Earlier in the week I had met Dano Grayson, who has taken some amazing photos for the likes of National Geographic. He went out several times to get photos of Moai with the night sky, and this morning I decided to do the same. That meant getting up at 4:00 am!
The moon was still out when I left the hostel. It was quite the feeling driving on a moonlit ocean coast! The moon’s reflected light washes out the night sky, so I took my time driving to my destination. I was headed to the Hotuiti bay, where 15 Moai stand tall on the Tongariki platform.
When I arrived, the moon had set. I put on my headlamp and walked down to where the Moai stood. I had not taken star photos since I had a film camera, so it took some time to get the settings right. Twenty second exposures with a high ISO seemed to do the trick.
As the sun started to rise, people started to arrive. One of them was Tom Soucek, who had helped me out with an umbrella earlier in the week. I came to find out the he too had photos published in National Geographic! If it wasn’t for him, I would not have got the Moai with the rainbow shot. Thanks Tom!
I spent the remainder of the day walking around the town and getting ready for my flight back to Peru.