This film follows the ancient cycle of sunset, to night, to sunrise. A continuous loop of perpetual movement that has been unbroken since the dawn of time, and the only true constant in our lives.
I shot this film over 12 days around the San Pedro de Atacama region of Northern Chile. San Pedro is an oasis town in the Atacama and sits at an altitude of 2600m. The town is a great base to explore the fascinating landscapes that surround it, and everything just goes up and up.
The Atacama is well-known for what are arguably the cleanest, darkest skies on Earth. The dry air adds an extra transparency and this coupled with the altitude creates a night sky like no other. I visited at a time when Venus was situated quite close to the centre of the Milky Way; an astronomical event that only takes place every 8 years or so. I also timed my visit with the Autumn equinox which is a good time of year to capture Zodiacal light; the celestial phenomenon caused by sunlight scattering interplanetary space dust in the Zodiacal cloud. It stretches across the ecliptic and glows for a short while after sunset like a UFO beam and I was lucky enough to witness this every night I stepped out into the dark.
In my opinion an adventure is not complete unless there are challenges, and this trip was no different. My luggage was lost for the first 6 days I was there so for half of my trip I had no tripods and no motion control equipment. I shot many time-lapses in this film with my cameras on buckets weighted down with rocks! it was far from ideal but I was determined not to miss an opportunity to capture this wonderful sky. I battled through with little food and less sleep, language barriers and I even broke down in the middle of nowhere at one point, but at least the sunset was nice that evening! I found the Atacama to be a very harsh landscape; the dry air makes your skin crack and split, the winds pummel you with every gust and the altitude slows you down and affects your ability to hike with heavy equipment. By the end of this trip me, my kit and my car had taken a real battering but it was all worth it, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Music composed by Shudan, please support this amazing artist by clicking here:
All footage is available in resolutions up to 4k. If you would like to licence any of my clips or talk about a project you have in mind please contact me at:
To see more work please visit nicholasbuer.com
For motion control I used the Stage One Dolly System by Dynamic Perception:
(c) Nicholas Buer 2014
From Joseph Sorrentino at the Santa Fe Reporter: Hard Harvest - Picking New Mexico’s Green Chile Is No Picnic.
The first workers start getting up a little past midnight to prepare for another day in “el field.” About 100 men sleep on the floor of the rooms and hallways in the Sin Fronteras Organizing Project shelter in El Paso.
The place is crowded and smells of stale sweat and onions, one of the crops they’ve been harvesting. Two or three women sleep in a small alcove off the reception area, sharing their cramped space with a water fountain. Most people sleep on a thin mat or a blanket spread out on the linoleum, spending the night in the clothes they worked in the day before.
All through the early morning, workers awaken, quietly stow their bedding and possessions, and get ready to go again. They fill their water bottles, stuff some food in their backpacks and head out. Then they walk the six blocks to El Paso Street and wait for a ride to the chile fields of New Mexico.
Last season, just under 78,000 tons of chile were harvested in New Mexico, with about three quarters of that coming from Luna and Doña Ana counties near the southwestern bootheel. While the annual pepper harvest is worth $65 million, according to the US Department of Agriculture, the real economic impact is much greater.
Guillermo, the fastest of the workers, managed to fill 90 buckets that day, for a gross pay of $72. It’s not a bad day’s wage for him, but most workers picked far less. Most were like Raúl, who picked 52 buckets, netting $38.42 for a little over six hours of work, or just over $6.40 an hour.
Certainly, no one’s earning a living wage, especially when other expenses are accounted for. “If you can pick 70, 80 buckets, that’s good,” Mancha says. “I can pick about 70 in a seven-hour shift. Let’s say you pay $6, $7 for a ride. You take a burrito from [the shelter] or you buy some burritos, that’s another $3; Coke is $1. After all that, you might come home with $20, $30.”
There’s surprisingly little anger and resentment among the workers, even though they’re aware just how little they’re valued by the people who consume the food they harvest. One worker sums it up best. I sit in front of the shelter when he approaches me. He stands silently next to me for several minutes, a tall, good-looking man who appears to be in his mid-40s. Finally, I ask his name. He turns slightly from me, and in accented English he says, “My name is Nobody.”
Some names have been changed at the worker’s request.
Read the whole thing, and see more beautiful photos, here: Hard Harvest - Picking New Mexico’s Green Chile Is No Picnic. It’s compassionate, honest, yet not (too) depressing.
On Friday, the Wall Street Journal published an editorial entitled “After the Coup in Cairo”. Its final paragraph contained these words:
Egyptians would be lucky if their new ruling generals turn out to be in the mold of Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, who took over power amid chaos but hired free-market reformers and midwifed a transition to democracy.
Presumably, this means that those who speak for the Wall Street Journal - the editorial was unsigned - think Egypt should think itself lucky if its ruling generals now preside over a 17-year reign of terror. I also take it the WSJ means us to associate two governments removed by generals - the one led by Salvador Allende in Chile and the one led by Mohamed Morsi in Egypt. Islamist, socialist … elected, legitimate … who cares?
Presumably, the WSJ thinks the Egyptians now have 17 years in which to think themselves lucky when any who dissent are tortured with electricity, raped, thrown from planes or - if they’re really lucky - just shot. That’s what happened in Chile after 1973, causing the deaths of between 1,000 and 3,000 people. Around 30,000 were tortured.
