Tag Archives: Palouse

The Palouse – Through Their Eyes

Time for another in the “Through Their Eyes” series.  This one is from the wonderful and lush Palouse.  This year, I co-led an early spring workshop with my friend Rad Drew and then led my own after that.  I’ve combined both groups in this post.

I have already filled my 2018 Palouse workshop, however, Rad and I have agreed to co-lead another next year the week after mine! We have room and would love to have you along!  You can find the details, and, sign up by clicking this link on Rad’s site.

Remember to click on the images to make them bigger and on the links to see more of their work!

 


 

Jamie C. – It’s of special significance to me because it is an iconic image of American farmland I was hoping to capture when I signed up for the workshop.  But more importantly, it was how I got the shot that is the real story.  John and Steve took us to the farm location for a late afternoon shoot but clouds filled the sky and the image would have been flat.  Then it started to rain — and we dashed out of there before we got stuck in the mud.  But on the drive back to town the skies cleared and thanks to a last minute decision by John and Steve we went back to the farm location and was able to get this wonderful shot.

Jo J. – Because who doesn’t like a halo over a church?

Linda A. – “The image is from a classic spot — Steptoe Butte — but giving it a bit of an abstract treatment emphasizes the curves, shadows and colors of the scene. The elements that remain convey the essence of that beautiful landscape.”

Jamie C.  – I love this image because it combines the rolling beauty of the Palouse wheat fields, with a few artist touches inspired by my fabulous week in the workshop.  

Roxanne S.  (@Tuesdaywoman on Instagram) – It’s the quintessential Palouse shot, I suppose, and even though there are so many shots of the rolling hills of the Palouse, this one makes me smile because it’s mine. It has the lush green rolling hills and a lone tree and for me at least, that lone tree feels like a true subject with personality. That tree’s got Chutzpah standing all by itself in a sea of rolling hills. 😉

Sue M. –   I love wild flowers and this image captures the beauty of the Lupines with the beauty of the Palouse in the background.  To me it captured some of the essence of what is the Palouse.

Marlene M. – Although the iconic landscape shots were what sparked my interest in visiting the Palouse, it is this image to which I keep being drawn. For me, it conveys a sense of lonesomeness, of yearning.

 

Joe P. – I like this photo because of extreme contrasting colors and light.

 

Penny C. –  I love that only the tops of the crests and ridges are aglow; as the sun was sinking lower, this lighting was brief and lovely.

Melony P.R. – This was my second trip to the beautiful Palouse. The beauty here rivals my favorite place on Earth, Hawai’i.   Yes, the landscape takes your breath away, as does the abandoned houses and old barns, cars and trucks that have been in families for generations. But in addition to all of these items that I love to photograph, the ones that capture my heart are the fabulous people that are lucky enough to call the Palouse their home. I find it difficult to photograph people, but on occasion, I get a photo that I like. I got two photos of Palouse icons this trip and years from now when I recall these images, my heart will smile.

Linda C. – I like this image because it shows the wonderfully, sensuous rolling hills which are trademark Palouse.

Shirley W. –  I absolutely loved the grand vistas revealed around every curve of the dirt roads winding through the Palouse.  But having grown up on a dairy farm, seeing the decay and demise of so many family farms made me a bit sad.  This photo, with the lilies still growing as the house falls to ruins and the tattered drapes flap above them, spoke to me of hope.

Lois M. –  I chose this one because it is what I had in my mind’s eye before the photo trip. Rolling hills, light and shadow, beautiful color. And I had fun adding my own touches to it.

Andrea P. –   I call this, “Curves”.  It’s special to me because the first pictuees of the Palouse I ever saw were of undulating hills and beautiful contrasting colors.  That’s what I wanted to see (and I did!!).  This image is, for me, the Palouse!

Dorothy B. – It is from our morning at Steptoe and I love the light on the hills, and of course the crop duster flying through.

Terry R. – Hard to pick one, but this one I did pick because it is distilled to the simplicity of the light on the land and the amazing sky – the essence of the Palouse.

