milkyway

by Katherine Yaksich

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2015 | A Year in Review

Greetings from Costa Rica! Costa Rica has been on my bucket list for quite some time so it’s wonderful to be relaxing and writing here as 2015 comes to a close. This year has been one of the most fulfilling and memorable years and looking back I am grateful and my heart is full.

One of the major highlights this year was my time as Photographer in Residence onboard the M/S Expedition ship in Antarctica twice this year, at the end and the beginning of the Antarctic season. It has been my long time dream to visit Antarctica ever since I was in 4th grade, and Antarctica forever changed me and left an impression on me. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced so much raw, untouched beauty, and Antarctica is out of this world and like no other place on earth. Antarctica was also my 7th and final continent. It’s crazy that I was there just 11 days ago!

I also had a blast and learned a lot freelancing for The New York Times, and working on the JR art piece that graced the cover of the New York Times Magazine, Walking New York issue. New York continues to surprise me, and I’m lucky to call it home.

This year I spent over 6 months on the road, which was exciting, tiring, and difficult at times. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to travel and create some of my most cherished memories with some of my loved ones and dear friends this year. I am reminded that life is about relationships and building community and making moments with the people that you love. 

Next year I’m excited to do an extended residency in Berlin and visit South Georgia and Antarctica again onboard the M/S Expedition.

Thanks for following along and for allowing me to share some of my images and stories this year. I’m thankful for my clients, loved ones, and friends who support me and allow me to do what I love everyday. Wishing you love, light, and peace in 2016 and beyond.

The photos above are my top 10 of 2015, curated out of 40,000 images, with captions below.

All My Best,

Reuben

1. Josefina, “Man on Wire” redefined, Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia

2. A morning filled with 400 billion suns, the rising of the Milky Way over the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile

3. Breaching humpback whale, Antarctica

4. Hiking Neko Harbor, Antarctica

5. Iceberg, Antarctica

6. Antarctic light bounce

7. Breaching great white shark, South Africa

8. Recently circumcised junior Maasai warriors, Tanzania

9.  Iceberg, Antarctica

10. 12:50 AM, Camping on Rongé Island, Antarctica

by Katherine Yaksich

| 4:02 AM |  

“A still more glorious dawn awaits / not a sunrise, but a galaxy-rise / a morning filled with 400 billion suns / the rising of the milky way.”   

- Carl Sagan  

I woke up at 3 am, rode a bike alone into the pitch black Atacama Desert, and photographed the center of the Milky Way rise above me. It was something I’ve always wanted to do, and it was worth it.  

I have no words to describe the feelings I felt being underneath all those stars.  

 (at Atacama Desert, Northern Chile)

| 4:02 AM |

“A still more glorious dawn awaits / not a sunrise, but a galaxy-rise / a morning filled with 400 billion suns / the rising of the milky way.”

- Carl Sagan

I woke up at 3 am, rode a bike alone into the pitch black Atacama Desert, and photographed the center of the Milky Way rise above me. It was something I’ve always wanted to do, and it was worth it.

I have no words to describe the feelings I felt being underneath all those stars.

(at Atacama Desert, Northern Chile)

by Katherine Yaksich

The Milky Way bulge rises above us at Kruger National Park, South Africa, which was completely unexpected. 

#keepitwild #bigcatsplayball

(at Kruger National Park)

The Milky Way bulge rises above us at Kruger National Park, South Africa, which was completely unexpected. #keepitwild #bigcatsplayball (at Kruger National Park)

by Katherine Yaksich

\ 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, 
Reuben 

 #antarcticaordie #milkywaygalaxy  

 (at Atacama Desert, Northern Chile)

\ 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,
Reuben

#antarcticaordie #milkywaygalaxy

(at Atacama Desert, Northern Chile)