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Machu Picchu Sunrise

Machu Picchu

La Casa Real
©Miles Hecker

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SEASONS

The mystery of Machu Picchu is best captured on a day with fog and swirling clouds. These conditions mostly occur in the rainy season which is from November to March. It is also possible to get these scenes in the two transitional months of April and September. In the latter half of both these months, Machu Picchu is fog covered and rainy early in the morning. The heat of the rising sun warms the ruins and over the course of several hours there is a transition from an ambiance of mystery to one of partly cloudy skies punctuated by golden rays.

This shot was taken in late September. When the fog began to break we headed to the point where the trail to the Sun Gate intersects the agricultural terraces. We set up and patiently waited for the right moment for the right combination of clouds and light. After about 45 minutes, we were rewarded with the scene you see above.

TIMES

Early morning on a day with fog. The shot above was taken with the equivalent of a 24mm focal length lens on a 35mm full frame camera. If you don't have fog, just at sunrise on a day with clear skies.

LENS & FILTERS

LENS: 17-35 mm on a full frame camera, 10-20mm on a crop sensor camera

FILTER: none needed

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Concepts: Sun, Weather, Focal length, Photographic lens, English-language films, Sunrise, Peru, Precipitation

Entities: Sun Gate, focal length, Machu Picchu, Miles Hecker

Tags: fog, Machu Picchu, partly cloudy skies, focal length lens, swirling clouds, rainy season, sun warms, clear skies, agricultural terraces, golden rays, Early morning, right moment, Sun Gate, right combination, shot, mystery, ambiance, 35mm, equivalent, ruins, sunrise, transition, scenes, conditions, half, frame, heat, course, camera, 45 minutes, scene