Circling the Dead
There is only one photograph that I know of that features Deadvlei with star trails, and it was shot by Art Wolfe many years ago. I'm in Namibia every year, so on this year's Namibia workshop, I thought I'd give it a try myself.
Wolfe's shot is a double exposure on slide film; one for the overall scene when there was still sunlight (polarizer and grads to darken the sky), the second for the star trails.
For my shot I did something similar, but there are also some differences. For my first exposure I waited until the sun had set and the sky was already quite dark, so no need of any filters - the foreground was lighter than the sky anyway. The 30 second exposure was enough to pick up some glow on the dunes in the background. I then set the timer to start taking 4 minute exposures when the moon had set as well.
The next morning the battery of the D3 had managed to last 47 4-minute exposures, a total of 188 minutes and more than enough for some decent trails. Back home I stacked the star trail shots on top of the base layer and got this result.