Exploring the Origin of the iPad’s Default Home Screen Photo

In January, when Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad, the audience was captivated, especially Richard Misrach. He was at home enjoying a film when his agent called with unexpected news. Soon after, his phone was buzzing non-stop with calls from excited family and friends.

Apple had chosen to feature his photograph on the home screen of their new product, a choice that took him by surprise.

Previously, Misrach had offered Apple a selection of 10 images to use as potential wallpapers, all of which were initially declined, according to Art Info. However, they later reached out to confirm their interest in using his “Pyramid Lake (at Night)” image.

Misrach describes the photograph: “It was taken with a long exposure under moonlight, illuminating the distant mountains. Captured on an 8×10 camera, the image quality is exceptional, showcasing the movement of stars across the sky.” While the star trails have surprised some viewers, they add a unique beauty to the image.

The photograph was shot at a Native American Indian reservation in Nevada.

This marks the first time Misrach has licensed an image for commercial use in his 40-year career. He humorously notes, “I’ve actually used this photo as my own screensaver for years. It seems they really knew what they were looking for.”

[Hat tip to Beau Colburn]


Jacob is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing readers the latest and most insightful news about Apple products. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of the tech world, Jacob covers everything from the newest iPhone releases to the latest updates on macOS. His articles are known for their clarity and depth, making complex topics accessible to all. Whether it’s the Apple Watch, iPad, or MacBook, Jacob’s expertise ensures that TUAW readers are always well-informed.