Tag Archives: farming

Lentil Harvest in the Palouse

Lentil Harvest in the Palouse by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

Lentil Harvest in the Palouse by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

Harvest has finally begun in the Palouse. Everything is several weeks later than normal but a visit now will allow you to see the harvest in full swing. Farmers work long hours each day to get the fields cut and the seeds into storage. In addition to the cereal crops of wheat and barley, lentils are also grown and harvested in the Palouse region.

Patterns of Rows by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

Patterns of Rows by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

Palouse farmers generally harvest lentils by mowing and swathing, or they may combine the crop. Swathing is often necessary to kill green weeds and allow them to dry so the lentils can be threshed efficiently. Plants are usually swathed when the pods turn a cream to golden color; then older pods will be dry and their seeds firm.

Lentil Patterns by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

Lentil Patterns by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

The images in this blog were all taken from Steptoe Butte in eastern Washington. This high vantage point gives an almost aerial view so the many patterns and contours of the land and crops can be appreciated. Lentil harvest provides beautiful colors and patterns to enrich the landscape in this picturesque region. Visit this region and come away with some truly unique and colorful images of the harvest.

Use lines and patterns to move through an image

Patterns in the Hay by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

Patterns in the Hay by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

As you are composing your images look for elements to use as leading lines. in the image above I used the patterns in the hay to draw attention to the barns and lead you through the image.

In the second image the grass leads to the ramp and up to the door.  It invites you to enter the barn as well as enter the image and explore.

Entrance to Old Barn by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

Entrance to Old Barn by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

In the final image below the diagonal line of the grass leads your eye to the barn and on throughout the image. The road also adds to leading you through the image by taking you to the stop sign in the distance.

Red Barn near Dirt Road by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

Red Barn near Dirt Road by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

These are just a few examples of using elements as you compose to add interest and provide an entry point and a way for your eye to move through the image.


Preparation is a key to a successful image

Ready to Work by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

Ready to Work by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

When you are going on a photo shoot be prepared. I will be traveling to the Palouse for a two day trip to shoot a specific barn that I have been scouting. My preparation for this trip includes the photo gear that will be required for the images that I intend to capture.

In addition to the actual gear, I have looked at sunrise and sunset times, moon rise and set times as well as the predicted weather for the next few days.. This information allows me to plan for the images that I will be taking. I have also contacted the barn owner to let them know I am coming and to check to see the growth in the fields and the colors that will be in the area surrounding the barn.

Since I have scouted this barn previously I am able to use the information I have collected and visualize the shot that I want to take. If all elements are in place as I have envisioned, I should get the opportunity for a good photo.

We can’t always control all the elements but planning definitely increases your chances for capturing a worthwhile  and useful image.

Old Barns are Disappearing

Clouds behind Red Barn by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

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

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

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.

Beauty and Change in the Palouse

Cupola Acts as Chimney for Clouds by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

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

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.

Transition between Seasons Provides Interest

Winter Wheat Leads to Barn by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

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

Evening Light in Early Spring by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights REserved

Look for the Unexpected

 

 

Rainbow in the Palouse by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

Rainbow in the Palouse by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

I was exploring around Colfax Washington on my way to Yellowstone National Park and noticed that the colors that the Palouse is renowned for are a bit late this year. The winter wheat is starting to show some green but many of the fields are still brown just showing dirt.

Fortunately I was able to find color in the form of a rainbow in a rain squall that was moving through the area. This is pictured in the photo at the top of this post. It seems there is always something interesting and beautiful in the Palouse even if it is not what you expected.

Image adjustments with Color Efex Pro 3.0

I have been using the Nik software Color Efex Pro 3.0 plug-in for Aperture for a couple of months. It has become an integral part of my workflow on many images. I will be showing a couple of adjustments to an image that I feel are valuable and very easily applied with this software.

I enjoy shooting large agricultural equipment in the working environment so that is what I will use for the demonstration of this program. My favorite equipment company for images is John Deere because the bright green and yellow colors always stand out so well against the landscape or sky. The first image below is the original image as it was captured.

Combine at Work 1 by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

Combine at Work 1 by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

In the 2nd image I added a polarizing filter that is available in the Nik software. This filter has several adjustments available. They are set to the following defaults:

Rotate – 90%

Strength – 100% (60%) In parentheses it shows the opacity that I set for this image.

These adjustments with this filter give a little more pop to the image and also takes away some of the glare.

Combine at Work 2 by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

Combine at Work 2 by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

In the 3rd image the tonal contrast filter was applied. The adjustments that are available are shown with their defaults and my adjustment in parentheses.

Highlight contrast – 30  (15)

Midtone contrast – 30 (15)

Shadows contrast – 30 (20)

Combine at Work 3 by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

Combine at Work 3 by Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved

I feel this filter gives a little more definition to the image. Each of these adjustments was slight but each one helps to enhance the image as I had seen it. I hope these adjustments are clearly demonstrated event though the images are small.

This software program has many other filters which are easy to apply and the opacity can also be adjusted. Another important feature is that you can apply multiple filters as I demonstrated to the same image. I hope you have found this information to be useful and consider adding this useful program to your workflow.