Photographing The Palouse

Landscape or nature photography is mostly about getting there. Wherever there is. Its about getting there at the right time of day, or night…or year. The actual process of capturing images is not very complicated, once aperture and depth of field is understood you simply maximize whatever equipment you’re shooting with and that’s it.
At that point getting good shots is easy. But capturing “drool on your keyboard’ images takes a little bit of planning sometimes a lot of good fortune.

These images were taken last week in South Eastern Washington State, in a region known as The Palouse. Stretching as far as the eye can see the undulating fields of green are dotted here and there with farms, old barns, windmills, scenic vistas, abandoned buildings and old farm equipment.

The roads, both paved and dirt/gravel, are very well maintained and easy to navigate. Late May and early June finds scores of photographers from all over the country visiting to capture small pieces of the splendor.
These images of rainbows were taken from Steptoe Butte. It’s the highest point around; you can drive to the top get a wonderful 360 of the Palouse.

I waited until late afternoon to head up there, and it was a mixed sky, of clouds and sun. As I got close the rain started, sprinkles at first. Standing atop the Butte the storm passed along to the north, the mix of sun and dark clouds is so wonderful.

The wind picked up, the temp plummeted and rain hit hard, it was a complete downpour for about 5 minutes. I was well dressed and managed to hide under some shrubbery while it passed. The first rainbows appeared almost immediately.

My sensory perceptors now in full overload, I somehow managed to get a wonderful series of shots, and paused to consider my good fortune when I noticed more rainbows were sprouting up!

The clouds left from the fast moving storm were now encircled in a complete rainbow arc.

Nothing like a spring storm.

Here are a few more images from my recent explorations.

The Palouse

The Palouse is a section of SE Washington state where they grow a lot of wheat. The terrain is smooth rolling hills and almost all of it is covered with endless green.

The Palouse is the most popular spot in Washington for Photography Tours. There are endless viewpoints and all sorts of photo opportunities over there.

I found a map that shows where all the cool stuff is. Its like a treasure hunt! 

Barns, old farm equipment, abandoned houses and vistas are marked, but its still tricky finding some of the stuff…

Most people drive up atop Steptoe Butte for images, like the one above.

But there are wonderful vistas all over, and exploring is a blast.

The wheat is about a foot tall now, (late May) and will stay green as it grows a while, then late summer it all turns golden brown…

Then I will need to go back for another visit.

Here are a few more pics from 2 days of rambling…