Milky Way in Sacred Valley, Peru

Not sure if it was a bout of foolishness or naiveté, but I thought it would be interesting to travel with one lens. So, with a Nikon AF-S 28-300mm lens, I headed out to Peru. For one lens, it wasn’t a bad choice, but I did not go through the entire thought process carefully.

My preliminary thought was that at dawn or dusk, I would be using a tripod anyways, so I did not need a fast lens. Generally, that is true, except for one outlier situation: astrophotography. I immediately recognized my error when setting up my camera.

To compound the problem, I did not have my regular tripod for this photo. That mistake, to never be repeated, would be placing the tripod in checked luggage, which the airline could not locate for four days. Fortunately, I could make do with my table top tripod. The set-up was seriously constrained, but it was better than nothing. As it turned out, the night I took this photo was the only clear night at that location. I have been using Clear Dark Sky to predict optimal viewing conditions, but their dataset is limited to North America. 7 Timer provided me with the astro data for Peru.


Nikon D800, Nikkor AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 1,600, 28mm, f/3.5, 30.0s

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