Clouds behind Red Barn by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved
It is with some sadness and emotion that I write this post. The bad news is that many of the old barns and outbuildings that are so much a part of the history and the landscape of the Palouse are disappearing. Due to their age and the passage of time with the elements as well as the materials they were made of, many of these old structures are failing.
The three photos that are included in this post are an example of what is happening. All three of these barns are no longer standing. About a year ago an unusually strong wind storm blew through this region and all of these barns were left in a pile of rubble. I feel fortunate I was able to capture them while they still had their structural integrity.
Clouds Gather over Old Barn by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved
In addition many of the old barns are being replaced with new materials like metal roofs and siding. In talking with the farmers I understand their need to reconstruct with a more durable material but it does somehow take away from their character.
Small Barn in the Evening by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved
Because of the disappearance of some of these structures, I would encourage you to visit this beautiful region in the near future so you can glimpse into the past by enjoying these old barns.
Cupola Acts as Chimney for Clouds by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved
I just returned from spending the last four days in eastern Washington. The colors in the Palouse region are about three weeks later than normal according to several of the local farmers. Fortunately colors were vibrant adding to the beautiful patterns and textures for which this region is known.
The picture at the beginning of the post illustrates one of the many barns in the region and the clouds helped to enhance this image as they appear to be coming from the cupola at the top of the barn. As you can see I was being treated to some excellent early morning conditions.
The image below illustrates one of the changes that you find in this region. Grapes are being planted adjacent to some of the wheat fields. This pattern is more prevalent just south of the actual Palouse region around Walla Walla. It does add a new pattern and texture to the familiar agricultural landscape.
Vineyards Add to the Palouse Patterns by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved
During my entire trip, I had beautiful weather and vibrant colors. Hopefully you will take the time during this green season to enjoy the beauty of eastern Washington.
Winter Wheat Leads to Barn by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved
One of my favorite times of the year in the Palouse is early spring. As the winter wheat starts to show through the dark, rich earth we know the winter is behind us. This transition usually takes place during March and early April. The bright vibrant colors for which this region is known are not present yet.
I think it can be a great time to photograph some of the barns and homesteads. Even though the abundant crops are not seen there are patterns in the plowed fields of earth and tracks in the stubble that are left over from the previous year’s harvest. The skies are usually clear and because of the moisture in the fields there is very little dust to mute the colors of the sky.
The photograph at the top of the page pictures a barn surrounded by winter wheat in morning light. The image that appears below shows an evening glow on the winter wheat. Once again the Palouse has beauty and much to offer at almost any time of the year.
Evening Light in Early Spring by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights REserved
Morning Light at the Barn by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved
I use Aperture in my workflow to manage my images. In a recent article by Scott Bourne three useful tips are given that I use on a regular basis as I work with images. Take a look at Photofocus and add some valuable tools to you workflow in Aperture.
Winn Road Barn in Snow by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved
One of my favorite barns to photograph is near the town of Weston in eastern Oregon. I have photographed it at all times of the day and during all seasons of the year. I have met the Winns who now live on the property where the barn stands. The following description will provide some history about this beautiful and well preserved structure.
Wind Road Barn in Snow Close by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved
From Highway 12 going south toward Weston, take the Winn Road left off the highway. The barn sits in the valley to the right and is visible from the road. Ralph Moon built the barn for about $2500. The owner, George W. Winn hand sawed every board that built the barn in the spring and summer of 1916, using his harvest crew. The lumber was clear grain Douglas fir delivered for $11 per K, the ground was scraped flat,, and a foundation was laid in April. The barn was completed for hay storage by harvest time. Half the barn had 10 stalls for horses and the other half had 25 cow stanchions. The original shake roof lasted over seventy years and the red paint originally used was a mixture of white lead paint with red ochre and linseed oil added: very durable. There are no posts in the entire structure which is now used for storage.
I enjoy photographing this barn from many angles and positions. All the photos in the post were taken on a winter day which is one of my favorite seasons to shoot this barn.
Winn Road Barn in Snow 1 by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved
If you are ever in this area be sure to take the time to view this unique and well preserved structure from the past.
Red Barn near St. John by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved
Sometimes you capture an image that you like because of the composition but the conditions don’t show the vision that you pictured in your mind. I have found that using EFX Color Pro by Nik software can add some “pop” to an image that otherwise would be very ordinary. I talked about this package in an earlier post but I just want toe reemphasize its usefulness.
The original image at the top of the page shows the finished image that I had hoped to achieve. I will go through the workflow that I used to create this image. The first photo below shows the image as I captured it in camera. I liked the composition and the basic elements, but I knew there were several things that needed to be done to satisfy my eye.
Red Barn near St. John original
First I imported the image into my Aperture library and added a bit of vibrancy and straightened the image slightly. Next I removed the telephone pole in the left side of the image using Photoshop CS3. At that point the image was ready for a little extra “pop” . I used the EFX Color Pro plugin for Aperture in my workflow to help me accomplish this. The first step was to add the Tonal Contrast filter to the image which gave me the result as it appears below.
Red Barn near St. John with tonal contrast filter
My final step was to add the polarizing filter that is available to give a bit more definition to the clouds. The final image is shown once again below and I think these slight modifications create more impact.
