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The Milky Way

I remember the first time I saw The Milky Way. Not an image in a book or online. In real life. Right in front of my eyes. Or rather way above my head. It’s a mind-blowing experience, something we never see in big, light-polluted cities like London. I was in South Africa, in the middle of the African bush, and one night while sitting by the fire we looked up and saw this:

It does put everything into perspective. You realise where you are in the Universe, or rather how insignificant you are in the context of what’s around you.

I had my DSLR with me, but I didn’t have a fast lens. I was ready for animal shots in the bright African sunshine, but not for long exposures in the middle of the night. That’s why the above image doesn’t do The Milky Way I saw any justice. It was multi-coloured, really rich, dense and indescribably beautiful.

If you’ve never seen the Milky Way in real life, the following timelapse video is a pretty good substitute.

It was filmed between 4th and 11th April 2011 by Terje Sorgjerd atop El Teide, Spain´s highest mountain. As he wrote, the mountain “is one of the best places in the world to photograph the stars and is also the location of Teide Observatories, considered to be one of the world´s best observatories. The goal was to capture the beautiful Milky Way galaxy along with one of the most amazing mountains I know El Teide.”

And the result is breathtaking. As always with Vimeo, go full screen and don’t miss the Sahara sandstorm some 30 seconds in:

And if you liked it, here’s another video Terje shot – at the famous Maeklong Market in Bangkok, where market stalls share their space with a railway line. Life on this planet has so many amazing aspects…

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