I’m back from Death Valley and it will take me a few days to be caught up on everything.
For internet access, the AT&T Edge network in Death Valley provides about 500-2000 bytes per second—worse than the old days of dialup modems. Terminal access via ssh to my server would take up to 10 seconds to echo a few characters back.
If you sent me an email in the last week, I might not have replied, especially if it was a large email— all emails over 100K I deleted without downloading as it was impossibly slow. Most others I did respond to, tersely though, as my internet connection time was extremely limited.
These were some of very few flowers this year in Death Valley. I could barely see while making this image.
Using f/2 for this bush makes for a clear separation of subject from background. There is no real need to have the hills and background sharp; it would add no useful context. What is the image about is the question each photographer must ask him/herself. In this case, this bush is very common, and I wanted to show it clearly; the image is not about those mountains. Emphasizing them more by making them sharp would defeat my goal for the image, since it would de-emphasize the flowering bush.
A large cave in Cottonwood Canyon provides an interesting shape. I would have liked a ultra wide angle lens here, but I did not have one.
This long exposure was taken by moonlight bright enough to cast shadows (a nearly full moon). A full moon also lightens the sky unfortunately. I drove my car through the scene to add interest.