Photography in the Palouse region of Washington was all about light, weather and landscapes

Ansel Adams, the great U.S. 20th century landscape photographer, is reputed to have said: “Bad weather makes for good photography.”

That was certainly true on a visit to the Palouse region of Washington State at the end of April. But I would add that: “Changing weather and light in a unique landscape makes for great photography.”

Maureen and I took my camper down there as part of a semi-official Osoyoos Photography Club outing. It ended up being just two other couples and we were on our own schedules, but we did meet up for dinner on the Monday night followed by a scramble in separate vehicles with camera gear to make it to the top of Steptoe Butte before the best of sunset light.

Steptoe Butte, at around 1,100 metres above sea level, affords views in a 360-degree panorama as you climb a spiraling road up the butte. Below are the undulating grain fields — they appear like sand dunes in shape because they were formed long ago by loess soils dropped by the winds.

We arrived the Sunday evening with just enough time to deposit the trailer at the trailer park in Steptoe and make it to a southwest view partway up the butte. For hours we’d been watching storm clouds forming over the plains, but in isolated areas of the sky forming their own little micro weather systems. The lowering sun bathed the storms in gold and cast shadows over the “dunes,” lighting up the green fields.

I photographed the constantly changing landscape as the sun fell below the horizon and the weather moved through.

Here’s a selection of photos for those in a hurry. For a larger collection of Palouse trip photos, see my Flickr Album.

Richard McGuire

Click on thumbnails to view as gallery with larger images:

The setting sun casts shadows on the undulating land of the Palouse, Washington as seen from Steptoe Butte in late April. Isolated rainstorms create moody skies. (Richard McGuire Photo)

The setting sun casts shadows on the undulating land of the Palouse, Washington as seen from Steptoe Butte in late April. Isolated rainstorms create moody skies. (Richard McGuire Photo)

The setting sun casts shadows on the undulating land of the Palouse, Washington as seen from Steptoe Butte in late April. Isolated rainstorms create moody skies. (Richard McGuire Photo)

The setting sun casts shadows on the undulating land of the Palouse, Washington as seen from Steptoe Butte in late April. Isolated rainstorms create moody skies. (Richard McGuire Photo)

The setting sun casts shadows on the undulating land of the Palouse, Washington as seen from Steptoe Butte in late April. Isolated rainstorms create moody skies. (Richard McGuire Photo)

The setting sun casts shadows on the undulating land of the Palouse, Washington as seen from Steptoe Butte in late April. Isolated rainstorms create moody skies. (Richard McGuire Photo)

The setting sun casts shadows on the undulating land of the Palouse, Washington as seen from Steptoe Butte in late April. Isolated rainstorms create moody skies. (Richard McGuire Photo)

As the sun sets, shadows are cast across the rolling hills of the Palouse below Steptoe Butte in Washington State. (Richard McGuire Photo)

As the sun sets, shadows are cast across the rolling hills of the Palouse below Steptoe Butte in Washington State. (Richard McGuire Photo)

As the sun sets, shadows are cast across the rolling hills of the Palouse below Steptoe Butte in Washington State. (Richard McGuire Photo)

As the sun sets, shadows are cast across the rolling hills of the Palouse below Steptoe Butte in Washington State. (Richard McGuire Photo)

As the sun sets, shadows are cast across the rolling hills of the Palouse below Steptoe Butte in Washington State. (Richard McGuire Photo)

As the sun sets, shadows are cast across the rolling hills of the Palouse below Steptoe Butte in Washington State. (Richard McGuire Photo)

 

 

About Richard McGuire

Richard McGuire is a photographer and photojournalist based in Osoyoos in the South Okanagan region of British Columbia, Canada.

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