Salt mountains

All photos: Emma Phillips

No, that's not snow you're looking at it. Far from it, in fact.

These arctic-like peaks and cliffs are giant mounds of salt piled up on the desert floor of the Nullabor Plain in Western Australia.

The otherworldly images are the work of Melbourne-based photographer Emma Phillips, who describes her series as "a poetic exploration of and tribute to Australia's monolithic landscape."

Salt tractor
"I'd been looking to take photos of industrial locations near Melbourne, but had been finding it difficult to obtain permission and access," says Phillips, who at the time was in her last year of photography school and brainstorming ideas for her final assignments.

She eventually decided to spend her two-month semester break looking for interesting shooting locations in the desert, and that's where she stumbled upon this salt mine.

Because there was no one around, she was able to just walk right in with her Hasselblad H1 and get the photos she needed without any hassle.

Salt processing plant

If you like the refreshing minimalism of these photos, you'll be delighted to learn there is a limited edition "Salt" book, designed with an extremely austere aesthetic. Launched in 2012 alongside an exhibition, Phillips chose to self-publish the book instead of working with a traditional publishing house.

Salt RV
Salt roads
Salt cliffs
So much salt
* * * 
Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.

'Salt' photos highlight the beauty of mineral minimalism
Photographer Emma Phillips describes the series as "a poetic exploration of and tribute to Australia's monolithic landscape."