Heading Back To The Palouse — Another Happy Place

Rainbow from the top of Steptoe Butte. You can see the mountain’s shadow. This was a 3 image stitch made in high winds and a downpour.

As everyone who follows PhotoPXL and I know, I am a fan of the Palouse. The Palouse is an area in southeast Washington state that has some of the most incredible landscapes outside of our national parks. I have been traveling to the Palouse once or twice a year since 2004.  

I am running two back-to-back workshops in the Palouse starting on June 13 and June 20. Unlike many workshops that comprise a dozen people or so driving around the Palouse in a carpool, we are only four attendees in a big SUV. With a 4WD, we go where others can’t, thus making our workshop experience special.

Information on the workshop can be found at Rockhopper Workshops. We base our workshops out of the Holiday Inn in Pullman, Washington. This is a central location in a town with good restaurants and a nice hotel.  Everyone gets their own room. All transportation for the workshop is provided with pickups and drop-offs from Spokane Airport.

The famous and classic Lone Tree. THis poor tree was havinga rough time last year. I hope it is doing better this year.
The famous and classic Lone Tree. This poor tree was having a rough time last year. I hope it is doing better this year.

We don’t waste any time diving into photography. After a pickup at the airport, I treat our group to a BBQ lunch, where we do introductions and an overview of what we will be doing over the next 4.5 days. As you can see, my GPS tracking map below shows that we will be covering a lot of miles each day and photographing a lot of locations.

Our days will be determined by weather, clouds, and forecasts. After nearly 20 years of traveling the Palouse, I know the special spots, where to be at certain times of the day, and the weather conditions to give you the best photographs.  

This is defining photo of the Palouse. Found along the main highway it is photographed often. I tried to make it look a bit different by desaturating the sky
This is defining photo of the Palouse. Found along the main highway it is photographed often. I tried to make it look a bit different by desaturating the sky

I have conducted workshops early on for the Phase One PODAS workshop with up to 30 people and that was just way too many participants. Even with five other instructors, it was crazy. Although it was a fun time, I have now slowed things down and prefer intimate workshops like what we are doing now. With only four people, we travel together, eat together and photograph together. Plus, we talk about photography and share all our talents and knowledge while we are in the car. Attendees will come back with amazing images and many new skills.

Previous Palouse Articles

Back Out To The Palouse

Wildfires In The Palouse

I Am Free Back To The Palouse

The Gear

Shooting in the Palouse is easy. It doesn’t take a ton of gear and lenses. I am traveling this year like I did last year with a Sony a7R IV, Sony a1, as well as 16-35mm, 24-70mm, and 100-400mm lenses. Except for sunrise and sunset shots, I’ll shoot most of the time without a tripod. My tripod is a Really Right Stuff 24L. I’ll have ND and Polarizing filters also.  

I’ll also have my Sony RX100 VII camera with me all the time for candids and other quick shots. In addition, I am increasingly taking images with my iPhone on these trips. I shoot in RAW format and bring the RAWs into Capture One for editing. The quality of these RAWs is quite impressive. I also shoot with the Hipstamatic app using my own lens and film combo for a cool look.  

The Palouse Cameras in an Airport Security roller

I have also found the iPhone a great teaching tool. It can take an image and share it with the group, showing how I determine and perceive the composition. Think of it like a polaroid. I also use the viewfinder Mark II app, which allows me to look at a scene and determine what lens would be best.

I will bring along my drone for some images, especially for looking for patterns in the field of grain or getting a different perspective.

My laptop will travel with me. Each evening, I will download the images shot during the day and do initial ratings and editing. I also back up each session for the day while I am sleeping to two external SanDisk 2 TB SSD drives.

My Pictures

The lone tree and windmill. Iconic Palouse subjects.
The lone tree and windmill. Iconic Palouse subjects.

I know everyone loves photos — after all, this is a photography site. I am sharing a lot of images below. These were images taken primarily from last year’s trip and a few from previous trips. Some of these are straight images, while others are images that I have played with in different apps along the way.   

I have made folios, folio tins, and numerous wall prints from photos shot during my Palouse adventures. Many times, I enjoy loading my favorites on the iPad and using apps like Snapseed, Distressed FX, and a few other apps to try out different looks. Basically, I am totally hooked on photography and playing with images, and doing different things.  

