TUAW tells the story of the iPad home screen image:

Richard Misrach had submitted 10 photos for Apple to consider for “wallpaper” some time ago, but they had all been rejected, he told Art Info. There was no mention of the iPad at the time, but they eventually called back to say yes, they’d like to use his “Pyramid Lake (at Night)” photo.

He describes the image as “…a long night exposure where the moon is lighting up the mountains in the distance. I shot it on an 8×10 camera, so the quality is really beautiful and you can see star trails going through the sky.”

(Image: Apple.com)