Susan R. – (@image_sir on Instagram) I like it because it reminds me of what the Palouse is…barns, rolling hills of wheat, Canola fields and beautiful scenery.

Andrew M. –

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Horses in the Palouse

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A participant on a previous tour made a wonderful image of this great white fence (below).  With nice clouds in the sky, I decided to stop and create my version on my recent trip. Then some horses decided to come and say hello adding a bit of interest.  

I have already filled my 2017 late May workshop to the Palouse. Thank you for your interest! For those who still want to join me in the Palouse, I am joining Rad Drew for his dates of May 18-23.  More information can be found on Rad’s site here.  We would love for you to join us on this unique offering where we will focus on iPhoneography as well as “traditional DSLR” photography. 

 

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Practice

I took this image with my iPhone which got me thinking about the idea of practicing photography. After all, I was just practicing with this shot.  It is not a shot I will do anything with but I felt good about it because I SAW it!

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How do I practice? How do I approach practicing emotionally, spiritually, physically, mentally. If we think about the music we love, we can easily imagine our favorite musician and the time they put into becoming as good as they are.  The same for our favorite dancer, singer or athlete. My sense, however, is that many don’t see photography as an art form that requires the same kind of practice. I was listening to an interview of a prominent photographer recently. He was speaking about being frustrated with his current job and thought, I’ll become a photographer, it can’t be that hard right?  Of course he said it with a chuckle in the interview, fully realizing now, how hard it is. In my lectures, I speak about wanting to learn to play guitar.  So you go out, make the purchase and commit to practicing at least an hour a month.  Everyone laughs and then I add, why is it with photography many do just this?  They spend a lot of money on equipment and essentially practice a few times a year and wonder why they don’t get better? 

My thinking shifted to that of developing vision and craft.  How do we do this without lots of practice?  This is a lifelong pursuit and there is no arrival point.

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In my minds eye, I can see Dewitt Jones standing in front of a thistle in the Palouse a few years ago. He stood there for about two hours working to get it just right. Most of his practicing that night, was with his digital sketch pad, the iPhone.

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I remember with a bit of embarrassment, visiting my mentor Nancy Rotenberg at her home.  It was the first time I had been invited into her office.  There I found a large custom built light table, full of slides. I asked if I could turn it on and take a look.  I was shocked to see so many, dare I say, average images.  Then, I noticed next to her table was a wastebasket full of slides.  I asked very seriously, “you take bad pictures?” I honestly thought she only made “keepers” and had mastered her craft so well, every shot was great!  The look of shock on her face was memorable! She then explained photography was a process.  Essentially Nancy was saying she needed to practice and for her, practicing was to take a lot of pictures which helped her refine her composition and ultimately achieve her vision.

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Don’t think that practice is all about photographic technique. Oh no, it is also practicing being still and quiet and practicing being a better person.  Jay Maisel when asked, “How do I make more interesting photographs?” responded by saying, “Become a more interesting person!”  We also need to practice our post processing skills so we can better translate our vision to the final image/print.

If you’re like me, you go through times of self doubt and wonder if you have “it.”  I believe sometimes we are just not going to produce a “winner” and that is okay.  Ask any songwriter and they will tell you of the difficult times where they can’t write a thing!  The same for a writer who gets “writers block.”  Why would it be any different for a photographer?  For me, during times of “block” I have learned to be okay with it. I can’t force good images to happen. But, what I can do is practice more. I have learned to lower my expectations, to stop chasing the perfect photograph and be well with where I am right now. 

As always, I’m interested in your thoughts.  How do you practice your photography?

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Palouse Through Their Eyes

I’m excited to present another installment of “Through Their Eyes.” This time from the Palouse!  If you would like to join me next June in the Palouse, I am taking deposits now. Check out my WORKSHOP page!  

Anna Jo –

My favorite image from the Palouse happens to be the first image I shot. It was difficult to choose just one image as my favorite because they are all my favorites.
John and Dan went above and beyond to find us the perfect locales to shoot which made this experience one I will treasure forever.
 
