The Palouse is a region in southeastern Washington and north central Idaho. It is a major agriculture area which mainly produces wheat and legumes. At one point the Palouse was Washington's most populated region, even surpassing the Puget Sound (Seattle) area. Many people have never even heard of the Palouse and I was one of them up until about 3 or 4 years ago. I saw some photos that a friend had made and they reminded me so much of Tuscany that I really wanted to go. I was finally able to arrange to go on a photo tour of the Palouse last summer. The tour was led by Jack Lien, a native of the area who was an excellent tour guide.
The above map shows the area of the Palouse where we went. We stayed in Colfax, Washington. The forest fires in Alberta, BC and Washington made for very hazy conditons which made it challenging for making photos. As you will be able to see in some of the photos, there is a definite haze in the skies. Apart from rolling hills in the Palouse, there were also many abandoned barns and other interesting structures we stopped to photograph. Since I was there in August, harvest season was in full swing. In the spring, the hills are alive with greens but during harvest season, there are fields of gold. I will definitely try to go back in the spring as well since it would be so different.
On the first evening we were hoping for a sunset but the air was much too smoky. You can barely make out the hills in the background. Still I thought this barn was interesting enough to include it. Since there was no color, I chose to process the photograph in a sepia tone.
During the same night we came across this beautiful lone tree. Again because of the lack of colours, I liked the black and white version of the photo better than the color one.
The next morning we went out to photograph some sunflower fields.
There is a well known spot in Whitman Country where you can find a number of old and colorful farm trucks.
Of course being farm country, there were barns everywhere. I couldn't decide if I liked the photograph in color or black and white better so I included both.
The rolling hills of the Palouse. Because I was there in August during harvest season, there were golden hills everywhere.
I really enjoyed making photos with the patterns of the fields.
We went back to photograph the same tree from the first night. This time there was a bit more of a sunset but you can still see how hazy the skies were.
The next morning we were up early to photograph the sunrise.
This shot and the next few shots show off the patterns of the wheat fields.
One of the many barns we drove by.
A very well known wagon wheel fence at Dahmen Barn. This barn was used as a commercial dairy operation until 1953. The surrounding wheel fence was built over a 30 year period with contributions from the family and friends. There are actually wheels from almost every type of machine. Today there are over 1,000 wheels.
Another abandoned? farm. We were always careful to not trespass on any of the farms so all shots were taken from the road. The Palouse is a very popular spot among photographers but unfortunately, there are many who trespass on private/abandoned land and give a bad name to the rest of us.
I really enjoyed the landscape in this part of the world.