Photographer Marc Toso has been exploring remote areas of the Southwest ever since he left Pennsylvania to go to college in New Mexico more than two decades ago. The photographs on these pages are the result of countless hours he has spent roaming the desert after dark with only a headlamp or the moon to light his way. Toso uses long camera exposures to capture his spectacular images of nocturnal skies, often doing push-ups or squats to stay warm as he waits. Ruins and petroglyphs — mysterious images left in stone by early human cultures — are visible in the foreground of many of his images. The combination of ancient art, elemental desert landscapes, and star-filled skies helps create the sense that, as Toso says, “we are but momentary flashes of awareness on a tiny ball in a vast universe.” You can view more of his work at

— Ed.