Arkaba Woolshed and Brachina Gorge

Flinders Ranges, South Australia, 16-17 August 2016

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This is on the afternoon of the second day and on the third day of the Flinders Ranges workshop.

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We headed off west of Merna Mora Station for the late afternoon and sunset, I think to Motpena.  This rather spare image shows the texture of the sand leading up to the bush on top of the sand dune.  I was using a tilt shift lens, tilting it so that the plane of focus was along the sand rather than a plane perpendicular to the camera.  This is a rather time consuming exercise and I only just had time to complete the image before the group moved off.

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We returned to a nearby windmill for the late afternoon light and sunset.

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There were some cattle wandering round as well.

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This is part of the sand dune area where I was photographing earlier.

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The windmill again, “Southern Cross 14” inscribed on the vane.  Probably old water tanks beside it.

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Next morning, we took a road south of the Flinders Ranges to Photograph the dawn.  From a nearby hill, this is Arkaba Woolshed, built in 1856.  Ken Duncan no doubt did it better but if you were to order a print from me, I might charge less than $2,800 to $4,735.

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A wider panorama, taken just after all the colour bled out of the morning into a hole out of picture to the left.

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The isolation a telephoto lens can bring.  You can see this hill in the previous picture.

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Another distant view from the same vantage point.

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This is still the Flinders Ranges from the South, but an hour later and we are further east.

As with the other panorama (and other images), you can see more detail if you click on the image.

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I’m not sure exactly where we are for this and the next three images, but we are approaching the National Park from the south and heading towards the Wilpena Pound Resort where we had lunch.

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This is the Cazneau Tree.  Harold Cazneau was a New Zealand photographer who came to Australia in 1908 at the age of 26.  He photographed this tree in 1937 and called his image “The Spirit of Endurance”.

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The Cazneau Tree.

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This is a central bearded dragon in a small tree.  Not sure whether he saw us coming, was waiting to grow wings, was waiting for a passing fly, or just up there to admire the view.

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Central bearded dragon.

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Perhaps you might like to see one of Australia’s spectacular wildflowers?  Well, you’re out of luck.  This is Paterson’s Curse, an introduced noxious weed, poisonous to cattle and the scourge of farmers, but pretty nonetheless.

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We are now in Brachina Gorge, showing a typical long-eroded hilltop of the Flinders Ranges.

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We also managed to see the rare yellow-footed rock wallaby.  Admittedly these two images could be sharper but there is another image or two in a later post.

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Hans Heyson’s Hut

Flinders Ranges, South Australia, 14-15 August 2016

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This is my first post of a workshop in the Flinder’s Ranges, South Australia in 2016 organised by Keith Seidel and his wife Barbara, who I met on the South West Canyonlands Tour two years earlier.

After the Flinder’s Ranges, I will post on the trip to Cuba and the Caribbean, which directly followed.  You can see itinerary and maps here, including links to old temporary posts that I will update as I post.

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I left a day early and stayed overnight at the resort in the middle of the National Park.  This is a view from near there.  Over those hills is Wilpena Pound, a huge natural amphitheatre created by uplift rather than vulcanism.  I could have walked there but it’s more likely to be a sunrise shot than a sunset shot.  Perhaps I should have walked there next morning in the dark for dawn but I wasn’t sure how long it would take me to get to an appropriate viewpoint.  Instead I decided to drive to Wilkawillina Gorge because I thought its opening might have a good aspect for the dying of the light, and to scout an easier place for the sunrise.

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I didn’t quite make the gorge though, so I stopped to take this photo before I ran out of light.

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Next morning I rose early to take some photographs at dawn.  This is probably from Huck’s lookout.

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Seven minutes later.

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Architecture, Australia, Flinders Ranges, Hans Heyson, Landscape, Nature, Photography, South Australia, Travel, Wilderness

After breakfast I headed off to a rendezvous with the workshop group.  I needed to go west but there was no road so I initially went north.  This is Yanyanna Hut.

