Photographing the Palouse in Eastern Washington
[caption id="attachment_11577" align="aligncenter" width="350"] Canola or Rapeseed bloom photo courtesy of Scotty Thompson[/caption] The Palouse area is a photographer's dream located in Eastern, Washington. And 2013 saw the largest planting of Canola in Whitman County! The gently rolling hills of wheat, barley, peas, lentils and canola mean spectacular panoramic views and the wildflowers and country roads dotted with 100+ year old barns mean you will never be short of subject matter. May and June are the best months to capture the yellows and greens, July and August for the gold and brown. Check out what they say in the UK! Click here. Open Wide! In the old days, only professional photographers with large-format cameras and special long rolls of film could create panoramic pictures. But now anyone can capture the wide, wide world, thanks to software built into digital cameras and smartphones, or photo-processing computer software. Picking a pan- Almost any long horizontal view makes a good panoramic photo, and the Palouse offers many! Look for a sweeping landscape with repeating patterns in a row. Many cameras have features that guide you through the process. O you can get worry-free stitching in almost any photo editing program. Just select the sequence of pictures, hit the button and you will have a beautifully blended pan. [caption id="attachment_8656" align="aligncenter" width="640"] photo courtesy of Gene Dixon[/caption] Shooter's Rules - 1. Keep camera horizontal as you shoot. Any tilt will make for distortions when software combines the views. 2. Overlap the views as much as possible-say a third of the previous frame. This gives the software more information for aligning all the frames. 3. Use manual exposure if you can, as light levels can vary in any wide view and automatic mode may alter the exposure between frames. 4. Never zoom or refocus between exposures, the software can't handle the different perspectives.Get out and capture the rolling hills, try for low level lighting, the shadows cast are fabulous. Or maybe stay right here in Pullman and take shots of the much-loved architecture on Washington State University Campus. Whenever you come and whatever you are looking for, this Paradise called the Palouse will take your breath away. To view spectacular photos of the Palouse, CLICK HERE! You can view the brochure Photographing the Palouse in our brochure library. For a customized guided photography tour, please contact Palouse Country Photo Tours or Aaron Cowan Photos or College Cabs. No matter when you come, you are bound to find great photography opportunities. Below is a general calendar of our most popular times and the subject matter available at those times. Please keep in mind, this calendar may vary by 1-3 weeks depending on the weather. Please feel free to call for a more precise idea of what to expect for the current month.
Other resources: Wildflowers on Kamiak Butte Palouse Chamber of Commerce
April:[caption id="attachment_8815" align="alignleft" width="350"] photo courtesty of Mike Gordon[/caption] Wildflowers begin blooming on Kamiak Butte. Our local wildflower expert, Jim Roberts, says, "The first 'peak' usually takes place in the first or second week of April when the Grass Widows, Yellow Bells, Spring Beauties, Buttercups, Glacier Lilies, Mountain Kittentails, Bulbiferous Prairiestars, Desert Parsleys, Western Serviceberry and other flowers are all in bloom. The Grass Widows are numerous everywhere you look, interspersed with all the other blooming flowers. It is quite spectacular." In mid-April you can expect to see Arrowleaf Balsamroots (similar to sunflowers), Indian Paintbrush, Shooting Stars, Larkspurs, Ballhead Waterleaf, Moutain Bluebells, Smallflower Prairiestar, and many others.Look for the wildlife to start coming out at this time also. Watch for new fawns, ducklings, and goslings on the road, in addition to our famous Palouse Moose who comes out every spring to graze the young wheat. For quick tips on photographing wildflowers click here.
May:[caption id="attachment_8817" align="alignright" width="350"] photo courtesy of Alan Caddey[/caption] More wildflowers start coming out, including Piper's Windflower, Calypso, Western Groundsel, Heart-leaved Arnica, Prairie Smoke, Western Meadowrue, Columbia Puccoon, Low Oregon Grape, Pussytoes, Western Soloman-pulme, Star-flowered Solomon's Seal, and many others. For Quick Tips on photographing wildflowers click here. In Addition to wildflowers, the flowering trees begin to take off. Lilacs, Dogwoods, Cherry trees and more fill side streets and the University campus with color and sweet scents. Late May and early June are the best times to come for the bright yellow canola and rape seed fields. The window is relatively short so it is best to call and see before departing. There aren't many canola fields on the Palouse but you can find some West or South. On Highway 26 you will see some fields around Dusty and LaCrosse and South around Lewiston on the prairie the fields are brilliant yellow.
June/July:[caption id="attachment_8819" align="alignleft" width="350"] Photo courtesy of Neal Rantoul[/caption] Our most popular month for photographers, this is when those expansive fields of wheat start to show their many hues of green. The second week of June through the first week of July are the best times if you are looking for the deep green colors on the undulating hills. This is a great time for photographing both panoramas and individual wheat shocks. The bright greens make a lovely background for the 100+ year old barns and homesteads.
July/August:[caption id="attachment_8821" align="alignright" width="350"] photo courtesy of Mike Gordon[/caption] Wheat harvest begins in mid-late July. July is a transition month and the fields will change from their brilliant green to a soft, golden yellow. If you want photos of massive machinery in the fields this is the time. Even if you aren't here for photography, this is a great place to just sit and watch the wind ripple through the amber fields in the evening. Harvest is usually finished for wheat and barley in mid-late August but lentil and chickpea harvest can sometimes go through September.
September:[caption id="attachment_8823" align="alignleft" width="306"] photo courtesy of Mike Gordon[/caption] If you are too late for harvest you can still see the farmers in action, preparing their fields for next year's crops. Watch as the fields of yellow stubble are transformed as they are ploughed under to reveal the dark, black soil that is so perfect for agricultural use. This transition signals the oncoming of a new, and equally beautiful season: fall.
October:[caption id="attachment_511" align="alignright" width="187"] Photo by Chamber Staff[/caption] Fall is a beautiful time on the Palouse. The expansive deciduous trees on the Washington State University campus create a multi-colored carpet of crunchy leaves. The trees in downtown Pullman change their colors as well all along Main Street and Grand Avenue creating a welcoming tunnel of color. Drive through the residential neighborhoods or take a picnic in one of the 14 city parks and watch the migrating geese and ducks.
November - March:[caption id="attachment_1677" align="alignright" width="314"] Photo by Chamber Staff[/caption] Winter is a quiet time on the Palouse and a snowstorm is usually just around the corner. On a clear day the view is spectacular. What once was green and gold is now dusted with snow, accentuating the contours of the land. While usually very cold, this is the most dramatic time of year when you can see the shapes of the land more clearly. There is never a bad shot on the Palouse!
Other resources: Wildflowers on Kamiak Butte Palouse Chamber of Commerce