Desert Night Drive, Chile, 2014

A majestic view of the Milky Way, as constellation Scorpius with bright orange star Antares, the Scorpion’s heart, and planet Saturn rise above Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon) in the Atacama Desert, Chile. Today 2/3rd of human population live under light polluted skies, not dark enough to see the Milky Way. Seeing a real dark sky is a must to see experience, moments that you will not forget in your entire life. The patchy glow of light in such dark skies is the galactic plane, billions of stars in our home galaxy shimmering from the far, above the horizon of our little planet. The Milky Way like this looks like a scene of the science fiction to many people today, but this is still possible to experience in preserved dark sites. The Milky Way appears colorless to our eyes, unable to detect colors at lowlight. But the view is still stunning with many details visible to unaided eyes.

On technical aspect I shoot single exposure photos and panoramas, which is the case here. The main reason is the value of moment and historic credibility in a single raw file. I also like to challenge myself with old-school on-the-field techniques which I have done with film too, a joy that I can’t find in photoshop composites, exposure blends or HDRs, which is currently very common in night photography. My secret to achieve the same result in classic single-exposure photography includes using fast lens and a camera with low noise performance, star tracker mount, fine processing on raw files, and excellent night sky conditions.

Location: Atacama Desert, Chile
Photograph Date: 2014
Medium: Chromogenic Print
Edition: 200

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