It was so windy at South Coyote Buttes that I could not sleep well the first night we camped out there. So I got up at 2:00am and crawled out of the tent. The night in the desert is always colder than what you are prepared for. I put on all the cloths I can find, still couldn’t stop the constant shivering. But the cold air will not stop a diehard landscape photographer. I headed out anyway. After half an hour of hiking, my body and spirit were finally warmed up to the task ahead of me.
I knew exactly where to go and what to shot in the dark because I did my homework during the day. I set my tripod down, took a couple of test shots with high iso and quickly determined my composition. I wanted to include all the foreground elements as well as the clouds and stars. So I decided to take two shots and stitch them later. I did not want to see the start trails in picture, so a 30 second exposure is the maximum I can use. I tilted camera up slightly and took the exposure for the sky. The second exposure was for the foreground. I tilted camera downward slightly to include the foreground elements. For the foreground shot, I was not limited by exposure time. So I reduced iso to reduce noise and reduced aperture to gain depth of field.