Bristlecone Pine and its Universe

I searched during the day to find a suitable Bristlecone Pine for a night photograph, and found this exposed root system, which may have looked largely like this for half a dozen centuries. I was camped in California's White Mountains, where the oldest trees on earth reside; some of the ancient Bristlecone Pines here are nearly 5,000 years old. To make this photograph, I used a time exposure of about ten seconds, during which time my companion painted the stump with a flashlight. I needed an exposure long enough to record all the detail in the stump, yet short enough that the stars behind would be registered as circles (a longer exposure would record the stars as arcs because of the earth's movement). This photograph was one of several excellent results from among the 40+ pictures I made on that very cold night.

Edition of 100.

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