Sunday, December 16, 2007

Across the Salt Flats

The salt flats stretch for several miles in long narrow fingers in a north-south direction. They are a great place to stop on the roadside but they look pretty neat from the air too. If you ever fly into El Paso you will be on your descent into the airport and fly right over them. They also look pretty neat on a satellite map like Google Earth.

Standing on them in the middle of the night still might be the best way to experience them. The Guadalupes rise over a mile above you to the east with much of the western side of the range being a sheer 1'000 cliff.

It is quite a view day or night.

As the night was slowly fading into the twilight of morning there was just some color on the eastern horizon. I thought that perhaps I could capture that red glow, the light on the salt, and some stars in the sky. I compose a scene with a view across the salt toward the Guadalupes and the dawn.

This was a time when a good grad filter helped the scene. Even this early, the light from the east was much brighter than the salt or somewhat brighter than the sky. I used a couple of graduated neutral density filters over the brighter spots of the sky so that the image will turn more like I see it.

I get a few last images in and then the night is gone, slowly color appears across the sky, and later the sun rises over the mountains. It is another great morning and a neat location and I consider myself pretty lucky.

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