The Palouse

Photographer Ron Basinger provided the details and images for the Palouse destination.

The Palouse is a region that encompasses parts of southwestern Washington and north central Idaho.  While this area is primarily agricultural producing wheat and legumes, its rolling country sides make it a place of many different photographic opportunities.  In the spring, the hills are covered with the rich shades of greens of growing grain and the bright yellow blooms of canola.  In the autumn, the colors turn to rich, golden yellows.  Farming has been the main stay for this area of rich, fertile land for many years.  The history and colors of this region make it a unique place to visit and photograph.

Steptoe Butte rises in the middle of these rolling hills and is a great place to view and photograph the countryside.  The images from this spot are best captured early in the morning or near sunset.  It is possible to get 360 degree views from the top of Steptoe Butte and one can see three states from the overlook.  The patterns of light and shadow on the hillsides make this a must stop for all visitors.

The Palouse is dotted with many red and white barns, some of which are weathered and falling down.  There is also old, rusting farm equipment and abandoned houses that can be captured by the lens.  Many days have wonderful clouds which add to the photographic opportunities.  Because of the agricultural heritage of this area, there are many grain elevators that can be captured.  Located on the Palouse River approximately two hours from this area is the Palouse Falls, which should be visited in the late afternoon for best lighting.

Visitors to the Palouse can fly into Spokane and drive south into this region.  I recommend staying in either Pullman or Colfax.  Pullman is a major college town with many motels and restaurants.  The days are long in the summer, so it takes endurance to shoot at both sunrise and sunset.  I recommend planning to spend at least 4 or 5 days in the area, since the weather and conditions vary greatly from day to day.

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