When Canadian Jordan Poste visited New Zealand, he never imagined he’d be spending 8 months in dark, dripping, eel-infested caves. But that’s exactly what he did, and at the end of it all he had the perfect souvenir: a stunning 4k timelapse video of NZ’s famous glowworm caves.
The glowworms are a striking sight. Their soft illumination transforms the inside of the caves into twinkling, glowworm galaxies. It’s one of New Zealand’s most unique and memorable natural wonders, a scene many photographers have attempted to capture. Poste wanted to do one better, so he created a video that reproduces the ethereal experience of walking through the caves.
Poste explains on his blog, Stoked For Saturday, that just 10 seconds of finished footage could take over 2.5 hours to shoot. Each sequence used 300 frames and each frame required an exposure time between 30 seconds and 30 minutes. As Wired reports, that means around 3,000 frames were needed for the whole 1.5-minute long video.
Poste’s efforts were worth it. The hypnotising clip went on to win New Zealand Geographic’s 2015 Photographer of the Year award in the timelapse category. As to the magical experience of seeing the glowworms in person, Poste told Wired this:
“It’s similar to lying down outside under the stars and just looking at the sky and emptying your mind. It’s extra special, though, because you realize they aren’t stars, but worms with glowing bums.”