20 Aug 2010
The Palouse at Dawn
This is from a shoot I did in mid July. The Palouse is the principal wheat growing area in eastern Washington. During the 1870s, Russian immigrant farmers began to experiment with wheat on the previous range land. The rolling loess hills are now a patchwork of wheat, soy beans, lentils and peas. Today would have been a better day for capturing the color but the chaff from the harvesting clouds the air and giant farm equipment makes the country roads impassable.
This photo was taken from Steptoe Butte, looking west, one thousand feet above the surrounding terrain. This was shot about 0630 and the farms below were in the shadow of the butte as the sun was rising directly behind me. I meant to get there about 45 minutes earlier but I got turned around on the winding roads.
I was in the area for the better part of a week and accumulated so much dust from hundreds of miles of primitive farm roads that my car still isn't free of it. I did manage to keep most of it out of my camera but I had it cleaned at the shop anyway.
Post-processing consisted of minor adjustments in Lightroom and NIK with some extra tweaking in the shadows.
This would have been SO much better with a medium format camera! Maybe for Christmas. Yeah, right.
If you are interested and have a few minutes you can see a 135 degree panorama from 8 shots taken at the same location. It's at:
It should be viewed at Original size and is a large file so be patient. You'll have to scroll up/down and left/right to see it all. I think the textures, tones and patterns of the crops and land at this detail level are fascinating. The shadow of the butte with 2 microwave towers is in the lower left and another tower (located about half way up) can be seen in the lower center.