Red Barn near St. John by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved
Remember as you are shooting, always capture the best image you can in camera and then provide slight modifications to add the impact you seek. I have found EFX Color Pro by Nik software to be an extremely helpful package for this purpose.
Old Red Barn and Corral by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved
At the mention of the Palouse region of eastern Washington, a picture of rolling hills and wheat fields usually enters our mind. This region is well known for the beautiful patterns and textures that accompany the dry land farming that takes place.
As you become more familiar with the region, you will find that much of the land is used for raising cattle. The lush agricultural fields are left behind for an arid and rocky landscape that is the home to cattle ranches. The barn that is shown at the top of this page is located on a ranch that is ten miles northwest of the small town of St. John. About a mile from where I photographed this barn, I met a rancher and his grandsons as they were herding ten bulls into a field for breeding with about one hundred and fifty cows. He told me the story of how his great grandfather had settled this land in the late 1800’s. His family has lived in the region in the same house for four generations.
Hopefully you will visit this Palouse and experience the tremendous diversity that exists with the land and its inhabitants.
Red Combine at Work by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved
As I have worked over the last few years with my mentor Scott Bourne, he reminds me of three things that will help you to become more successful. They are the following:
1. Show your work
2. Show your work
3. Show your work
He says this to provide emphasis of how important it is to show your work. Getting your work in front of people is so critical to your success in selling. Remember that no one will probably show up at your front door looking to buy your work.
Find any avenue that you can to show your work. I will be showing my work at Walla Walla University in an exhibition for alumni weekend in a couple of days. I taught at the university for thirty four years so many of my former students and colleagues will come by to see my work. It will provide a good opportunity to display my work as well as let people know about the business that I am now involved in.
Below are some of the pieces of artwork that will be displayed during the exhibition. They will all be large gallery wrapped canvases.
Chocolate and Caramel Mounds by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved
Fading Light by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved
Wheels in the Wheat by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved
Evening Light in the Palouse by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved
Winn Road Barn in Snow by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved
Remember look for any opportunity you can to follow the advice of “Show your work”.
EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS
I have owned this lens for over two years and it has been a real workhorse for me because of its versatility. This is not the sharpest, fastest or most convenient lens that I own but when I combine what it gives me shot after shot it is indispensable to me. I will discuss some of the things I don’t like about the lens and then talk about its positives.
The push pull zoom is something I still don’t care for. It takes both hands to manipulate it if it is in a locked position. Fortunately I haven’t had any of the dust problems that some people have talked about because of this design, but I find it to be inconvenient. Also the lens for me seems a bit slow on the auto-focus. This has become very evident to me when I am trying to lock on a bird in flight.
Now to the reasons why it has become my favorite walk-around lens. The tremendous versatility it provides because of its zoom range is valuable to me. I find that I use this lens for shooting landscapes as well as wildlife. I may have the lens mounted on a tripod capturing an image of the patterns and textures of the terrain when I notice a bird come into my vicinity. I can immediately adjust to capture that image without changing my lens. This has even become more of an advantage as I have changed to the 5D Mark II with the full frame sensor. I really enjoy being able to use the 100 mm at its full focal length for the landscapes.
The lens is also fairly light to hand hold and the IS feature works very well. The images are sharp and only start to soften slightly as I use the maximum aperture f5.6 at 400 mm. You will find it is important to remember to turn off the IS when you mount it on a tripod and turn it back on again when you hand hold. I fail to do this once in a while and the image sharpness does suffer.
Below are some images that I have taken with this lens in the Palouse that shows its versatility.
Road to the Clouds by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved - ISO 200 f/13 1/320 200 mm
Ring-necked Pheasant by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved - ISO 800 f/5.6 1/250 260 mm
Red Combine by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved - ISO 200 f/10 1/500 400 mm
Red Barn with Fence by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved - ISO 250 f/11 1/500 120 mm
Mule Deer in Flight by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved - ISO 1600 f/5.6 1/250 400 mm
I would highly recommend this lens to anyone wanting a good quality walk-around zoom lens. Thanks to its versatility and portability, I think you will find it will become one of your favorite tools as well.
Posted in Palouse Landscapes, Wildlife in the Palouse
Tagged animal, barn, clouds, combine, deer, harvest, harvester, landscape, mule deer, Palouse, tractor, windmill
Old Barn and Windmill by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved
While traveling in the Palouse, I am constantly staying alert for a new barn or location. There are literally hundreds of miles of gravel roads that many times have old abandoned homesteads with houses, cabins, barns and all the outbuildings. These can provide a great opportunity for images.
The barn pictured at the top of this post is one of those deserted homesteads. It is readily accessible as it is located near the junction of Highway 12 and Highway 127 about 30 miles north of Dayton. The barn is visible from the road and after about a quarter mile walk you come to the main house on the homestead. The windmill as well as other small buildings will provide many opportunities for photos. One word of caution, be aware of rattlesnakes that can be found in these areas.
Many times it is not possible to get a property release in these situations due to the fact that the homestead had been abandoned many years before. Hopefully you also can be rewarded with new finds and opportunities as you explore.