The scenic and fertile farmland of the Palouse in eastern Washington near Moscow, Idaho is a unique destination for photographers seeking beautiful landscape and farm scenes.
I was traveling with two other photographers when we passed this scene. It immediately appealed to me, but the feeling was not unanimous in our group. Fortunately, by prior agreement, we generally give each photographer a set number of requested stops, like two, to be used each day. If the requested stop appeals to only one photographer, then the out-voted photographer may use one of his two requests for the day. I think two of the three of us liked this scene, so I did not have to use my special stop request. Once again, I like simple scenes where the number of items in the photo can be easily counted. Here one could count three layers of grain, the sky and a windmill, or five areas. Or just grain, sky and a windmill. I often try for just three, but this is still quite a simple scene.
Gain Elevators in the Palouse
In addition to liking the abstract nature of these two grain storage bins, I wondered why one was constructed with horizontal panels and the other of vertical steel panels. They also seem to be made of different metals since one appears so blue vs. gray for the other.
I walked around this scene for so long employees came out to see if they could help me. Hard for farmers to understand that I wish to take photos of these metal boxes they see every day. But always kind and polite, they quickly told me of other grain bins in the area.
In this same complex several new storage bins were being noisily constructed. Hopefully the small town of Endicott, Washington is making a comeback. This grain complex is right next to train tracks for loading grain onto train cars, destined for processing.
Down Dusty Roads in Farm Country
A lone truck stirs up dust shortly after sunrise. This was taken from Steptoe Butte, the highest point in the entire valley.
When you see a dusty road and there is no farm truck coming to stir up the dust, you send a fellow photographer to drive up and down the road. May not be great art… but it was fun.
This is another area where the light was perfect when the scene first caught my eye driving by, but the light had totally changed by the time I turned the car around. After waiting for over 30 minutes, the barn was finally in the sunlight and the hills behind were shaded. More of what I call painting with light.
This series of horse photos was a huge disappointment to me. After all of these years, I still often get so excited seeing such a scene I fail to set my camera properly. Most often I shoot on a tripod, so the shutter speed does not matter much. However, when quickly switching to hand held for these horse pictures, I left my camera settings as they were, at 1/30 of a second. Therefore using a telephoto lens, most of my photos of this horse’s mouth gyrations were blurry. I initially thought maybe the horse was yawning, so I returned twice more with the proper camera settings. Never again did I see the horse make these contortions with his mouth. I now think the horse may have had a stick or something caught in its mouth or teeth. The owner of the horse also said he had never seen the horse do this.
So goodbye from the Palouse, a farmland region where you never know what you may see around the corner. Thank you for viewing.