Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sunset on the Salt Flats Lake

I was so enthused about the possibilities of the using the lake on the salt flats that I made a second trip out to the lake.  I decided to work the south end of the lake where it was closest to US 180.  

In the past I had seen small puddles form here and once after a deluge in the desert monsoon season there was a small lake.  However, none of that was remotely like this.

I started off just trying to work in the lake into any image since the very fleeting nature of it means it might be 20 years before conditions are like this again.

I photographed the escarpment of the Guadalupes, the distant mountains south and west, and looking north across the length of the lake.

It was a cloudy day and I hoped for a good sunset.

The light got interesting and I photographed from the west side of the lake.  Then the light was lost on the mountains.  It was still lighting up the west and I decided to move to chase it.  I knew there was a side section of the lake and I made my way across 200 yards of salt dunes to photograph it.  I no sooner made one image when the light shifted again and the Guads were bathed in reddish pink light.

I ran back across the dunes and paused at the edge of the dune field.  I framed up a composition and took it.  With the polariser on it was a long exposure, close to 30 seconds.  I got the shot and then just as suddenly as the light had appeared-it was gone.  It is the image at the top of the page.  Did I luck out or what?

I made a few more images as the light faded and then walked back around the lake shore.  When I got back to the vehicle, the sky was very blue but I decided to try one last long image using the fisheye to pick up all of the sky.  Again, a long exposure, and although the color of the sunset was gone loved the clouds.

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