Photo gallery: The Palouse

 

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Photo gallery of the Palouse


Photography © John Baker Photographer LLC/TravelImages.com/JayBeeStock.com

The following photo gallery represents a sample range of subjects you can expect to shoot during this particular Travel Images photography tour. Our aim is to not only help our clients meet their photographic goals, but also to learn new techniques; to master pertinent camera settings; to help clients ‘see’ new subjects; to help in translating that vision into pixels; and to generally have a wonderful time. To this end John will share everything he has learnt in a practical and friendly manner.

Please scroll down to view images created by John during Travel Images photo tours. Links to client images shot on this photography tour can be found at the bottom of the page.


Our Palouse harvest photography tour contains a number of ingredients, and here are two of them . . . dust and a barn.  This particular image is 'enhanced' by the arrival of of Pigeons.
 

Same barn with a third ingredient, i.e. a great sunset. Without the clouds this image would have very little appeal, so a few broken clouds are to be welcomed at this time of day.
 


There is plenty of unused machinery scattered about the Palouse with which one can 'play' with, and add foreground interest.


A mailbox that has seen better days . . . and bigger checks to go along with those monthly bills!

 

A pair of combines kicking up the dust and chaff to give this shot an aura of sorts.
 
Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
This Palouse shot epitomizes why we are there, i.e. it's about the light.  Sitting in a restaurant during the last hour of light - or in bed during the first hour - just doesn't cut it on any of our photography tours.
 

There are other things going on around this particular barn, but I chose to isolate it with a long lens and wide aperture of f5.6. Focus was on the barn as it would have been a mistake to focus on the foreground.
 

Among several old towns on the Palouse is one that goes by the name of . . . Palouse!  When we started running photography tours to the Palouse in 1993, Palouse [the town] was economically dire, but in recent years it has enjoyed a 'revival' of sorts. However, remnants such as above are still to be found.
 

After the grain has been harvested, usually wheat and barley, it's time to make hay.
 


The Palouse is a living museum in respect of the many mechanical artifacts left to rust. Photographically the merging with nature adds additional interest to many shots.

 
Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington

This is typical of the serendipitous jewels that one can stumble on while going from one particular image to another on the Palouse. The bold line of green Cat-tails gives 'strong support' to the main subject.

 
Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
This is typical Palouse in that a few hundred yards can reveal a new image. Note the use of 'thirds'.
 

An Aspen leaf contrasts beautifully after falling into a grain hopper.

Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington

 
Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
A shot of Common Teasel that was improved by 'inducing' a dark background, which, on this occasion was a black jacket. Had there have been light falling on the background of grass, the impact would have been lost.

 

Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
A chunk of 'classic Americana' shot near Colfax, with the mural being painted by a Gulf war veteran after returning home.  Perhaps I should pay the owner to leave the pick-up there just for our photo groups.
 
Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
At a glance that is water down below, but the waves are actually 'amber waves of grain'.
 
Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
These are wild oats, the bane of the grain farmer. There are often some growing among the other crops, but the ones easiest to locate will be at the edge of the field. Try back or side-lighting such as I did here, and the darker the background, the more the impact.
 
Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
This old school on the Washington side of the Palouse has stood for a number of decades, and is still a worthy photo subject despite the rusted farm machinery all around. For this shot I got down low with an 18mm lens for a different perspective. Update: The bell tower has gone, and the building is listing badly.
 

Old school # 2.


Another rusting artifact that has seen better days.

 
Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
Blue truck in a red barn, and a backdrop that is undoubtedly the Palouse.
 

Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
A crop duster swings by as the sun rises. Some of the pilots drop long white markers to 'bookmark' the sections they have already sprayed.


If one is blessed with a good sky at sunrise or sunset, one can place almost anything in front of it to produce a good silhouette. The point is proved with these power poles and lines as normally they would have little appeal.

   
Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
Another crop duster doing his stuff in the shadow of Steptoe Butte. Does he use Pledge I wonder?

 

Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
The lines of stubble were pleasing to the eye, but without some PhotoShop manipulation it lacked impact.

Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
This shovel was in a barn with the light falling in just the right place. There are compositional guidelines out there that we are all aware of, and I suggest to clients that they are useful but are to be broken if you feel you can improve the picture. Here I opted for the right-hand third, and have no regrets.

 

Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
Another image I just had to play with. Besides the color, I also find the composition very pleasing to the eye, and that's a major ingredient of successful images.

 

Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
Harvesting in the late light. Note that the header on the combine adjusts to the terrain while the cab stays vertical. Exposure for a shot like this can be tricky, and thus I underexposed by a half a stop.

 
Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
One of those typical Palouse scenes that one knew was going to need cropping when all was said and done. This one is enhanced by the backdrop of a stormy sky, plus the nicely lit farmstead.

 

Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
Back-lit stubble . . . yeh stubble!  Well, I for one see an image that tells a story.
 

Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington

I go on and on about how blue skies are nice, how overcast light reduces the contrast, but better still is this kind of changeable weather when it provides golden moments such as this one. That's just what makes my trips to the British Isles and New Zealand so interesting!
 
Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
A trio of Salsify 'seed' images, and a plant that flowers with a bright yellow head in the spring.  It is often mistaken for an oversized Dandelion, and found in semi-arid regions of the west.
 

