As the late afternoon clouds start to roll in I snagged this long exposure of the Traveling Moai standing proudly above Ahu Tongariki.
The Traveling Moai has been around, in fact he has been to Japan and back! As a thank you to the Japanese for donating a crane and rebuilding the entire Ahu Tongoraiki site after a massive earthquake off the coast of Chile produced a tsunami that rocked the site of and thew the Moai hundreds of yards inland; the Rapa Naui people granted the Japanese permission to take the Traveling Moai to Japan for their Worlds Fair. Upon his return, the Traveling Moai was used in experiments to test the theories on how the Moai were said to have walked up right from Rano Raraku to various locations throughout the island.
Due to the remote location of Easter Island, it has some of the darkest skies you will see anywhere, but these skies are just as elusive as they are brilliant. Being a small island in the heart of the Pacific there is a constant influx of clouds that unpredictably roll in and out at a moments notice. Over the course of the entire week that I spent here, I had one opportunity to capture the Milky Way and only about a two hour window to make it happen. I chose the epic ceremonial site of Ahu Tongariki which boast the largest of Moai to be transported across the island. With15 Maoi standing strong, they were the perfect silhouette to this blanket of stars accented by the quarry site of Rano Raraku peaking out in the distance.
In order to capture the Milky Way in this manner I had to read a few books by some professional photographers to learn the unorthodox camera settings that I almost never use. For those of you looking to get into this kind of shooting Nightscape by David Kingham is a good place to start.
Craig is a professional photographer in Miami specializing in Architectural & Interior photography and is hired on a freelanced basis for advertising purposes. The posts from this blog will feature samples and descriptions of his favorite commercial projects.