\ I FOUND THE MILKY WAY \
I think these images will be a defining moment in my career, not just because of the images themselves but for the process, determination, tenacity, hard work, patience, courage, and luck it took to make them a reality and bring them to life.
I specifically came to the Atacama Desert with the sole purpose of seeing the Milky Way and capturing these images. Foolishly, I did not research the phases of the moon and arrived at the worst time. It was a hard lesson to learn but an important one. So I was a bit sad after I arrived and felt defeated. I decided to wait around for the new moon, passing the time here with yoga, reading, and mountain biking with friends.
The past 4 nights I’ve woken up (or in some cases didn’t sleep at all) at 3 am, and rode a bike, in true expedition fashion, several kilometers out into the desert alone to capture this image and many others like it. It’s a bit scary riding out into the pitch black desert alone, but it’s absolutely worth it. I learned some constellations and used the southern cross to guide me. I was lucky because the past 4 night have been totally clear, unlike last week. I can’t begin to describe the feeling of lying down beneath the clear, dark, moonless sky of the Atacama Desert with not a single soul or light in sight other than the Milky Way and the stars above me. It is totally peaceful, serene, magical, beyond beautiful, humbling, and absolutely mind blowing/breathtaking. I’ve never felt such a strong feeling of fulfillment and joy seeing the Milky Way bulge rise, and taking in all of the stars surrounding me. Not to mention, the shooting stars (meteors) are so numerous out here and are like none I have ever seen before. We truly live in an extraordinary galaxy and all the stars seem to align perfectly.
I must thank astrophotographers @nicholasbuer and Dr. José Francisco Salgado for guiding me from halfway across the world. These images would not have been possible without their help and guidance.
I hope this image inspires you in one way or another.
All My Best,
(at Atacama Desert, Northern Chile)