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As you can see, not the most salubrious of accommodation, especially in the summer which would get very hot.

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The track to a lookout.  Razorback lookout, I think.

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This is a view from the lookout.

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And this is nearby.

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Architecture, Australia, Flinders Ranges, Hans Heyson, Landscape, Nature, Photography, South Australia, Travel, Wilderness

Next stop was Aroona Hut, constructed in 1925.  Artist Hans Heyson stayed here in 1927 and visited many times subsequently.  Here is a news item of a painting of his and some background.

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No doubt he saw this view many times from inside the hut and watched the changing light.

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This is the view from nearby Aroona lookout, looking towards the Heysen Range.  There was a small sheep station nearby.  It was founded in 1851 and was moderately profitable for a few years.  But overstocking and droughts in 1864 to 1866 led to its abandonment.

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The view back to the hut from near the lookout.

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Further north, I drove through the small town of Blinman and found this old house.

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Architecture, Australia, Flinders Ranges, Hans Heyson, Landscape, Nature, Photography, South Australia, Travel, Wilderness .

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Architecture, Australia, Flinders Ranges, Hans Heyson, Landscape, Nature, Photography, South Australia, Travel, Wilderness

The front door was locked so it was not possible to enter …

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Architecture, Australia, Flinders Ranges, Hans Heyson, Landscape, Nature, Photography, South Australia, Travel, Wilderness .

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Architecture, Australia, Flinders Ranges, Hans Heyson, Landscape, Nature, Photography, South Australia, Travel, Wilderness

… except through the back door.

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The sparse interior gives a hint of what it must have been like to live here years ago.

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Architecture, Australia, Flinders Ranges, Hans Heyson, Landscape, Nature, Photography, South Australia, Travel, Wilderness

I met up with the workshop group in the middle of the day and in the late afternoon we headed off to photograph the Edeowie ruin at sunset.

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There will be some more images from here in later posts.

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Architecture, Australia, Flinders Ranges, Hans Heyson, Landscape, Nature, Photography, South Australia, Travel, Wilderness .

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Architecture, Australia, Flinders Ranges, Hans Heyson, Landscape, Nature, Photography, South Australia, Travel, Wilderness .

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Architecture, Australia, Flinders Ranges, Hans Heyson, Landscape, Nature, Photography, South Australia, Travel, Wilderness

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Salar de Tara

26th November 2015. Salar de Tara, Atacama Desert, Northern Chile.

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(This post is out of sequence.  It was supposed to be before the previous monochrome post).

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Andean Goose, Atacama Desert, Black-hooded sierra-finch, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Sala de Tara, Travel, vicuña, Volcan Lascar, Wilderness, Wildlife

This is Licancabur and we are heading towards Salar de Tara.  Licancabur has been an active volcano for at least 56,000 years and maybe 220,000 years.  It’s last eruption in 1993 was a large eruption that saw ash fall as far away as Buenos Aires, nearly 3,000 kilometres away.

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We are now approaching Salar de Tara, or Tara Salt Flats, in the distance on the right.  In the middle left above the cliff and the truck is Los Monjes de la Pacana or the Pecan Monks.  These are eroded volcanic plugs and rock structures.

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Perhaps a monk, perhaps a giant moai.

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Here is a closer view of Salar de Tara, with some vicuñas grazing in the foreground.

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We are close to the border of both Bolivia and Argentina and this is a protected Ramsar wetland area.

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So, quickly, how many flamingos do you think are in this image (you may need to click on it for a larger view to see it better).

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There is an austere majesty to some of the views here.  And there is a stone pen on this spit of land, whether for llamas, goats pr sheep I do not know.

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Salar de Tara and foreground tussocks.

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Eroded volcanic cliffs.

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Andean geese.

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Chilean flamingo.

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Vicuñas (and flamingos in the distance).

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Black-hooded sierra-finch.

