Montag, 28. November 2011

ESO Chile Trip to Paranal and Atacama Large mm Array


I recently got back from an awesome TWAN photo expedition to Chile that took two weeks. To be honest, taking footage at the ALMA observatory was one of the most freak assignments I have ever done. A scary and beautiful place all at once.

Image by: Babak Tafreshi /

Mission goal
was to capture timelapse- as well as stills footage of the huge ESO projects / facilities Cerro Paranal and ALMA at the Atacama Desert, the words driest place. We filmed 5 nights a row at ALMA (5050 m).

Joining on that trip were friends
Babak Tafreshi of and in the second week Stephane Guisard of Los Cielos de Americas (Head of Telescope Engineering at Paranal). It was a great experience travelling and photographing with these true masters of astrophotography!

The expedition was the most extreme assignment I have ever done, including

- two weeks of all night footage taking from 6:00 p.m. to 08:00 a.m., which was very demanding
- extreme heights with 5000+ m at the Chajnator Plateau
- extreme dry air, heat and cold, the Atacama desert is a non-forgiving place and zero-fault tolerant!
- very complicated logistics of bringing the huge equipment there and back

The TimeLapse footage is currently in processing both here and in Chile ;), it takes a while. about 50000+ images are being processed into timelapse movies.

During two nights off, we were able to visit Valle di Luna and some other great locations.

Looking forward to a new movie about our ESO adventures!

In the meantime enjoy a gallery here:

Image by: Babak Tafreshi /