2016 was a really cool year for Holly and I. I started the year photographing the Milky Way over Easter Island, and I ended it photographing the Milky Way over Bhutan (with lots of adventures in-between). It doesn’t get much better than that! In both cases, I was unfortunately shooting the “not pretty side” of the Milky Way (I hate to use the term “ugly side”, because lets face it, the Milky Way is just beautiful no matter what angle you see it from!), because that’s all you can see during those times of year, but hey, I’ll take it!

I captured this image at the top of Chele La Pass, the same location where I captured the picture at the beginning of this series. I enjoyed the spot for much for sunrise, I decided we should give it a go again at sunset, and then try for some type of star shot. It turned out to be an amazing spot for both! The glow in the sky is the last remaining light from the sun going down, and beyond that, there was zero light pollution. The prayer flags that wave in the wind provided an interesting addition to the picture, sort of pointing the way to the stars (I thought it was poetic anyway 🙂 ). While I was photographing this was something I really wish I could have captured. Our guide Sonam and our driver Tshering were passing the time and entertaining themselves by dancing in the street. Much like what you see during a traditional Bhutanese festival, except perhaps less polished, the two laughed as they leapt and twirled; it was quite the spectacle! Unfortunately the light was so dim, there was no point in trying to capture it, but it was truly hilarious!

–Dan Thompson

Chele La Pass