The enormous Chilean earthquake last month not only shifted the Earth’s axis and shortened the length of a day, it actually moved the city of Concepción 10 feet to the west.
Studying precise GPS images of the area struck by the quake, a team led by earth scientist Mike Bevis discovered that the Chilean city of Concepción had moved 10 feet to the west. The epicenter of the quake was 71 miles northeast of Concepción, which is Chile’s second largest city.
The effect was widespread: The capital city, Santiago, was wrenched 11 inches west-southwest, while Beunos Aires, located nearly 800 miles from the epicenter, jumped an inch to the west. The earthquake was the fifth largest ever to be recorded by seismographs and even caused far-off areas like Fortaleza, Brazil and the Falkland Islands to change location slightly.
UPDATE at 3/11/10 10:05:50 am:
And the continental plates are still shifting: More quakes hit Chile as new president takes over.
SANTIAGO, Chile – A series of strong aftershocks from last month’s devastating quake rocked Chile on Thursday as a new president was sworn into office and immediately urged coastal residents to move to higher ground in case of a tsunami.
The strongest aftershock, with a magnitude of 6.9, was nearly as strong as the quake that devastated Haiti’s capital on Jan. 12. There were no immediate reports of damages or injuries.
The Chilean 8.8 monster quake was so powerful it actually shifted the Earth’s axis and shortened the length of a day.
The devastating earthquake in Chile that killed almost 700 people probably also shifted the Earth’s axis, say NASA scientists, permanently making days shorter by 1.26 microseconds. But since a microsecond is one-millionth of a second, you may not have noticed.
More than a million and a half people are displaced in Chile after yesterday’s 8.8 earthquake, and at least 300 people have been reported killed — a terrible number, yet surprisingly low for such an enormous event. With a quake this size, the danger isn’t over; more than 90 aftershocks have been reported so far, some of them quite large.
The New York Times has an article on what scientists know about the geological forces that caused the quake.
The magnitude 8.8 earthquake that struck off the coast of Chile early Saturday morning occurred along the same fault responsible for the biggest quake ever measured, a 1960 tremor that killed nearly 2,000 people in Chile and hundreds more across the Pacific.
Both earthquakes took place along a fault zone where the Nazca tectonic plate, the section of the earth’s crust that lies under the Eastern Pacific Ocean south of the Equator, is sliding beneath another section, the South American plate. The two are converging at a rate of about three and a half inches a year.
Earthquake experts said the strains built up by that movement, plus the stresses added along the fault zone by the 1960 quake, led to the rupture on Saturday along what is estimated to be about 400 miles of the zone, at a depth of about 22 miles under the sea floor. The quake generated a tsunami, with small surges hitting the West Coast of the United States and slightly larger ones in Hawaii and other parts of the Pacific. A 7.7-foot surge was recorded in Talcahuano, Chile.
Jian Lin, a geophysicist with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, said the quake occurred just north of the site of the 1960 earthquake, with very little overlap. “Most of the rupture today picked up where the 1960 rupture stopped,” said Mr. Lin, who has studied the 1960 event, which occurred along about 600 miles of the fault zone and was measured at magnitude 9.5.
For more analysis, geologist Kim Hannula has a good blog post comparing the Haitian and Chilean earthquakes: How big was that EQ? Magnitude vs intensity in Chile and Haiti.
The tsunami is expected to begin hitting the islands of Hawaii in the next 20 minutes or so; this is a live stream of the local CBS channel. (Changed from KHON because it’s better quality…)
(Note: sometimes Ustream videos cause problems with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser. You may have better luck in this thread with Safari, Firefox, or Chrome.)
Here’s the live Twitter feed as well:
[Twitter feed removed…]
UPDATE at 2/27/10 12:58:42 pm:
Here’s a webcam showing a live view of Waikoloa on the island of Hawaii:
Here’s an embedded Twitter feed for ‘#hitsunami’, for the latest news on the tsunami waves expected to hit Hawaii in about two hours…
[Twitter feed moved to newer thread…]
A gigantic earthquake struck Chile this morning — magnitude 8.8.
Tsunami waves are expected to reach Hawaii in about three hours…
TALCA, Chile — One of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded struck Chile on Saturday, toppling homes, collapsing bridges and plunging trucks into the fractured earth. A tsunami set off by the magnitude-8.8 quake threatened every nation around the Pacific Ocean - roughly a quarter of the globe.
Chileans near the epicenter were tossed about as if shaken by a giant.
It was the strongest earthquake to hit Chile in 50 years. President-elect Sebastian Pinera said more than 120 people died, a number that was rising quickly.
The quake shook buildings in Argentina’s capital of Buenos Aires, and was felt as far away as Sao Paulo in Brazil - 1,800 miles (2,900 kilometers) to the east. …
The jolt set off a tsunami that raced across the Pacific, setting off alarm sirens in Hawaii, Polynesia and Tonga. Tahitian officials banned all traffic on roads less than 1,600 feet (500 meters) from the sea and people in several low-lying island nations were urged to find higher ground.
Hawaii could face its largest waves since 1964 starting at 11:19 a.m. (4:19 p.m. EST, 2119 GMT), according to Charles McCreery, director of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. Officials evacuated people and boats near the water and closed shore-side Hilo International Airport.
Experts said tsunami waves were likely to hit Asian, Australian and New Zealand shores within 24 hours of the earthquake. The U.S. West Coast and Alaska, too, were threatened. In all, 53 nations and territories were subject to tsunami warnings.