event on Mon, May 24, 2021 at 8:00 pm

One event on Sun, May 30, 2021 at 8:00 pm

One event on Mon, May 31, 2021 at 8:00 pm

Join Brevard based photographer Bobby Bradley and the FIND Outdoors naturalists for a unique experience to photograph Blue Ghost Fireflies at the Cradle of Forestry without the crowds. Group size will be limited to 6 participants so that we can spread out amongst the two miles of paved trails at the Cradle to allow for a very dark and private opportunity to capture long exposure firefly images.


The dates have been specifically chosen around the darkest times of the firefly active period and also on nights where the general ticketed public is not present and typically not allowed to use tripods.


The tour will begin with a mini workshop and equipment overview with the participants as well as review Bobby’s past images and discuss techniques to achieve optimal results. After discussing goals and equipment strategy, the group will go out on the trail to scout out locations and also learn about Blue Ghosts with a FIND Outdoors naturalist.


Once dark enough for fireflies to emerge, the participants will split into pairs to at least 3 locations (2 participants at each location). Bobby will rotate along the 3 locations to offer tips, tricks, and advice as well as setting up his own cameras to shoot alongside. At approximately 11pm we will wrap up shooting and return to the building to review images and celebrate the night of shooting.


Bobby Bradley is a Brevard, NC based Photographer specializing in fine art landscape and nature imagery. He enjoys practicing techniques such as long exposure, multiple exposure blending, and creative post-processing techniques to get the most out of camera tools to achieve new and unique images in otherwise low light situations. BobbyBradleyPhoto.com


Limit to 6 Participants/night (minimum of 3) 

 $200 per participant



Monday May 17: 8pm – 12am 

Sunday May 23: 8pm – 12am 

Monday May 24: 8pm-12am

Sunday May 30: 8pm – 12am 

Monday May 31: 8pm – 12am 

For questions and other inquires about these tours email: blueghosts@gofindoutdoors.org 

What to Bring: 

Required Equipment (no exceptions): 

  • DSLR or Mirrorless Camera capable of 30 seconds long exposure (no mobile phones) 
  • Lens 14mm – 100mm (35mm equivalent) at least f/4-5.6 
  • Steady Tripod 
  • Headlamp/flashlight 
  • Spare Camera Battery 

Recommended Equipment 

  • Intervalometer (timer to allow for long exposures 30s+) 
  • Lens Options: Any Wide Angle, Medium, Telephoto/Macro will work. Wide captures lots of Blue Ghosts. Telephoto/Macro captures more closeups. 
  • Lens of any type at f/1.8 – f/2.8 are ideal for low light 
  • Camera Rain Cover 
  • Light Jacket 
  • Spare Camera Battery 
  • Headlamp/flashlight with Red light 



The fame of blue ghost fireflies in western North Carolina has increasingly threatened their natural habitat. Thousands of people annually trek off the trails in May and June to find the wooded niche where these small beetles can be found. The result is damage to the layer of leaf litter where adult female blue ghosts live. Leaf litter is also important to the larvae of several species of fireflies throughout the year. As more people leave the trails in search of fireflies, more of these habitats are negatively impacted. 

The Cradle of Forestry is offering this tour on a paved trail along habitat in which blue ghost and several other species of fireflies are regularly sighted. During the evening you will learn how to safely view the blue ghost fireflies as well as how you can encourage firefly habitat in your backyard. 


Mon, May 17, 2021<br />8:00 pm
Tue, May 18, 2021<br />12:00 am


The Cradle of Forestry
11250 Pisgah Highway
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768 United States