The Palouse Workshop 2022 – Not A Totally Good Trip

Welcome to the Palouse

As you know if you read my articles regularly, the Palouse is my go-to happy place.  I visit there every year in June and run back-to-back 4-person workshops.  They always sell out and are truly great photographic experiences.  The Palouse has a ton of very special untold beauty and even after 20-plus years of visiting the region, I continually find new amazing places to photograph.

On this trip, I took a Sony a1 and a Sony a7r iv.  Lenses were 12-24mm, 16-35mm, 100-400mm, and 24-70mm.  I also duplicate every shot on the iPhone.  More on this in a minute.

Big skies, big fields
Big skies, big fields

I picked up my first group, and we were off the Sprague where we photographed old trucks and a charming but pretty much-abandoned town.  We then work our way south to Pullman, where our hotel is.  We enjoy a great dinner and then it’s to bed early so we can start our full first day of photography the next day.

COVID Hits

The Lonely Tree, an iconic symbol of the Palouse
The Lonely Tree, an iconic symbol of the Palouse

Well, things went quickly downhill.  I woke up in the morning with a runny nose and dry cough.  As a precaution, I did a COVID test, and it came back positive.  I didn’t really feel bad.  I have had colds much worse.  I met everyone in the lobby and informed them of the COVID test and we made a plan where I would drive in my vehicle and the group (which is only 4 people) would follow in a separate car and we would keep in touch with walkie-talkies.  The day went OK but is not the way I do my Palouse trips.

The next day 1 other attendee came down with a COVID positive test and as such, we decided to cancel the rest of the workshop and I would make up the workshop in another way in the future.  I can’t even tell you how sad this made me.  I also felt bad that another person was sick.  I should mention that all of us had the four jab vaccinations. Based on what my doctor told me, she didn’t feel the others on the trip would have been positive as quick as they were from being near me and most likely contracted it somewhere else.  Turns out, as you might remember from all the news, the new sub-variants were quite contagious. Another workshop that was running there at the same time had 3 out of six become infected and one had to visit the hospital.

Lots of dirt roads and dramatic skies
Lots of dirt roads and dramatic skies

Several attendees drove to the workshop and the one person who flew in had experienced COVID earlier and he was negative and flew home.  I had to cancel the second workshop and all those folks were quite understanding and moved their reservations over to 2023.  I now was stuck it the Palouse until I had a negative test and then I could work on getting home. I certainly would not fly home being infected.

Of course, you are supposed to isolate for 4-5 days after testing positive.  Well, there is nothing worse for me than being cooped up in a hotel room, so I decided I could self-isolate in my car and at least go out and take images by myself. The Palouse is an extensive area and I wouldn’t have any contact with others.

Time To Take Pictures

Barn in a field
Barn in a field

I have photographed hundreds of locations in Palouse and I went back and visited many of those.  I have a log in my iPad that can plot trips and get me back to my favorite locations.  I decided where to go based on weather and clouds and fortunately, there were some incredible clouds and dramatic skies. I’ll do an article on how I use the photos app to get to where I want to go in an article soon.

I shot a lot during the coming days with my iPhone 13 Pro Max.  I shot many images using the iPhone’s RAW setting and also the Hipstamatic X with the Jane Lens and Rasputin film setting.  This gave me an image with a black border and a certain warm, contrasty style that played well with highlights and shadows, making the resulting photo rather unique and pleasing.

What the Hipstamatic camera viewfinder looks like
What the Hipstamatic camera viewfinder looks like
The Hipstamatic screen shot shows how you can select formats as well as the wide, normal or telephoto lens
The Hipstamatic screenshot shows how you can select formats as well as the wide, normal or telephoto lens

I would take some of these images into SnapSeed and edit them further (if needed). This article contains almost 90 images from the trip presented from the Hipstamatic app.  I also used the Reflex app for long exposure using frame averaging, as explained in a previous article.

I also used my Sony a1 and a7r iv for pretty much all the photos you see here.  I may decide to use these files in a book I am contemplating doing on the Palouse.

I was pleased with just how good these images came out using the iPhone 13 Pro Max.  I have subsequently tried making large prints from these files and was very surprised at how well they came out.  I’ll be doing an article on just how big you can go.  I made 8×11.5 inch, 11×17. 13×19, 17×22, and a 30×40 inch print.  There is a little work involved and you’ll have to read that article to see how it was done as well as what I thought about the quality.

I like to work my images in several apps sometimes. This was modified in Snapseed, Distressed FX+ and then Snapseed again. The print from this is beautiful.

I know I enjoy looking at photos, so I hope you enjoy all the images in this article. I have a similar article coming on images made the same way in the Faroe Islands.

Have fun.

The Rest Of The Images

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Kevin Raber
September 2023
Kevin Raber
Indianapolis, IN

Photography is my passion and has been for 50 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 picture 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 as Artist In Residence at the Indianapolis Art Center.

Article Type: News, Columns, MISC

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