The Milky Way from the Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

I'm just home from South America. My friend and client - Stacey Williams showed me this photo, taken by her at night on the largest salt flat in the world - the Salar de Uyuni. 

 Milky Way & Land Cruiser, Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia © Stacey Williams

Milky Way & Land Cruiser, Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia © Stacey Williams

The tour company I use to get us around the Bolivian landscape are terrific. Standard tours here take people out to the landscapes during the middle of the day. They took us everywhere we wanted to go, so we got there for sunrise and sunset. But they also extended themselves by taking a few of my clients out in the night to go star shooting :-)

The above image was taken by Stacey on the salt flat. The driver was kind enough to position the car underneath the milky way and Stacey used a torch to light up the land cruiser in the foreground.

I'd just like to thank my guide and drivers for a spectacular job. It's important for a photography tour to get to the special places for sunrise and sunset and this is a big thing to ask of the guides and drivers here. Many do not want to head out onto the salt flat when it is dark as it becomes difficult to navigate the terrain. Get stuck or have a breakdown at night is not to be recommended - the temperatures can plummet to -17ºC here. Plus, it also means that they are working much longer hours than the usual tours. In addition, what is not so evident to the rest of the tour is just how much extra work they put into the trip: often having to rise several times during the middle of the night to turn the engines over, to prevent them from freezing (the altitude is anywhere from 3,600m to 4,800m), the terrain here is hard on the people who live here and hard on the cars too.

I love going to Bolivia when I can. The landscape and the quality of the light are something I haven't found anywhere else. I hope to post some new photos from here later on this summer.