Michael's Dispatches

Moonshine on Ama Dablam

First Published: 22 November 2010

Recently, I published an image that became popular.  While perusing the photos from that night in the Himalaya in Nepal, a similar but better image popped up.  The moon shining off the mountain grabbed and held my eye, and I thought some people might like to share this moment.

Moonshine on Ama Dablam” can be downloaded for a single personal use.

My Facebook page stays plenty busy.


+2 # Tim Norman 2010-11-21 18:15
As a professional photographer I find this image simply stunning. I love the deep blacks of the foreground and the texture to the mountains. The night sky and the long exposure add a surreal nature. I cannot wait to see the images in the book.
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+1 # Carlos A. 2010-11-22 04:01
Is there anything you do not excel at? That is a stunning picture. There's a surreal quality about it that I love.
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# Michael Yon, Asia 2010-11-22 04:40
Thank you for the kind comments Tim and Norman. I'll keep them coming!
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# peter 2010-11-22 04:50
Great photo; amazing detail at night!
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# greg 2010-11-22 04:57
... since you started as a photojournalist . This picture proves it.
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# Dennis ODonnell 2010-11-22 05:11
I tried purchasing a book with Amex. Site did not accept Amex. Disappointed.
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+1 # Dinesh 2010-11-22 05:57
Mike, you mentioned the tragedy of the helicopter crash on the mountain (Ama Dablam) on your previous photo dispatch. The pilot of the chopper who was on the rescue mission on Mt. Ama Dablam was a very dear friend of mine With your permission would like to print your photos of the mountain that you have uploaded and give it to his young wife and child as a token of remembrance to a man who did over a 1000 rescues of people stranded in different parts of the Himalayas. Thanks for the picture Mike - they are of exceptional quality and thank you also for allowing us the downloads as most professional photographers would never do that. I have made a short slideshow of the pilot (Sabin Basnyat) who died in the rescue attempt and would be grateful if you could share it with your readership around the world so that they know of an unsung Hero.
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+1 # Drew Matich 2010-11-22 06:00
AMEX isn't nearly as seller-friendly as V/MC in terms of fees. Simply costs too much for many.
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+1 # salmaaaaaaa 2010-11-22 06:03
thanks for sharing Michael. its beautiful!!!!!! !
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+1 # Matthew 2010-11-22 07:10
Simply beautiful.
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+1 # dannyboy 2010-11-22 10:47
I live in Florida----What is that big thing?????
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+1 # Ken 2010-11-23 20:15
It's hard to say whether you're a better writer or photographer, you're truly one of the best at both. Just pre-ordered your new book, thanks for sharing this photo!
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+2 # DownloadDK 2012-05-24 13:55
Tried to download the picture and received the following error:

Insufficient Resources
There are no more downloads available for IMG_6295 Better Ama DablamaDVCDL.jp g.
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+1 # Download...Bill Dettmer 2012-05-24 17:21
Ditto, DK.
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+1 # RE: Moonshine on Ama DablamJamfish 2012-05-24 18:04
Ditto on the "Insufficient Resources" message.
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# RE: Moonshine on Ama Dablamkaren 2012-05-24 19:24
NICE :-*
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+1 # Download?Mary Dixon 2012-05-24 20:57
:-| Same for me. Apparently enough downloads took place and the rest can't get it today, I guess.
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+1 # no dice?InTheShadowsofGiants 2012-05-24 21:28
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# Download linkWmaster 2012-05-24 21:50
The issue with the download link has been addressed and is now functioning again. The original link was closed due to traffic. Thank you for your understanding.
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+1 # RE: Moonshine on Ama DablamPat 2012-05-24 21:55
Great photo with all the star trails. Can tell the approximate type of star based on the color trails.
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+1 # 3D?scotch7 2012-05-24 23:35
Michael, I have a multi-monitor system with enough pixels (6400x2400) to consider making this 5388 x 2864 image my "wallpaper." So I tried it. Sadly, the mountain looks like a 3D image without the glasses; fuzzy in other words. This is also visible if I zoom in on the image. Did you post the correct copy of this image, or is that simply an artifact of a many-hours exposure?
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+1 # RE: 3D?Michael Yon Author 2012-05-25 03:54

That is probably a combination of atmospheric and lens aberration, and just resolution of the camera. However, I have multiple shots -- and if you are a software guru this might be correctable to a very sharp image.
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+1 # RE: RE: 3D?scotch7 2012-05-25 04:40
Thanks Michael. Correcting it is beyond me.

Asked if this was the correct image because when looking closely, it looks like the camera was moved about 2/3 of the way into this long exposure shot. You can see it in the star trails and also as a "double-exposur e shadow" on the ice and rocks.

No big deal on standard screens, I'm betting it ends up as wallpaper on a lot of computers.
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# Hmmm...Michael Yon Author 2012-05-25 07:25
It is possible that it moved. If it moved, I would guess either a slight seismic activity (talk about bad timing), or maybe one of the Sherpas touched it when I stepped away. But they knew not to touch it. As I recall, there was not any wind.
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# The earth moved, I think. ;-)scotch7 2012-05-25 19:04
Well, the camera base moved anyway.

When I zoom in enough to see individual pixels, there's a 6-8 pixel shift in all star-arcs about 2/3 of the way (left to right) along the arc. On mountain ice and rocks, there is a similar shift.

No biggie on the star arcs, but the mountain is blurred when viewed full pixel. This does lend the image a rather nice gloss when shrunk to one screen.

Seismics? Sherpas? Melting snow? Hard to say, but it's a simple rotation so seismic movement would be my first guess.

Big digression: This vid shows some very cool starfield + land photography as well as the rigs used to shoot them. http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap120508.html These tools are used in the current big screen movie "Chimpanzee" which is worth the price of admission for the opening sequence photography alone.
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+3 # BeautifulLinda Osburn 2012-05-25 01:34
That is beautiful!!!!Ju st amazing!!!
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# Excellent pictureBryan Andrew 2012-05-26 00:12
Thank you for making it available for download!
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# RE: Moonshine on Ama DablamCharlene Carter 2012-05-31 17:26
This is Just Beautiful!!!
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# RE: Moonshine on Ama Dablamkaren 2012-06-01 02:30
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# Mr.Rick Reiss 2012-06-05 16:12
Michael ...

That's an incredibly fantastic photograph. Back in the 1990s, I took a photo-astronomy class at San Diego State taught by astromomer Dennis Mamana. We would go out and take long exposure shots on BULB for time periods like 15 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour, etc., to get those mesmerizing star trails. If and when you ever decide to settle down, you should consider teaching similar photography classes. Keep up the excellent work and stay safe.
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# Moonshine on Ama DablamJohnny 2017-12-17 07:57
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