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Carol – To me, this blur captures the essence of my Palouse experience… dreamlike visions of soft patterns.  What I love about the this area is how the light plays on the rolling hills, emphasizing sensuous curves in the landscape and creating varied shades of green.  Driving in the Palouse landscape was a delight for the senses that made me smile and my heart sing.  This was my first trip to the Palouse… thank you John and Dan for a terrific time!
 
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Ann 

Far out to the horizon supported by sensuous green

A distant tree shrouded farmhouse can be barely seen

Haze or blue or cloudy…shadows on the land

Sunlight playing dodge ball beyond where I stand

Clouds of dust fill the air as the truck goes by

Covering my camera I look up to the sky

I see the mythic vision of mystery and light

Photographing the Palouse requires my mystic sight

I review my images…they speak not of that time

Emotions seem to be missing

Prompting my writing this rhyme

Where did the feelings travel?

Did they come back with me?

Hiding within my heart space,

Begging me to see?

Ann Lyssenko Palouse
 

Carla – The trip to the Palouse was one of my VERY favorites of the John Barclay/Dan Sniffin photo tours I have had the privilege to be part of. The task of choosing an image was very difficult because there were so many stunning scenes. I selected this one to show the colors, shapes and patterns that make this area a photographer’s paradise.

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Judy  – The Palouse was such a visual treat to photograph.  I took this as we were leaving Colfax the last day. Many of my images include a windmill and this one was perfectly placed on the canola field just coming into bloom.

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Midge – We travel to one of the most unique areas of the US to photograph and my most favorite image from the trip has nothing to do with the landscape.  Go figure.  But I’ll bet no one else submits an image like mine.  I was in heaven when we stopped at Dave’s Old Truck Rescue in Sprague.  I LOVE old stuff. 

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Beth –  I had a few favorites but settled on this one because I was drawn to this row of trees; every time we drove by them, I wanted to stop but couldn’t so I shot this from the car.

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Danielle – At twilight on Steptoe Butte, admiring the local farmer’s artistic crop design.  I loved the sinewy line leading to the lone tree and the velvety texture of the fields.

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Greg – With hundreds of great images of the rolling hills, old cars, old towns, trains, grain bins and more, the Palouse is just so darn target rich for a place with nothing in it!  Though simple, I’ve liked the story this image tells and it’s composition since I first saw it, and one reason it’s a favorite is that I framed it this way in camera – there is absolutely no cropping here.

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Barbi

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Clouds & Shadows – 2017 Workshops open for deposits.

Once again the amazing Palouse offering up the gift of clouds and shadows.  I have officially added three 2017 workshops and am now taking deposits for Charleston, The Smoky Mountains and The Palouse. Click this link and scroll down on the page.  I will be adding information for the workshops later in 2017 in the next couple of months as I lock in rooms etc.

 

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Palouse #3

I remember thinking how ugly power poles were in a pristine landscape. Then I realized they are part of the landscape and can add interest to the scene or in this case lead the eye into and through the frame. Once again, for me the clouds and cloud shadows are what makes this work. The tractor lines are a nice bonus as well.

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[Tweet “The Palouse”]

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Palouse Shadows

For me, rolling cloud shadows are what makes the Palouse exciting.  I mean, the whole of the Palouse is tremendous, but, when there is a blue sky,white puffy clouds and a bit of wind to move those clouds along, well, that gets my heart racing!  

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The Palouse

This is a tree that is part of an iconic shot from Steptoe Butte.  The clouds were calling me and I obliged.  I love the Palouse and look forward to leading another group next spring.  If you’re interested, I’ll be taking deposits shortly.  Remember click on the image to make it bigger.

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The Palouse Through Their Eyes

I am pleased to present another installment in my “through their eyes” series.  This time a group of images from our participants on our recent Palouse Harvest tour. Harvest came very early this year, but, this group brought their good time with them and made some wonderful images.  Remember to click on the hot link to see more of each participants work.

