On the 4th of July 2009, I went to the fireworks show at Grand Coulee Dam in central Washington. This region gives a different look of the Palouse with its many cliffs, plateaus and rock formations. About 20 miles west of Grand Coulee Dam, I stopped at a scenic view area called the Dry Falls Overlook. I was there in the middle of the day with very harsh light so I made a note to return for a sunset shoot at some time in the future.
Two days ago I was returning home from a trip to Walla Walla and Pendleton. I decided to head for a northern route and see if I could get some good weather and light to shoot sunset at the overlook. I had been planning to take images and then use Photomatix Pro to process the images because of the high contrast composition with the cliffs, water and sky. This software has become a very useful tool for me because it allows for processing multiple images in a simple and effective manner.
As I arrived at the Dry Falls Overlook, the view was as breathtaking as I had remembered. I got there an hour or so before sundown so I had plenty of time to prepare myself for the approaching sunset. I was excited to see a few clouds on the horizon opposite the direction of the setting sun as they gave me the hope that I would have an interesting sky to include in my images.
Each of the images in this post was five exposures between -2 and +2 with a one stop interval between shots. I imported them into Aperture, made a few adjustments. then combined them into a single image and applied tonal mapping with Photomatix Pro. It was nice to have the full moon in the final image even though it appears very small above the clouds.
It was fun to capture the images in this beautiful and often overlooked area of the Palouse. Hopefully you will add this trip to your agenda as you plan your visit east of the Cascades in Washington.