Photographing the Lush Landscapes of the Palouse.

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Lush Landscapes of The Palouse
Lush Landscapes of The Palouse

Returning to The Palouse last month was especially sweet since it was the first trip there since the spring of 2019 and after postponing workshops in 2020 and 2021. 

Traveling to photograph in different parts of the world is always an adventure, but few places I've photographed inspire and move me in the way The Palouse does.

When friends first introduced me to The Palouse about ten years ago, the big joke was, What's a Palouse?!  Like many others, I'd never heard of the area and its name didn't afford any clues as to where or what it was!

I've since learned that The Palouse is a region in eastern Washington and Western Idaho where much of the nation's wheat is grown. Other grains include rye and barley, and other crops including peas, lentils, mustard, canola and garbonso beans (refered to as garbs by local farmers) are rotated from year to year.

The rolling hills of The Palouse were formed over tens of thousands of years as glaciers carried debrie that became dust and silt (known as loess; pronounced like the name Lois). Glacial melt water and floods distributed the material and as the water evaporated, winds blew it all over. This is why the hills in the region resemble desert sand dunes.

Classic View from Steptoe Butte

The Palouse is made up of not only natural landscapes, but it's also an area that is greatly influenced by people, farmers mainly. While there are rugged forested areas, canyons, and waterfalls that remain as they have for centuries, there are also vast fields that have been created by farmers. 

Palouse Falls at Record Flow in 2022

The landscape is dotted with abandoned barns and homesteads, and the fields are a patchwork of textures, shapes and the colors from crops and fallow fields that change depending on the season. The hillsides often look as if the farmers are artists in their own right, intentionally creating great works of art using the Earth as their canvas.

Aerial Photo from a Cessna 172 from about 1500 ft

This year we had a small group of six photographers from across the country and we explored many different subjects from barns and old work trucks to the natural beauty of Palouse Falls and areas near the Snake River. We created with both "big" cameras – Fuji, Nikon, Cannon, Lumix, Sony –and with a variety of iPhones. We also created color and infrared images.

iPhone infrared image created with Camera+ 2 and 30 sec exposure

To see some of the images made by our group this year, visit our Facebook group, Lush Palouse 2022! 

See this album for more of the images I made during my recent 10-day stay as well as images from previous years.

If you have an interest in joining me for Lush Palouse 2023, subscribe to my newsletter for the latest schedule and email me here to be added to my early notification list.

In the meantime, be safe, stay well, and enjoy your summer!



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