 

Ginny Brown

“Steptoe Sunrise – It was the last day of the workshop, and we went to Steptoe for a final sunrise shoot.  I really wanted a shot of the “morning tree,” which is a lone tree beautifully illuminated by the sunrise under optimal circumstances, but that wasn’t going to happen that day.  Too much haze, not enough separation between the tree and the background, farm equipment in the way, etc.  So, in spite of taking probably 20 shots, I wasn’t happy and started looking around.  I found this beautiful scene with its curves and patterns, but it was only when I got home and processed the image that I saw what I actually had.  The moral:  be open to all possibilities, let go of preconceived ideas, and trust your vision.”

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Albert Bronson

“Whenever I am photographing with a group, I try to look beyond the subject we came to photograph—in this case, the grand landscape—and find the details that are often overlooked within the landscape. On the recent Palouse Harvest tour, I found a case of empty soda bottles that had become home to a spider. A floating seed had settled into the web. The juxtaposition of the natural and manmade caught my eye. The deep green glass of the bottles presented a pleasing contrast with the cobwebs and seed nested among them.”

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Kris Morgan

“The Palouse is filled with wondrous variety…from patterns created by the rolling hills and fields of wheat, weathered barns, buildings, and beautiful skies, old cars and trucks, sunflowers, silos, and wind turbines,  to wonderful surprises like the old wheel fence at Dahmen Farm. The challenge, especially with repeat visits, is to capture these treasures, the sense of place, the visual design in unique, creative ways that go “beyond the handshake”. It is this challenge that makes the Palouse a favorite and the nurturing and encouragement that comes with traveling with John, Dan, and friends enriches the experience making it special.”

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Rona Schwarz – Steptoe Blur

“It is probably my favorite or one of my favorites of about two dozen that I did.  One of the reasons it is a favorite is that I love to create blurs for me it captures the essence of the rolling hills and the harvest colors as well as the majesty of the region.”

 

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Joe Bumgardner

“I am drawn to this particular image because of its simplicity. It is illuminated with complimentary lighting. The composition contains pleasing elements of design including contrasting curves, lines, pattern, texture, color, and shape; it also contains my favorite subject matter ‘nature’!”

2015 Palouse Images captured by Joe R. Bumgardner, M.D.

2015 Palouse Images captured by Joe R. Bumgardner, M.D.

Nancy Fezell

“From the first time I saw the Palouse, I was captivated by the patterns on the land –  made by nature and by man. I loved the gentle, undulating hills, the colors and shades of the crops in different seasons, and the stripes and circles left on the land after the harvest. Together, nature and man have created a unique landscape.”

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Wendy Hannum

“The essence of the Palouse to me during the wheat harvest is the actual harvesting.  The combines themselves add substance to a static landscape.   I loved the signature patterns they cut into the fields.  It is as much art as function.”

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Debbie Winchester 

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Beamie Young 

“My favorite is Auntie Em’s house. I love the shadows, and the tracks in the wheat make it look like someone had to make a quick exit. That gets my imagination going…”

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Jeff Levine

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You Bring Your Good Time With You

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I am just back from co-leading a tour to one of our most popular and favorite locations, the Palouse. We chose the week we did to photograph the amber waves of grain during the height of the harvest. Well, the weather in the Palouse has been unusually hot this year, the harvest was pretty much done by the time we arrived. During our meet and greet session, we always cover items like, stay hydrated, use sunscreen, be courteous, car pool, etc. This year we added a new rule, wisdom from Dan’s Mom, “you bring your good time with you.” I also added a concept I speak about often in my lectures, beware of expectations. With these two ideas firmly in place, we went about photographing the “harvest.” On a day where we had 106 degree heat, I did a processing session, before I started, I spoke to the group about how wonderful they were. How they truly had brought their good time with them and it showed. We were battling some difficult heat and hazy conditions, yet they were having a blast and making extraordinary images! No grumbling from anyone, in fact quite the opposite. So, next time you encounter conditions that are not optimal, beware of expectations and remember Dan’s Mom and her “you bring your good time with you” wisdom. I promise you’ll have a much better time.

Today’s image is from an abandoned grain elevator. I pay homage to Chuck Kimmerle on this one. Yes, I know I’ve broken a sacred rule of composition, do you care? Does it bother you? Obviously it does not bother me, I posted the image.

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