I created this true color composite image of the Mojave Desert (most of it, at least) using bands 4, 3, and 2 of Landsat-8 data of this area from September of 2019. The final image is comprised of all or portions of ten different Landsat scenes from four different orbital paths.

I used QGIS to align and size all the different rasters for each band + scene, and then I used Affinity Photo to compose the RGB image and seamlessly stitch together adjacent orbital paths, followed by careful color and light correction.

To prepare the “relief-shaded” version, I used Blender to make a 3D mesh from 10m resolution digital elevation data and rendered that mesh with my finished landsat mosaic draped on top, using lighting configured to emulate the direction/angle of sunlight in the original captures.

Both images are 18803 x 18881 pixel GeoTiffs in the WGS84_UTM11N coordinate reference system. They were ever-so-slightly downsampled from the original 15m spatial resolution for use in a 1:250,000 scale print map @ 300 DPI, where they would print at about 63”x63”.