On a cold clear morning I left El Paso at 4:30am and started driving toward the Guadalupes. I could see countless stars but nothing that even looked like a cloud. As I drove I thought about possible places to go for early light. I ended up stopping at the salt flats west of the park. Dawn was getting closer so instead of photographing east into the sunrise, I decided to look southwest toward the Black Mountains and the Sierra Diablo. With any luck, I would get nice pink and blue glow in the west.
I started walking across the flats and found that it was really mucky. The recent snow and rain has made a mess of the flats and it was pretty yuck walking. It would even be worse for a place to put the backpack down. I normally bring a little folding table here but since I flew out on business, I had nothing like that. So I decided to try as little balancing act and put my pack on a fence rail. It took a steady hand but I got it to balance. It also required a light touch when getting things into and out of the pack, but as you cab see in the pic-it kept my pack muck free.
With pack safe and secure, I was able to set up the tripod, camera, and make the image. The light was subtle and just a hint of color. I made only a few before ol' Sol made his appearance and with such harshness the camera was put up really quick.