Saturday, December 14, 2013

Ephemeral Salt Lake and Magic Light

I made a third sunset trip to the salt flats to see if I could get a sunset on the ephemeral lake.  It was a rainy afternoon and after stopping to photograph El Cap in the rain, I made my way back to the salt flats.  I bundled up in full rain gear so I could be ready as there was rain in every direction.  Unlike my prior sunset where I wandered the western edge of the lake, I decided to set up at one spot I had found and watch sunset from there.  

I had the tripod set up there with the 5D2 and then I had my Sony NEX6 to use for shots in other directions.

I waited as light rain passed by, the wind was blowing, and it was overcast.

Then suddenly the rain lifted and the clouds parted in the west.  The light of the setting sun lit up the lake and the Guads.

It was that incredibly intense light you can only get on a rainy day.  There were images in every direction!  I was taking image after image.  First with the 5D2 and then in a different direction with the NEX.  I even ran up to the Element and grabbed the 50D with 70-200 to do some longer lens images.

The light went on.

It went from the lake to the clouds.  It filled the sky.

It was amazing.

I could not take images fast enough.  I was moving so fast from camera to camera.  Having the 5D2 set with an image framed helped as I could just snap on and let it set while I did a long lens shot.

The light continued.

I realized I was not wide enough at 17mm on the full frame Mark 2.  I put my fisheye on the NEX and took in the full sweep of the sky and was amazed at how big the sunset was.

The light show went on.

And on.

And on.

After what must have been an hour long show the light had faded enough to slow down and work some longer exposures.

After it was finally dark I stopped.  There were going to be hundreds of images to dig through, sort, and process.  I had seen an epic sunset here in January and I got another one in November.  Both days had rain and heavy overcast.  Both also had that magical gap light.

What an amazing sunset.  I knew there was little chance of seeing any light that good the rest of the trip. That night it rained in camp and we woke up to clear skies and 40+mph winds.........

We saw no clouds the remainder of the trip.


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