Accession Number


Keith Carter

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date
1992, printed 1993

Medium & Support
platinum-palladium print on paper

10 in x 10 in (25.4 cm x 25.4 cm)

Credit Line
Gift from the Collection of David S. Rosen MD, MPH

Subject matter
This photograph depicts a view of two boys in swim trunks standing calf-deep in a body of fresh water. Vignetted by leafy trees, branches, and shadows, the two boys are silhouetted against the light reflected off the water beyond them. While a portion of the setting is in focus, the two boys are not, their blurry forms suggesting movement. They stand facing one another, appearing to look into the large glass jar that they hold, which, as the photograph’s title implies, contains fireflies. The shadowed figures and foreground speaks to the dusky time of summer days when fireflies emerge to flicker their bioluminescent bodies. The time-honored children’s activity of catching fireflies in jars to create sparkling lanterns is accentuated by the softness of the image’s focus, lending it the magical air of childhood wonder.  

Physical Description
This photograph depicts a view of the silhouetted forms of two boys holding a large glass jar and standing in a body of fresh water surrounded by trees.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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children (people by age group)
lakes (bodies of water)
phosphorescence (luminescence)

32 Related Resources

Children and Childhood
(Part of 7 Learning Collections)
Nature in Photography
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
PAST- At the Lake
(Part of: FFW Lower Level Study Cases     )
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
F19 Makman - ENGLISH 313 Fantasies of Childhood - Study Room
(Part of: Resources Made by Isabel Engel)
W20 Goodenough - RCIDIV 351 - Great Lakes Castaways
(Part of: Examples of Past Course Collections)
F20 Stainton - RCCORE 100 - Writing Lives
(Part of: Resources Made by Isabel Engel)
F20 Makman - ENGLISH 313 Fantasies of Childhood
(Part of: Resources Made by Isabel Engel)

& Author Notes

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