Salsify # 2.

Salsify # 3.
 

Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
A well preserved and rare round barn not too far from Moscow, Idaho. Of course, this shot is enhanced by the combining going on in front of the barn.

Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
An empty truck heading back to the fields after having unloaded its load into a 'community' grain bin.  This particular perspective was achieved with a lens in the 300 to 400 mm range.

 
Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
Light and lines. Note that the header of the combine is adjustable to accommodate the slope.
 

Not the setting sun, but the late light on a field of wheat in the background creating a silhouette of the foreground 'weeds'.  Sometimes it's the simplest of things that have the most impact.
 

Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
Light and shade # 1:  Looking east at sunrise, Kamiak Butte presides over the sun-kissed grain fields.

 

Light and shade # 2.
 

Light and shade # 3.
 

Light and shade # 4.

 


Light and shade # 5.
 
Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington

Light and shade numbers 6, 7 and 8:  Early and late light on the Palouse is the best time to be out with a camera, and these four images are dawn shots from Steptoe Butte. All you need is an alarm clock, tripod, long lenses and to be there.

Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington

Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington

 

Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
I'm not sure where this was . . . OK, just kidding, it's south of Moscow, Idaho. There are paved roads running through the Palouse, but hundreds of miles of additional roads that are gravel or just dirt. That's where a majority of the best shots are to be found.
 
Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
A few grasshoppers won't bother the grain farmer, but a plague of them will, such as happens every few years. The grain in the shot is wheat.
Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
Red barn, winding lane, and side-lighting. That'll do!
 
 
Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
Another shot making good use of 'thirds', the imaginary guidelines within a frame for composing.

 

The lines in the stubble complement this image of the stark tree. I used a tripod with my lens set at f.22 for maximum depth of field. Trees like this become trusted friends when I take group after group to such spots. This tree however is unfortunately no longer with us.

Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
 
Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington Silhouetted wheat # 1:
On each trip I set up a a shot of wheat or barley stalks - these are all wheat - and attach them to my tripod so that folk can get shots such as this. It's a kind of 'signature' for the whole Palouse experience.
A long lens was used for the shot at left.
 

Silhouetted wheat # 2:  A wide-angle perspective that works, but imagine it without the clouds. Yep, it would not be as appealing an image, so clouds are our friends . . . when we need them.
 

Silhouetted wheat # 3:  Pretty much the same formula as shot # 1 except that during processing I went into the saturation option, and removed all the red. Hence the mix of yellow with monochrome.
 
Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
The symmetry of the grain bins at Staley recorded with a 200 mm lens. Just another Palouse 'story'.
   

Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
An old Ford pick-up that continues to toil on the Palouse south of Moscow, Idaho.


When the light in the sky is 'harsh' and the foreground in shadow, one has to use methods to compensate. HDR is one option, but for the shot above I darkened the sky with a graduated/split neutral density filter. As the foreground still reproduced quite dark, I had work the remainder of the image in PhotoShop.

   
Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
Light and shade maketh the image, but first the composition has to have some substance to it.

 

Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
Some Deer are hard to identify as a rule, but when the White-Tail Deer is alarmed, up goes it's, well, erm, white tail.  You can make out the white tail on the male on the left. The other deer is a female.

 
Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
Nice side lighting for this pair of barns makes the shot.  I've shot them on overcast days and there's no comparison.
 

Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
A close-up of a parked combine's header. If you look at the crooked horizon in the corner of the image, it'll tell you that I tilted the camera to keep the converging lines within my viewfinder area.

Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
A Goldfinch extracting seeds from a Thistle.

 
Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington

It's harvest time during my trips to the Palouse,
and for this pair of shots there is a nice balance of light and shade.

Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
 
Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington

There is a farmer on the south end of the Palouse who has assembled a fence of old wheels and cogs etcetera, and they make ideal 'frames' for his barn. Now if only we can get him to paint that barn a shade of brick red!

Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
Looking in the other direction you can see how much work, has gone into putting the fence together.

 


Old school # 1:  This is a former school near Kamiak Butte, and an image that needs some 'help' as it lacks an interesting sky. Actually, the two images below I have 'doctored' with Photoshop and/or Smart Photo Editor for a completely different look rather mess with the sky.  Please remember though, the trick with photo software effects is to only use them if they will indeed enhance 'reality' in some manner. So, which do you prefer, 1, 2 or 3?


Old school # 2.


Old school # 3.

 

Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington

A pair of shots taken from the same spot as the sun was setting near Moscow, Idaho.

Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington

 

Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
Minutes after this was taken the wheat was in the hopper. Silhouettes give you the best return for minimum effort, and all you need do is 'see' your subject. In most cases your exposure for a silhouette will be 'as is' too, i.e. there is rarely any need for exposure compensaton.

 
Palouse photo tours, Idaho and Washington
The amber waves of grain prepare to meet the light as the sun rises behind Kamiak Butte.

 


The Palouse by Melba Brown  |  The Palouse by Laura Caplan
The Palouse by Harolyn Castleberry  |  The Palouse by Mike Caplan
The Palouse by Rachel Hull  |  The Palouse by Shelly Rosenberg

Palouse brochure  |  Return to the Photo Gallery index

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ENROLLMENT



 

Travel Images' small-group photo tours with John Baker
 
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