Early morning light in areas with extreme elevation changes is often very interesting. This photo was made several minutes after sunrise on a clear morning but no direct sunlight is evident in the image. That is because the sun is rising behind a ten thousand foot high mountain range directly behind the camera. The elevation at the camera is about three thousand feet and the mountain in the image is little over five thousand feet high.
The difference in altitude and the position of the sun gave me an opportunity to shoot in soft light. In this case the desert floor acted as a giant reflector. The light is still directional enough to cast shadows but not harsh. A similar situation can occur at the end of the day. Sometimes it is possible to shoot in bright soft light with clear sky for an hour or more before the sun actually goes below the horizon. That presents opportunities to photograph wildlife and other subjects that emerge once the sun is not overhead. Something to keep in mind when out shooting in mountainous areas.