Saturday, July 9, 2016

Palouse 2016, Part 5

Steptoe Butte is one of the iconic viewpoints in the Palouse. If you haven't been there, take the time to go on your next trip. From the top you have 360° views and on clear days you can see nearly 200 miles. It's a gorgeous view and one you can't get any other way (unless maybe you have a drone).

When I'm at the peak I tend to look for the details of the landscape. It's easy to take the wide panoramic shots showing miles and miles of landscape. But I can't get those to look anything other than too busy. So I search for the highlights and shadows created by the early morning or evening sun cascading across the undulating hills. The textures, lines, shadows - it all works together so beautifully.

Although this line through the fields (which I think is a drainage canal) is really beautiful, according to Justin Reznick it only has these contrasting colors every few years. Many years the crops are the same on both sides. That would still be interesting, but not nearly as interesting as these crops. I love the contrast of the many shades of green.

I love lone trees among the fields.

Although I usually focus on details, I'm still drawn to the bigger picture.

This detail held my attention for so long. I love the contrast of the fallow fields and the growing fields, the browns and greens. And although the two pictures below were taken less than a minute part, and basically adjacent to each other, the colors are so different. That's not a result of my processing. The setting sun and the clouds work with the contours of the landscape to create ever changing light.

I would venture to guess that vertical orientation is not how most photographers shoot the Palouse. The Palouse is well suited to wide panoramas. So every once in a while I look for vertical compositions, just to create something different in my mind and my eye.

During this trip I rented a 100-400mm lens, and I also had a 1.4 teleconverter. So I had to take some photos of the moon just to see how it worked. This image was shot at about 500 mm, then cropped a bit. It makes me wish I had 1000mm lens!

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