Whitman County Growers


Whitman County Growers

A farm and surrounding landscape as viewed from Steptoe Butte in Washington State’s incomparable Palouse region

Well, I’ve been waiting to post the next series of images for quite a while. When I left for the Palouse, there were two spots on my shot list that I just had to visit. Frankly, if I could have visited these two spots and nowhere else the trip would have been worthwhile. At least that was the way I felt before we left. As it turned out, there was much more to see in Washington than I had planned on. Still, those two spots did turn out to be some of my favorite locations for the entire trip. Where were they? For those of you who follow my blog, you might know that the first one was Palouse Falls. You can see my blog post about this amazing location here. The other location was Steptoe Butte.

Steptoe Butte is a volcanic outcropping in the midst of the Palouse. It isn’t the only such feature, but it is the one that offers the best views of the surrounding farmland. Steptoe Butte rises about 1,000 feet above the surrounding countryside and allows some amazing views from the road that rises to its summit. The road circles the butte on the way to the top so each bend offers a fresh perspective of the Palouse.

This image was taken in the late afternoon. In my opinion, the best time to shoot from Steptoe Butte is in the first hour after sunrise or the last hour before sunset. When the sun is close to the horizon, the shadows of the rolling hills of the Palouse are long and dramatic. The softer light also amplifies the colors of the fields and soil of the fertile farmland.

I set up my D700 atop my tripod and attached my 70-200 lens and a 2x teleconverter. This allowed me to frame tight shots of the rolling hills, barns, farms, and trees found nearby. In some cases I shot only the hills and shadows rendering a bit of an abstract look. For this image, I felt the farm surrounded by the green hills should be shown together. I composed this image just before the sun dropped so low that the last bit of light on the foreground would have been lost altogether.

As you can see from the silo or grain elevator (I honestly don’t know the proper term), the name Whitman County Growers is emblazoned on the side. Thus, the name of this image was born. Hopefully, you will enjoy viewing this image as much as I did taking it. If you do, there are plenty more to view in the future. We spent an amazing sunset and sunrise atop Steptoe Butte. There will be more to come soon.



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