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Lost Tombs
of Peru

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Lost Tombs of Peru
Photograph by Gordon Wiltsie

Clearing a path for his rope with a machete, videographer John Catto prepares to rappel down a cliff in the cloud forest to get a closer view of the White House tomb. Based on what he saw of the tomb from across a valley, anthropologist Peter Lerche guessed it was among the few that had escaped looters.

Camera: Nikon 8008s
Film Type: Fuji Velvia 50
Lens: Nikon 20mm 2.8 (manual focus)
Speed and F Stop: 1/250 @ f/8
Weather Conditions: Sunny
Time of Day: 2 p.m.
Lighting Techniques: Natural light

This shot was tricky because I was suspended on the same rope as John and the lighting was harsh. I worked hard to get his machete in the right position without too much blurring. Also, I really worried that he might cut the rope, which could send him hurtling over the cliff below. My objective was to convey his struggle to reach the edge of the cliff above the tomb in the context of the background terrain we had traveled to reach the site. I considered this a very important informational image in the broader context of the story.

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