Palouse Panorama

I’m having such a great time going through all my images from my trip to the Palouse.  Especially the images of the rolling hills as seen by looking down from Steptoe Butte.  No matter which direction you look, you’re treated to views just like this one.

This shot is a panorama of seven vertical shots stitched together using the new panorama merge function in Lightroom CC.  I’ve also been playing with the new Dehaze function which was just released the other day.  I’m finding it to be quite useful, and applied a touch of it to this image.  It’s amazing that so much can be done now in Lightroom without having to jump over to Photoshop.  How did we live without Lightroom in the past???


 

Snoqualmie Falls

As the #ExpeditionPalouse trip got underway, we left Seattle in the morning for our 4 1/2 hour drive to the Palouse.  We were anxious to start shooting far sooner, however, and decided to make a stop at Snoqualmie Falls not too far outside the city.  This is not one of those remote waterfalls that require a 1-2 mile hike up the side of mountain, but instead is one of the most popular scenic stops in the state.  It’s just a short walk from the parking lot to the falls, and there are paved walkways and overlooks all around.  There’s even a gift shop if you want a souvenir beyond your photographs.

We spread out along the paths and found any space we could among all the tourists to set up our tripods.  As it was late morning, the sky was of no real use, so I focused tighter on the falls and worked on some long exposures.  It’s difficult to get a unique composition here (at least without some climbing gear to get lower), but I was still happy with my images having never been there before this trip.  Even a well-known location that’s been photographed extensively is still worth shooting when it may be the only time you’ll visit and photograph it.


 

Rolling Hills of the Palouse

This is the landscape I flew across the country to see.  The Palouse region of Washington state has been on my photography bucket list for some time, and I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to visit the area with the NxNW crew last week.  We had an incredible time and got to see some truly stunning landscapes.

One of the iconic locations in the Palouse is Steptoe Butte.  It’s basically a small mountain of about 3,600 feet in elevation that provides panoramic views of the surrounding farmland, hills and distant mountains.  Driving up the road to the top you’re treated to beautiful vistas in every direction, providing unlimited photographic opportunities.  Pictures just don’t do it any justice, but of course I had to try.

On our first full day in the area, we drove up the butte at both sunrise and sunset as the light is remarkably different in the morning versus the evening.  This particular image was taken just before sunset as the low light of the sun casted shadows across the hills.  Just spectacular.


Weber House and the Milky Way

I just returned from an epic photography trip to the Palouse region of Washington state.  Four plus days of shooting some incredibly beautiful landscapes with a terrific group of photographers known as NxNW.  This was my first time joining this group, and it was absolutely amazing.  We visited many of the major spots in the area including Steptoe Butte and Palouse Falls, as well as several of the old abandoned barns and homes that dot the landscape.  Sleep was about the only thing not on our agenda as we shot from sunrise through the evening, with a brief break during the middle of each day to recharge our batteries and back-up our images.

Although today’s image was taken on our last night, I couldn’t resist using it as my first blog post from my trip.  This is the Weber House (Homestead) outside Pullman, WA.  It’s a well-known location for photographers, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.  We got there in the afternoon to shoot sunset, and ended up staying late to get some Milky Way images as well.  This was my first time photographing the Milky Way, and I have to admit, I’m hooked.  I can’t wait to try this again somewhere local (or close to local as it’s fairly bright where I live).

We were also fortunate to catch a huge meteor that streaked across the sky while we were capturing the Milky Way.  I was working on some star trails when the meteor lit up the sky, so my capture  wasn’t great as a standalone image.  Some of the NxNW crew were able to catch it as well, and I’m sure you’ll see their images soon on their respective blogs and social media posts.

I’ll be posting more Palouse images in the coming days and weeks, including some other views of the Weber House, so stay tuned.