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October 2017

During the southern winter of 2017 significant rainfall hit the Atacama desert. Consequently during August the normally brown desert landscape started to turn green.
Millions of flowers began to cover the plains and hills with a yellow, blue, purple and white carpet of colors. In Chile this phenomenon is called “desierto florido”! It is almost unbelievable if one only knows the desert from normal dry years. Here you can see the difference of the same place in a dry and a rainy year.
Take a look at new photos from this year’s blooming Atacama desert and to some close up images of the flowers.

Colorful dense carpet of lilac and blue flowers, Atacama desierto florido 2017
Colorful dense carpet of lilac and blue flowers, Atacama desierto florido 2017

December 2016

After spending two weeks in the tropical rainforest of the Amazon basin in Peru, I just uploaded the first selection of new photos.
The Tambopata Reserve near the town of Puerto Maldonado in the south east of the country has an enormous biodiversity. Jaguar, Giant River Otter, hundreds of bird species including the emblematic Harpy Eagle can be encountered here. The area is also known for its clay licks, where dozens of macaws and hundreds of parrots gather in the morning to eat clay, which they need for their digestion.
Enjoy the new wildlife photo gallery of the Amazon basin in Peru. More photos will be added in the coming weeks.

Bamboo Poison Frog (Dendrobates biolat) on bamboo, Tambopata reserve, Peru
Bamboo Poison Frog (Dendrobates biolat), Tambopata reserve, Peru

November 2016

A gallery of new photos of Atacama Desert flora has been uploaded.
The photos show beautiful, remarkable and sometimes very rare flowers from the entire north of Chile. Some are from the dry parts of the far north, others grow at the coastal semi-arid desert just north of Santiago. Most of the plants are endemic and some, such as the Garra de Leon or the Malesherbia auristipulata only live in a regionally extremely limited area and are seriously endangered due to destruction of their habitat by human activities.

Flor de Bigote (Bipinnula fimbriata), an endemic orchid of central and northern Chile
Flor de Bigote (Bipinnula fimbriata), an endemic orchid of central and northern Chile

 

Update May 2016


In the Paranal photo gallery you will see new photos of the recent Mercury transit, a photo of the 4 lasers shooting at the Carina nebula and an image showing the Zodiacal light, which can only be seen in very dark locations.

April 2016

“First Light” of the new Four Laser Guide Star Facility

ESO Paranal new 4 laser guide star

Four new lasers have been installed on one of the 8-meter telescopes of the Very Large Telescope on Cerro Paranal in Chile. They are now tested on sky. The photos in the Paranal section show some impressive views of the new facility.
These lasers are now the most powerful lasers used in modern astronomical telescopes.
The purpose of the lasers is to produce 4 light spots in the sodium layer of the mesosphere at 90 km altitude. The spots are analyzed and the information is used in real time to correct for the turbulence of the atmosphere. As a result an image quality similar to that of a space telescope can be achieved.
See more photos of the lasers in action.

November 2015

Atacama Desert in bloom

Atacama Desierto florido 2015, massive appearance of Pata de Guanaco flowers

For the first time since 2010/11 the Atacama desert received significant rainfalls during the last winter.
A few months later the desert appears covered with flowers.

Some new photos show the amazing phenomenon which in Chile is called desierto florido and is linked to the El Nino phenomenon.

Take a look at my related slideshow on Youtube:


Slideshow: Atacama Desert in Bloom
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October 2015
A new photo book about the Atacama Desert was published by Gerhard Hüdepohl and Hans-Jürgen Pfund.

This new book with over 100 partially double-page photos of landscapes, flora and wildlife of the Atacama desert was recently published. It includes chapters about the Atacama in Chile, one of the driest deserts on earth, about the Altiplano in Bolivia with Salar de Uyuni and the Puna de Atacama in Argentina.

 

June 2015

New photos from the far north of Chile around Putre

Three vicunas looking curiously at the camera

New photos from the area around Arica and Putre have been uploaded in different sections of the Atacama Gallery.

There are photos of the taruca, a native andean deer, nandu, vicunas, viscachas. Very interesting plants have been photographed in the altiplano, including tillandsia, a bromeliad.

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September 2014

Ecuador’s Cuyabeno rain forest and Santa Lucia cloud forest, two
different habitats with amazing flora and fauna

Dense cloud forest, Ecuador

Ecuador has an amazing variety of nature to offer. New photos are now online. One gallery shows the Cuyabeno Reserve, a large protected area of tropical rain fores in the Amazon basin.
The cloud forest west of Quito is a very different habitat with its steep mountain sides. It surprises with its many species of humming birds. During most of the day the mountain tops are covered with clouds. The trees are heavily overgrown with epiphytes like bromeliads, orchids and mosses.

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November 2014

New photo book about Paranal Observatory published

paranal-book-cover

This new book “Paranal from the inside” shows a selection of the best photos of the Paranal Observatory taken by the author during 17 years.
With more than 120 photos the reader gets a real inside view of the ESO Very Large Telescope Observatory at Cerro Paranal in Chile, which is home to several of the largest and most advanced telescopes in the world. It shows high-tech science machines, people at work, the desert landscape of the site, rare and exceptional weather conditions, flora and fauna, the construction phase, aerial photos and more. Many of the photos have never been published before.
You can preview and buy the book here:
PARANAL from the inside by Gerhard Hüdepohl
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February 2014

Fjords and glaciers of southern Patagonia

The photo below shows something very unusual: a glacier that is advancing. It can be clearly seen, that it is smashing and flattening all small trees that are in his path. This amazing sight is very rare in the times of global warming where most glaciers are receeding.

There are more photos of the fjords, forests and glaciers of Southern Patagonia in the gallery.

A glacier is advancing, smashing and flattening trees in front of it. A very unusual sight in times of receeding glaciers.

The photo was taken in the Pia Fjord in Tierra del Fuego of Chile.

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gerhard huedepohl