Bristlecone Pines are the world’s oldest living things. They have witnessed thousands of passing turns of the earth in the heavens—and, therefore, the stars turning relative to the earth. I feel awe and thanks that I’ve got to share this cosmic show from the Patriarch Grove high in the White Mountains in eastern California near the Nevada border.
I shot this image while preparing for a workshop I was teaching in the Patriarch Grove. I positioned my camera to capture a north-facing landscape, and used an extremely wide-angle lens.
The foreground was shot before it got fully dark at 1/250 of a second, f/8, and ISO 200. Without moving the camera on the tripod I waited until after dark and shot 35 images at 4 minutes, f/2.8, and ISO 400 to capture the stars.
To render the stars whirling in the skies I stacked all the four minute exposures together using the Photoshop Statistics action, then blended in the foreground image to make the Bristlecone Pines and the details of the Patriarch Grove visible.
For more about the Bristlecones and the Patriarch Grove see My Favorite Bristlecone and Distant Night Storm.