Category Archives: Photography Advice

Harvest near the Snake River

Cutting the Wheat - ©Gary Hamburgh 2011 - All Rights Reserved

Last week I spent a couple of days at wheat harvest in the Palouse. The harvest is very late this year due to the weather we had last winter and spring. I visited an area that overlooked Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River to see the harvest in full operation. It was necessary to go farther south in the Palouse to this location because harvest occurs earlier in that area.

Combines Working Together - ©Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

A Pair of Combines - ©Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

As I arrived they were just finishing harvesting the winter wheat and the spring wheat was still too green for cutting.  I am including images that give an overall lay of the land as well as the process of cutting and loading the wheat for transport to the grain silos on the river.

View from the Cab - ©Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

Loading a Truck - ©Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

The image below was taken as I was standing on the combine. The driver took me right over to the edge to see the view. They actually had just harvested from where I took this picture.

Overlooking Lower Granite Dam - ©Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

I  hope this post has given you a view of the harvest and some of the terrain where it takes place. If you are interested in photographing the harvest this year, according to the farmers in the area we are still a couple of weeks away from harvesting spring wheat around Colfax and Steptoe Butte.

Come to Harvest for Great Images

Ready for Harvest - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2010 - All Rights Reserved

It is just about time for me to head over to the Palouse for one of my favorite times of the year. In talking with the farmers in the area, they feel we are just about a week to ten days away from the wheat harvest. If you ever want to capture some great images with large tractors, awesome skies and the actual work that is involved during the wheat harvest, make plans to get to the Palouse during this month.

Combine at Work -©Gary Hamburgh 2010 - All Rights Reserved









As you prepare to go to this region for photos, plan ahead for the heat which can get into triple digits at times. In addition the conditions are very dusty during harvest in the dry-land farming areas so be prepared to protect your equipment. Even with some extreme conditions, I think you will be rewarded with great images, make new friends and have the opportunity to develop an appreciation for this beautiful region.

I know I will be going over so maybe we will run into each other.

Capturing the Total Impact of a Subject

Old Barn with Wooden Fence - ©Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved

I have been reviewing and analyzing some of my ideas for effective composition. I remembered an acronym that was shared with me many years ago by my mentor Scott Bourne. The acronym is EDFAT which stands for entire, detail, focal length, angle  and time. EDFAT represents what should be covered when photographing an event or a subject.

1.  Capture the entire scene to give context

2.  Capture details that are important to help tell the story

3.  Change the focal length to add interest

4.  Vary the angle to show different perspectives

5.  Shoot at a different time to capture a different look

The images in this post represent each of the components of the acronym except for time.

Corvair with Red Barn - ©Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved

I found this old barn in the Palouse and proceeded to capture images that would show the areas of interest in the scene.

Windows on Old Barn - ©Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved








Barn Window - ©Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved

Old Door - ©Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved















Hardware on Barn Door - ©Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved























Remember this acronym as you are interacting with a subject or composition so different elements can be shown.

Exploring Ideas for Lighting

Sunlight Plays on the Hills - ©Gary Hamburgh 2010 - All Rights Reserved

I enjoy learning all I can about lighting. Recently, I have been interested in doing some portraiture both indoors and outdoors. My main goal is to include images of  people into some of my landscape shots. As I have been reading and exploring various sources, I came across a book and DVD combination that I have found to be very useful and fascinating.

I  purchased this kit that includes a book and dvd at a Kelby training seminar that I attended in Seattle a few weeks ago. It written, produced and marketed by Scott Kelby.   The book is entitled “Photo Recipes Live: Behind the Scenes, Pt 2: Lighting Techniques. ” It is available at The material presented is easy to understand, very informative and gives ideas about various lighting setups. Hints about how to provide lighting at a reduced cost are also provided throughout the book and accompanying dvd.

I feel anyone wanting to learn more about lighting from an author who is knowledgeable, as well as interesting to read and listen to, will benefit from this kit.



