I’m Looking Through You

I'm Looking Through You

The oval holes in this rail car allowed me to see through to the sloping hills beyond

I’m always trying to think of some catchy phrase when thinking of titles for my photographs. All too often, I settle for ‘Flower in Garden’ or something incredibly obvious like that. So, with apologies to the Beatles, I’ve taken this title. It does seem appropriate, though, doesn’t it?

For much of the Washington trip, we really didn’t have an agenda. We knew of two or three sights to see in any given day. Or, we knew where we wanted to begin or end the day. For much of the rest of the day, we took wandering routes looking for new images to capture. This image is a result of some of that rambling.

As we drove through southeast Washington, we saw many miles of railroad track. The railroads appear to be the principal means for shipping crops to market in these parts. Generally speaking, the grain silos are located adjacent to a track. The crops are loaded from the silos onto container cars and carried to ports for processing or to be shipped overseas. I think we both had the idea to stop at about the same time. As our car passed we could see through the slots of these cars to the fields beyond. There had to be an image in there somewhere.

I don’t know what type of car this is. I suspect it has to do with carrying lumber since it is a BC (British Columbia) Rail car. I don’t know that for certain though. If anyone reading knows what they are used to haul, I’d certainly like to find out. I spent the first few minutes just looking at the possibilities. I knew that I wanted to capture an image that showed the landscape beyond through the rail car. I took several images close up with just one or two of the ovals and the hillside beyond. I tried to isolate the ovals so that no writing was apparent in the shot. I thought it would be neat to make an abstract image where the viewer didn’t really know what he was looking at. In the end, I settled on this image as my favorite. I love the contrast of blue sky and green field and the juxtaposition of the ovals against the gently curving hillside in the background.

I included one of the closeup shots below. I hope you enjoy one or both of them.

I'm Looking Through You - closeup

A closeup view of a rail car in Farmington, WA


Palouse Grain Elevators


Palouse Grain Elevators

A row of grain elevators in the Palouse region of Washington and Idaho

Although the Palouse is beautiful and a photographer’s paradise, it is first and foremost an agricultural region. The area of southeastern Washington and a small slice of western Washington is collectively known as the Palouse. The region is very fertile when irrigated and produces wheat, lentils, and a variety of other crops.

As I’ve already mentioned, barns can be found in abundance in the Palouse. The same is true for grain silos and elevators. It seems that every community and many individual farms have large grain elevators. Some are simply functional structures. Many, however, are also beautiful works of art.

This row of grain elevators was in extreme western Idaho between Moscow and Potlatch. I was looking for a church that I had heard about when I saw this set of structures. The morning had dawned cloudy and threatened rain. Yet, the soft, subtle light allowed me to hold some detail in the sky while also capturing the texture of the elevators and the green field surrounding it. This image works for me in much the same way some earlier images from this trip worked. The clean lines and geometry of the elevators are the real star of the show. The contrast between the green field below and the gray sky above just adds to the image. Enjoy.