The wagon Wheel Barn and birds created with Snapseed and Distressed FX.
The wagon Wheel Barn and birds were created with Snapseed and Distressed FX.

In Distressed FX, I sometimes add birds to the image. It’s part of a long-term project I am playing with called Pesky Birds. Like all things photography, I find hours of joy and happiness not only in taking the photo but with post-processing the images I have created. You may like some of these while disliking others. Either way, by sharing these, I hope you find some inspiration and take some liberties and work on your images as well as experiment with different looks. No one will see them but you and the people you share them with.

Join Me

Every summer in June, I run two back-to-back Palouse workshops. I’ll announce the 2023 workshops sometime in July. Keep your eyes out and jump on board next year’s trip. I assure you that you will have a great time, eat well and come home with a ton of images you’ll be proud of.

Enjoy My Images Below

Remember, if you are a Silver or Gold member, you can click on an image to see the images in a bigger size.

This location offers so many possibilities
This is an artisians craft barn surrounded by an iron wagon wheel fence
This is an artisians craft barn surrounded by an iron wagon wheel fence
I have watched this old grain elevator deteriorate further every year
I have watched this old grain elevator deteriorate further every year
This guy is a hoot and a Palouse Classic. He hangs out at the visitor bureau which is also an old Texaco station and poses proudly. I hope he is still there when we visit this year.
This guy is a hoot and a Palouse Classic. He hangs out at the visitor bureau, which is also an old Texaco station, and poses proudly. I hope he is still there when we visit this year.
These guys were at Steptoe Butte one evening and made for some great photos
These guys were at Steptoe Butte one evening and made for some great photos
This is my friends farm and he makes the best dirt
This is my friend’s farm and he makes the best dirt
Same dirt as above from a different angle and a different day
Same dirt as above from a different angle and a different day
One year there were bad forest fires and it made for some colorful sunsets
One year there were bad forest fires and it made for some colorful sunsets
One of the biggest and prettiest barns and each year it falls further in dispair
One of the biggest and prettiest barns and each year it falls further in dispair
Sunset through the scub
Sunset through the scrub
The side of a grain elevator
The side of a grain elevator
THis is the farm of another friend who grows garlic
This is the farm of another friend who grows garlic
Steptoe Butte
Steptoe Butte
The lambs going to church
The lambs going to church
Palouse Falls
Palouse Falls
Old dairy barn with chicken coop
Old dairy barn with chicken coop
Seeing double. These two building were actually part of a movie set
Seeing double. These two buildings were actually part of a movie set
Same as above but with those pesky birds
Same as above but with those pesky birds
This church is one of my regular stops. Never disappoints
This church is one of my regular stops. Never disappoints
One day whoever owned this place walked away and left everything as it was and where it was
One day whoever owned this place walked away and left everything as it was and where it was
The old Empire Theater
The old Texaco Station
Another abandoned house and windmill
Another abandoned house and windmill
General MIlls grain elevator
General Mills grain elevator
Palouse Falls
Palouse Falls
Simple is best
harvest time
Another red barn
One of the coolest guys in the Palouse
Daves PLace
One day it was parked and never moved again, bullet holes and all.
One of those quirky places you find in the Palouse area
One of those quirky places you find in the Palouse area
Elmer's truck
Elmer’s truck
Those pesky birds
a little different than the image above.
Seen better days
The well known Miller house
I love it when the sky has drama
Classic lone tree
This is what the Palouse is all about
Always be seeing. This is the hood of a truck turned upside down and now looks like a Japanese landscape painting
The door of a truck abstract. Many different signed peeking through
Don’t you just love the chair
It’s those birds again
Big fields, big skies
Door, inside a truck
Abstract from an old tour bus
Abstract from an old tour bus
Birds, birds, birds . . .
Bullet hole

Kevin Raber
June 2022
Kevin Raber
Indianapolis, IN

Photography is my passion and has been for 47 plus years. My career in photography has allowed me to travel the world, meet some of the most interesting people on the planet and see things I could never have dreamed of. My goal is to share the passion of pictures taking through photographs and teaching with as many people as I can hoping it brings them as much joy and happiness as it has me. I do this through photoPXL.com, this site as well as Rockhopper Workshops and other projects as well as teaching at my Gallery in Indianapolis.

Article Type: Columns, MISC

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