Winter in the Palouse

Wheels in Winter - ©Gary Hamburgh 2004 - All Rights Reserved

I receive questions all the time asking “what is the best time to photograph in the Palouse?”. My answer is that it depends what type of images you are looking to capture. Each season has its own kind of beauty.

When I first began shooting in the Palouse, I didn’t enjoy the winter season because of the lack of color and textures. During winter the landscape can look very bleak and isolated. I gave myself a project to depict the winter landscape in a more meaningful way to me.

An example of this is the image at the top of this post. I used the leading lines of the irrigation equipment to take the viewer to the hills and sky.  Also the equipment shows something which is very useful at times but is lying dormant during the winter season. The winter wheat in the area is also lying dormant in the ground waiting for spring.

I now really enjoy shooting during the winter season as I try to capture the beauty of that time. I would caution you as you travel the Palouse in the winter to be careful of the extreme cold that may be present. Consider how you will protect your equipment and yourself. Also consider your  driving skills as the road conditions may be less than ideal.

Reflect then Set New Goals

Fall Reflection at Bennington Lake - ©Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved

As we come to the end of 2010, it is a good time to reflect on what we accomplished this year and set new goals for the coming year. As I was involving myself in this process, I read a post by my mentor Scott Bourne.

I would like to share this post with you that is titled “New Years Resolutions – A Photographer’s Goals”. I found the article to be informative and very helpful to me.

I wish each of you a happy and successful New Year. I hope that you will have the opportunity to visit the Palouse and perhaps even attend my workshop.

Workshop in the Palouse

Morning Light on Rolling Hills - ©Gary Hamburgh 2010 - All Rights Reserved

Please join me The Palouse Guy for a workshop in the Palouse. I will be teaching a workshop with Ara Roselani this spring from May 25 – May 29. Go to the workshop tab at the top of page for more details and a registration form.

I hope to see you as we explore and photograph this amazing area with great landscapes and barns.

Interiors of Interest

Inside an Old Shed - ©Gary Hamburgh 2010 - All Rights Reserved

When exploring the Palouse region, you see many old barns and outbuildings. I am usually searching for a structure that can be included in the beautiful landscape.  Another option that can lead to some interesting images is to explore the inside of some of the old structures. Typically you will find some old farm implements, equipment or just left over everyday belongs. These are interesting to me as it gives a glimpse into the life of someone that was there many generations ago.

The image at the top of this post was taken of the interior of an old abandoned shed among some outbuildings on a deserted homestead. The objects are not of value but do provide some perspective of days gone by.

As you visit the Palouse take some time to explore interiors as well as enjoy the beautiful landscape. Getting permission to explore is always a good idea if possible.

Vary the Orientation in Your Images

Clouds over Red Barn 1

As I am sitting in rainy Seattle, I am daydreaming about some of my special sites for photography. Admittedly,  a cloudy sky with an old red barn and abundant wheat crop is one of my favorite views. I can think of no better place for that experience than the Palouse region of eastern Washington.

When you find a scene that you particularly relish,  I would encourage you to shoot it from all angles. In addition I always make a composition in both a landscape and a portrait format. I think each of these can tell a different story or give a more complete story about the scene if both are included. I know this is a simple tip but one that I think will enhance your ability to portray the scene that provided meaning for you.

Clouds over Red Barn 2

Enjoy your time as you visit the Palouse and take in all the beautiful scenery of this photo rich area.

Isolate Your Subject for Impact

Old Barn in Wheat Field - ©Gary Hamburgh 2010 - All Rights Reserved

One of my favorite things about photographing in the Palouse is the wide expansive vistas that are available. It makes it very easy to isolate a subject without a lot of wires and clutter around.

The barn in this image was taken in the afternoon and was very easy to shoot from any angle because of the great openness surrounding it. As many times occurs in the Palouse, clouds come up in the afternoon which add to the image. This ability to isolate the subject creates a striking image with simplicity.

To experience this simple beauty, I would suggest a trip to the Palouse area of eastern Washington. Harvest is just starting to get into full swing in the next couple of weeks so the images should be amazing.