Fog on a Winter Morning - Copyright Gary Hamburgh - All Rights Reserved
When shooting landscapes in the Palouse, I like to use the layers of the rolling terrain to add depth to the image. As you can see in the image at the top of this post the contours of the hills help to show that the fog is in the distance. To me it is important to create as much depth as I can in a landscape by showing foreground as in the first layer of the field, midground where the barn is located and finally the background where the fog is viewed.
Using layers to create more interest in your landscapes gives your eyes the chance to keep moving through the image. The contours in the Palouse allow you to utilize this technique very effectively.
Yellow and Green Fields - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved
During the winter when days are cold and bleak, I like to remember the beauty of the Palouse by looking at images from another season. The picture at the top of this post was taken last summer when the canola fields were in full bloom. The temperature was in the 90’s, I was dressed in shorts and enjoying the sunshine.
As I heard the news this morning, it was reported the temperature was 7 degrees with a possibility of snow in the Palouse. In Seattle where I live it is in the low 20’s. It definitely did me some good to look at the images from this summer to brighten my spirits and warm my inner soul.
Enjoy your images and see if it works for you.
Red Barn in Fresh Snow - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved
I was very interested in an article by Scott Bourne on Photofocus that discusses what to include in the composition of an image. I found the suggestions to be useful and hopefully they will help you as well as you develop not only your photo skills but also your ability to see what makes a good composition.
Read, learn and enjoy.
Old Truck Hiding in the Weeds - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved
I would like to share a tutorial by Nicole Young on building an action to sharpen images that I found on Photofocus. She provides a good explanation and easy to follow method. Try it and see how it works for you. Thanks Nicole.
The image at the top of this post was taken in the Palouse. Many times you see abandoned vehicles near an old farm house. I like to shoot them as they tend to show a bit of history about the environment. It seems to me that very few farmers ever get rid of a vehicle. They just seem to add them to their “vehicle boneyard” somewhere on their property.
Textured Snow with Red Barn - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved
I have always loved to shoot landscapes during transition times of the year. These periods usually only last for a few days at most. In the Palouse the time between winter and spring can give some great venues
I was visiting in the Palouse last February and ventured out in the early morning to explore the countryside around Colfax, Wa. The images in this post are the result of that early morning trip. The air was crisp and cold with the temperature in the high 20’s.
February Morning in the Palouse - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 209 - All Rights Reserved
The picture at the top of this post shows a lot of texture in the snow as the day before it had been raining and windy. The other two images were taken on my way to Steptoe Butte. By the way as I arrived at Steptoe Butte a little later, the road was still snow covered and not passable to the top even with my 4 wheel drive.
Snow is Vanishing - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved
If you are in the Palouse during February or early March remember to take advantage of the fleeting time between seasons. As always the terrain provides beautiful landscapes.
January Morning at Winn Barn - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved
I am always looking for a different perspective of photographing familiar areas and subjects. One of my favorite barns is located on Winn Road near Weston, Oregon. This is about one hour south of the Palouse. I visit this barn at all times of the year and at various times of the day. I am rarely disappointed in the images I capture at this spot.
On a January morning, I arrived at this barn about 30 minutes before sunrise and prepared to capture the barn at sunrise. To my delight as the sun was rising a fog filled the area where the barn was situated. I took my first image which is shown at the top of this post. As I waited the light was changing as can be seen in the image below. I also liked the black and white version of this image so included it as well.
January Morning at Winn Barn 2 - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved
January Morning at Winn Barn 2 b&w - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved
Finally as the sun got higher in the sky the fog lifted and the barn and its clouds were very visible as seen in the final image. As you can see, by remaining in place I was able to capture several different images with a variety of moods of the same composition.
January Morning at Winn Barn 2009 - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved
I would suggest trying this procedure as you may be amazed at the image that is available with just a change of light or conditions.
Afternoon at Palouse Falls 1 - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Righs Reserved
One of my favorite places to visit in eastern Washington is Palouse Falls State Park. The scenery leading to the park is actually quite mundane with a few cattle grazing on land that doesn’t appear to have much grass. When you make the final descent into the park the vista that opens up in front of you is quite amazing with the deep canyon walls and of course the falls.
As much as I like to visit this area, it is one of the most difficult spots to photograph. You need to be there when the sun is high overhead so the the falls will be in light. At this time of day the light is very harsh and the canyon walls are still in shadows.
I have tried to create an HDR image in Photomatix to capture this high contrast scene but for me it never is quite right mainly because of the breezes that constantly move the mist around the falls and the slight movement in the grasses.
The image at the top of this post was processed with a few adjustments that I will describe to you. I feel it gives the best representation of the view that I see when I visit this area. Below is the image that I captured in camera as I exposed for the waterfall to retain the highlights.
Afternoon at Palouse Falls - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved
The processing I used was very minimal but it did open up the necessary areas. I opened up the shadows a bit in Aperture to start with. Next I went to Nik Color Efex Pro 3.0 and used the tonal contrast filter. This gave the image a little bit more pop and created for me the image that I had seen. I have shown the finished image again below so that you can see the comparison of before and after.
Afternoon at Palouse Falls 1 - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved
Visiting Palouse Falls is a must side trip if you are in the Palouse region. Just remember to go when the sun is high and plan your post processing as you capture your images.
Farm in the Palouse - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved
Creativity for most of us at times seems to be elusive. It seems we have the tendency in our work to go into a deep fog. It is difficult to drag ourselves out because we feel we have to do something totally awesome to get our creativity back.
My mentor Scott Bourne
has posted an article on Photofocus
that speaks to this issue of creativity. I find it very insightful as it offers some perspectives I hadn’t considered. Give it a read and see if the points hit home with you.
The final thought expresses being creative is “being you”.
Colors Enhance the Sky - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved
As I travel the Palouse I am always amazed at the beauty of the land. Another element that adds to the landscape is the awesome sky. In the image at the top of this post, the brilliant colors of a rainbow enhance this sky.
It seems that many times in the late afternoon and early evening dramatic skies present themselves. I like to use a polarizer as I shoot in these situations because it really brings out the colors in the skies.
Remember using the dramatic colors and contrast you see in the clouds and skies can really add to the beauty of the Palouse landscape.
Osprey - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved
In the last couple of weeks I have observed several varieties of raptors in my travels in the Palouse. I saw the osprey at the top of this post while photographing a fly fishing trip on the Grande Ronde River in eastern Washington. The bald eagle in the picture below was observed near Asotin, WA. Bald eagles are not as plentiful in the Palouse as they are in western Washington so I was happy to spot this one.
Bald Eagle - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved
In the final images is a juvenile red tailed hawk that I saw just to the east of Cheney, WA. If you are interested in photographing raptors there are several varieties that can be seen throughout the Palouse. I keep my eyes open and my camera on the seat next to me so that I am ready if I observe one of these graceful, powerful birds.
Red Tailed Hawk 1 - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved
Red Tailed Hawk 2 - Copyright Gary Hamburgh 2009 - All Rights Reserved