Salt flats around the globe are known for their intoxicating visuals and otherworldly feel. Russian photographer Daniel Kordan recently made the trek to Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia—the world’s largest salt flat—and shot the Milky Way as it reflected off of the mineral-covered plain. “There are not so many places in the world where you can enjoy absolute dark sky,” Kordan tells us in an email. “Light pollution is in the cities and even small villages.” The results are a stunning fusion of the Earth and cosmos—at times, it’s hard to tell where the two begin and end.
Kordan planned a month-long road trip to observe the stars and shoot astrophotography, which was easier said than done. The high elevation (4,000 to 5,000 meters above sea level) meant that he needed at least five days to acclimate to the change. Kordan then spent the following two weeks in the Altiplano of Bolivia, but he still faced challenges. “Of course, it’s hard to move and hard to breath,” he explains. “But due to proper planning, we were safe and healthy.”
The adjustment period was worth it for the awe-inspiring sights, which Kordan describes as “space on Earth.” At night, he couldn’t see anything—he could just feel the car trudging through water and salt. He recalls: “It seemed that we floated in open space. Our spaceship is parked in a distance, and stars are blinking with blue, red and yellow colors. You stand in the deep night with stars above you, aside from you and underneath!”
Kordan considers the entire world his home, and he’s currently headed to the Faroe islands and Greenland to guide photo workshops that show how to capture the majestic scenery.
My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Daniel Kordan.