Thursday, June 4, 2015

Guadalupes by Night

When you are photographing the Milky Way you do not get much sleep.  I got to camp about 10pm after photographing the amazing sunset on the salt flats.  The next morning I was up and going again by 3am.  I wanted to see if it would be possible to get the water on the salt flats with the mountains and the Milky Way.

I drove down toward the salt pan under mostly clear skies.  I got to the salt flats and the water was still there but fog was forming.  I could see the mountains and Milky Way rising above them.  I could also see the fog building.

I was not sure what that would mean for the picture, if it would be to dark and too foggy to pick up the water, or if it might be too difficult to get the Milky Way clear.

I made a couple of quick images as a test and was instantly impressed with what I saw.  You could pick up all the elements in the image.  Reflection in the water, the mountains were well defined, and the Milky Way shined in the sky.

Using both the 14mm and 24mm lenses I was able to grab several images before the fog became thick enough to began to impact the image as the mountains were lost in it.

There was a spot not far away where I would be just above the salt pan and hopefully away from the fog that had a good view to the southeast toward the Sierra Diablo and Delaware Mountains.  I grabbed the the gear and drove over there to find that yes the immediate area was clear of fog but it had built up in the valley obscuring the Delaware Mountains entirely and only a small ridge of the Sierra Diablo appeared out of it.


I grabbed a few more images there and then moved again.  This time back toward Guadalupe Pass, making a couple of images looking over the Delaware Mountains.  Finally I went back to the salt flats as that was the best of the bunch.  The fog was still there but I occasionally would get a peak of the mountains.

Before I knew it there was gray light in the east and soon morning would be here.  I had a long day ahead of me on a drive to Big Bend and decided to start toward Van Horn.  I drove though fog for most of the way catching the sunrise at the edge of the fog along the Sierra Diablo on my way south.


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