A panorama of the high Karakoram mountains of Pakistan, with the Milky Way overhead. Shows K2 (second tallest peak in the world), Broad Peak (over 8000m) and the Gasherbrum range.
The pictures were taken during the K2 base camp trek, summer 2011. At the time an sd card error occurred and I could save only 1 image, which didn't include the brightest part of the milky way. That hurt indeed
But recently, and I don't know why, I could acces all the pictures without any problems, and the result would be this panorama. Stitched from 2 landscape oriented 10mm shots exposed for 2 minutes, left image at iso800, right at 1600. The last dimming evening light, long exposure and different iso settings are likely the cause for the somewhat visible stitch line (used panorama tools GUI). Post processing included whites/highlight/shadow/blacks tweak, vibrance boost and a cold WB setting to get that heavenly blue/purple hue.
I'm quite confident I could have used a faster shutter here; like about 30s would be sufficient for an f3.5 fish-eye to get the stars at the same brightness, and freeze them in the sky. I'm not sure if that counts for the milky way too. But the cold night made me scared of draining the battery too quickly, so I just took a few and sought the warmth of my sleeping bag
full hd version:
2500px high res version: