Photographing the Palouse at Sunrise and Sunset

Mary waiting for sunset on Steptoe Butte
Mary waiting for sunset on Steptoe Butte

If you want to get the “classic” Palouse photo of rolling green hills with barns and buildings with crisp shadows and beautiful yellow light, you must photograph at sunrise and sunset.  The mid-day sun will not produce the shadows you need on the low hills.  Doing this around the summer solstice means long days starting around 4 AM and ending around 10 PM.  Here is how to do it.

The most popular location for sunrise and sunset is Steptoe Butte.  See our blog about this spot for more information.

A popular subject from Steptoe Butte
A popular subject from Steptoe Butte

You have to do a lot of driving in the Palouse to find ideal locations.  It is best to have someone with experience who has scouted the locations and best times for you.  We were on a workshop led by Jack Graham and Bill Fortney.  See their websites for workshops and other useful information.

Mary on Clear Creek Road
Sunrise on Clear Creek Road
Here is one possible composition from this location
View from Clear Creek Road
A simple, but beautiful location on Hubner Road
A simple, but beautiful location on Hubner Road
Our workshop group shooting a great barn
Our workshop group shooting a nice red barn
Another simple composition
A simple composition
Another great location just outside of Colfax on HWY 272
Another great location just outside of Colfax on HWY 272

There are many locations and subjects in the Palouse.  You will need both wide angle and telephoto lenses.  We mostly used our 70-200 mm for the landscape shoots as you are standing on the roads and trying to stay out of the wheat fields.

Here are links to more Palouse information: Photographing Palouse Falls blogCreative Techniques in the Palouse, Steptoe Butte, and Photographing Palouse Barns.

To see (and buy) our photographs, please go to www.pamphotography.com.

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