With two-thousands visitors per day - more at the June and December solstices, when both my trips took place - my desire to have MACHU PICCHU all to myself quickly became nothing but a dream. My only option really was to photograph as if I were the only person there - to have a singular experience of MACHU PICCHU through the viewfinder of my camera.

In creating these images, I established a few rules to guide my process: 

  1. Capture images without all the tourists

  2. Never ask anyone to move out of the way 

  3. Focus on what Machu Picchu was revealing to me

It was in narrow passages of time and space that images without people unfolded. A split second, when someone stepped behind a wall or left the frame completely, was all that I needed.

At the time of the June Solstice, crowds gathered at the Intiwatana. While you can't see anyone in the image below, if you look closely you can see the shadow of a couple that had just walked behind the magnificent carved stone they call "Hitching Post to the Sun".

I did not remove any people, signs or protective barriers through retouching these images. In some you can see the top of a person’s head or even a group of people
in the distance.
— Mike Torrey
What Machu Picchu revealed to me...

...and I tried to capture, was that the builders of this great civilization had peeled back the canopy of a majestic rainforest and framed the implicit harmony between nature and humans. These man-made terraces expose an underlying skeleton that signifies our interconnectedness. Among these stones lies the silent offering of inspiration.