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Now again, you’ll probably need to click on it, how many flamingos are in this image?

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Three vicuñas  at the foot of a cliff.

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We are heading back to San Pedro de Atacama now.  I think I know where this is but there’s no name on the map.  There is a road in the distance and two empty trucks heading towards Argentina.

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Answers:  219 flamingos in the first image and 148 in the second.

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This was the last Atacama post (apart from a mono post or two coming up next).

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Valle de la Luna Monochromes

22nd to 23rd November 2015. Atacama Desert, Northern Chile.

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Links go to posts with the colour versions of the images (where there may also be more information). If an image does not have a link, the preceding one applies.

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Aerial Photography, Archaeology, Atacama Desert, Black and White, Chile, Landscape, Monochrome, Nature, Photography, Pukará de Quitor, San Pedro de Atacama, Tulor, Valle de la Luna, Wilderness

Aerial view, between Santiago and Calama.

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San Pedro de Atacama.

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Tulor.

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Pukará de Quitor.

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Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley) Tour.

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Coyote Leap.

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Views from on high.

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Valle de la Luna.

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Laguna de Aguas Calientes, Laguna Miscanti and Laguna Miñiques

25th November 2015. Salar de Atacama, Atacama Desert, Northern Chile.

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We set off to visit three salt lakes high in the Atacama Desert.

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This image was take from the moving bus.  I was struck by the lenticular cloud over the volcano.

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We had stopped and got out of the bus for this one.

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… and the reason was to photograph this vicuña, grazing by the side of the road.

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This image and the next one, we are en route.  I’m not sure whether they were taken from inside or outside the bus.

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And now we have arrived at Salar de Aguas Calientes.

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In other words, the Lake of Warm Waters, presumably due to the volcanoes towering above.

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There was also quite an array of lenticular clouds.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

The area was designated a wetland of International Importance by the Ramsar Convention in 1996.

.Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

This is windswept foam gathering at the edge of the lake..

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

We are at 4,850 metres, or 16,000 feet.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

We are on our way again now, still with lots of spectacular lenticular clouds around.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

I was clearly out of the bus for this one.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

And now we have arrived at Laguna Miscanti.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

We’re a little bit lower here, at 4,140 metres or 13,500 feet.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

The lake is up to ten metres deep.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

It has no surface outflow.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

Looking back at Lago Miscanti, as I walk to Lago Miñiques.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

I didn’t have any problem with the altitude, even with a photographic pack of about 16kg.  No prospect of running, though.  You have to take things a little bit easy.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

This is Laguna Miñiques, at 4,300 metres or 14,000 feet, with Miñiques volcano towering above it.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

On the way back, we stopped at the village of Toconao.  This is a tour bus from a different company, whose passengers were wandering around the town and had been for some years.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

And this is the door of the bell tower.

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Flamingos

25th November 2015. Laguna Chaxa, Salar de Atacama, Atacama Desert, Northern Chile.

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Andean Flamingo, Atacama Desert, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Laguna Chaxa, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salar de Atacama, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Chilean flamingo in front of Licancabur volcano.

.Andean Flamingo, Atacama Desert, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Laguna Chaxa, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salar de Atacama, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Chilean flamingo along with two kelp gulls, maybe.

Probably a young flamingo.  They get their colour from the algae they eat and are paler when young.

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Andean Flamingo, Atacama Desert, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Laguna Chaxa, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salar de Atacama, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Andean flamingo.

This and following flamingos are all Andean flamingos, one of the worlkd’s rarest flamingos.  The easiest way to tell them apart from the Chilean flamingos are that the Andean flamingos have yellow legs, whereas the Chilean flamingos have greyish legs with pink joints.

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Andean Flamingo, Atacama Desert, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Laguna Chaxa, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salar de Atacama, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

We are at Laguna Chaxa in Salar de Atacama, which is the largest salt flat in Chile and third largest in the world.  All three are in South America.  Salar de Atacama is 3,000 km² in area and 100 km x 80 km (which doesn’t seem to add up but that’s what Wikipedia says).  It is 2,300 metres above sea level and 55 km south of San Pedro de Atacama.

