I travelled to Azerbaijan in September 2009 and happened to pass by the salt lake situated half an hour drive from the capital Baku near a town called Masazir. We stopped as we were attracted by the unusual colour of the pink water. We learned later that the water is pink because large volumes of chloride and sulphate are concentrated in the ion composition of the water. By the way, the locals call it the Red Lake, and it does indeed look red from above, see the first picture, the satellite view. This is one of the 10 pink salt lakes in the world.
We stopped to watch how local people collect the salt. Beginning from 1813 salt was taken from the lake using traditional methods, effectively shovel and horse. The men and the horses were very skinny and seemed to be cured by the harsh sun and the salt they were collecting. When I took my camera out some men continued working, some stopped to pose for the photo. The chap on the top of the relic truck that somehow survived from Soviet times (Azerbaijan now an independent state used to be one of 15 USSR republics), showing all of his gold teeth, which is a sign of wealth according to local custom. The old red Lada belonging to the boss was parked nearby. An improvised tent was set up for little tea breaks.
I went back a few years later to see if I could photograph them again, but that proved to be impossible. The area was fenced, with no access, and no locals to be seen. Later I found out that in 2010 a new industrial salt plant was built. I only hope the men that I saw now work at the fancy new salt plant and are doing well.