Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Palouse Trip: Part 1: The Trip North

Traveling from Nampa to Colfax (the heart of the Palouse), there are two basic routes. One starts on I-84, into Oregon, then north through Washington. Although it's a faster route, it's not very exciting. Parts of the trip are nice: the Blue Mountains have some very scenic areas. The problem is, for me, when I'm traveling at freeway speeds, I'm not very inclined to pullover just to shoot some photos. I get caught up in trying to "make good time." I get focused on the destination instead of appreciating the journey.

The other route is mostly through Idaho: McCall (or Payette) to McCall, then north through some gorgeous landscape. I chose this route. The slower speeds encourages me to stop along the way, which I did frequently. Something would catch my eye, I'd pull over, make some images, then continue my trip.

Here are the first few photos.

Just north of New Meadows is some wide open country, mostly range land. I like the lines of this fence, the way it guides my eye back through the landscape and up into the hills. I also like the three trees centered in the frame. I think they provide a solid anchor for my attention. When I took the photo, I took several compositions and varying depths of field, trying to find the one I liked the most. This one came out on top.

On a more philosophical note, I've spent a good part of my life living by the adage, The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Clearly, as this image demonstrates, the grass is not greener. Both sides of the fence are the same. It's my perspective that's important. This is a monochrome image, but I can see the green grass, on my side and the other side.
A little further north I passed a smooth, calm pond with water lilies. As I drove past I thought about stopping, but didn't even slow down. Then I thought, "Where am I going in such a hurry?" So I turned around. 

I converted these three images to convey a painterly effect, which I think accentuates the dreamy nature of the plant. It reminds of Monet's paintings.

My last stop before I found the rolling hills of the Palouse, was the Little Salmon River. I always have a picture in my mind of how I want waterfalls to look, and the images never seem to match my vision. But these are acceptable. I like the motion and power of the water.

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