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Andean Flamingo, Atacama Desert, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Laguna Chaxa, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salar de Atacama, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

For those for whom this may be of interest, all images on this page were taken with a Nikon D800 and a 300mm f2.8 lens, mostly with a 1.4x teleconverter, and using a tripod.

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Andean Flamingo, Atacama Desert, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Laguna Chaxa, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salar de Atacama, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Andean Flamingo, Atacama Desert, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Laguna Chaxa, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salar de Atacama, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Andean Flamingo, Atacama Desert, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Laguna Chaxa, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salar de Atacama, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Andean Flamingo, Atacama Desert, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Laguna Chaxa, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salar de Atacama, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Andean Flamingo, Atacama Desert, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Laguna Chaxa, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salar de Atacama, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Andean Flamingo, Atacama Desert, Chile, Chilean Flamingo, Laguna Chaxa, Landscape, Nature, Photography, Salar de Atacama, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Laguna Cejar and Laguna Tebenquiche

24th November 2015. Atacama Desert, Northern Chile.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Laguna Cejar, Laguna Tebenquiche, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Continuing on from the previous post, this is the group I am travelling with.  It is an ordinary tour, not a photographic tour, but there are plenty of opportunities for photography.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Laguna Cejar, Laguna Tebenquiche, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

We are now at Laguna Cejar.

I was setting up to photograph some flamingos when some people came running along the boardwalk towards me crying out “Flamingo!  Flamingo!”  Of course the flamingos flew off and I didn’t get the photograph. (Sigh).  These are much further away.  Not to worry, there are some better flamingo images coming up in  a later post.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Laguna Cejar, Laguna Tebenquiche, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

There are three lakes at Laguna Cejar and the main purpose of stopping was to offer the chance of a swim in a salt lake.  The concentration of salt is higher here than the Dead Sea so floating is not difficult.  I wasn’t interested in that though, I had come for the photography.  You may need to click on this image to see it at a better size (though still a bit small because it’s  very long).

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Laguna Cejar, Laguna Tebenquiche, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

This image and the next one are also at Laguna Cejar.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Laguna Cejar, Laguna Tebenquiche, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Laguna Cejar, Laguna Tebenquiche, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

We are now at Laguna Tebenquiche but you can’t see it yet so we are looking at Cordillera de la Costa.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Laguna Cejar, Laguna Tebenquiche, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

The rest of the post shows images of the salt lakes and salt flats at Laguna Tebenquiche and the mountains behind, as sunset approaches and the sun recedes.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Laguna Cejar, Laguna Tebenquiche, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Laguna Cejar, Laguna Tebenquiche, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Laguna Cejar, Laguna Tebenquiche, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Laguna Cejar, Laguna Tebenquiche, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Laguna Cejar, Laguna Tebenquiche, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

There is a bird here amongst the salt – of what kind I have no idea.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Laguna Cejar, Laguna Tebenquiche, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Laguna Cejar, Laguna Tebenquiche, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Laguna Cejar, Laguna Tebenquiche, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Laguna Cejar, Laguna Tebenquiche, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Laguna Cejar, Laguna Tebenquiche, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Laguna Cejar, Laguna Tebenquiche, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

Clearly the sun is getting lower now.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Laguna Cejar, Laguna Tebenquiche, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Laguna Cejar, Laguna Tebenquiche, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Laguna Cejar, Laguna Tebenquiche, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Laguna Cejar, Laguna Tebenquiche, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Laguna Cejar, Laguna Tebenquiche, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

It seems to be after sunset now.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Laguna Cejar, Laguna Tebenquiche, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Travel, Wilderness, Wildlife

We were eating dinner before heading back and there were birds flying round.  The light was very low so I experimented with slow shutter speeds at high ISO.

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