Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Desert Salt Flats

One of my favorite places to photograph when I am out at Guadalupe Mountains National Park are the salt flats west of the park.  There is an escarpment on the west side of the range, part of the common western geology of basin and range.  The Guadalupes rise about 3000' on their eastern side and over a mile on the western side, meaning the basin slipped some 2000'.


At the heart of that basin are the salt flats of a dry lake bed.  The salt flats run for many miles north-south between the Guadalupe and Delaware Mountains to the east and the Sierra Diablo to the west.


Like much of west Texas, they are majority on private land, however US 62/180 runs right across them offering a neat view of the Guadalupes and other surrounding ranges.


I have seen them dry, mushy, and one wet fall with many pools of water across their surface.


On my last trip I was there on a fairly still day.  That is always good on salt or sand as when it gets too windy it becomes very unpleasant and not too great for cameras either.


With only light wind but also big puffy clouds, I thought this was a day to get a great image here on the salt flats.


I walked out on them a ways to find where the salt had dried and cracked.  Then I waited for the light.


What had been blue sky and big clouds became bigger clouds and great light.  Rain was falling in the distance.


The light kept getting better.




Here is a series of images tracking the light that day starting with the the big blue sky and clouds.  This view is what sold me that this was the spot for that afternoon.


The second image is the height of the great dramatic light.  There was so much going on in the sky that there was no way to capture it all.


Finally a view northwest toward distant mountains and rain at twilight.


This was one of those days luck was with me and I was at the right place at the right time.

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