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The Palouse from Steptoe Butte

Discussion in 'Landscapes, Architecture, and Cityscapes' started by Palouse, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. Spent Sunday at "the office" watching and photographing the Palouse harvest from atop Steptoe Butte. Here are some of my successes, all taken with a D2X using 80-200 AFS, 24-85 2.8-4 orTokina 12-24. It is one of the first days behind a camera this year (Yeah, It has been THAT kind of a year!) but that will change.

    The butte is 3,612-foot-tall cone-shaped "mountain" of quartzite butte that provides a great perch from which to watch the harvest and sunset. It also casts a great shadow and provides a 360 panorama.

    Comments and criticism are welcome. PLEASE!


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    #3 and 4

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    see the deer?
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    #7 and 8
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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2007
  2. Beautiful images. I love the rolling hills and the layers of colours..Artsy!
    What are you harvesting?
  3. Oh, I'm not the farmer! Right now wheat (the light fields) and peas/lentils (the fields with the dark bands).
  4. One more--ants on a table cloth?
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  5. a picture of Steptoe itself (taken from the Washington State Parks home page):

  6. yamo


    Jun 28, 2007
    Santa Cruz, CA

    Greetings. Nice collection... I particularly like the third one. To my taste, they could all use some levels adjustment, some contrast adjustment and as a group a bit more sky. I'd be interested in seeing number 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, & 7 with a bit more pop (I think there could be greatness there)...

    Have you seen Michael Reichmann's series on the Palouse over at Luminous Landscape? Worth a look (of course his were taken with a Hasselblad H2 with a 45 megapixel back, uh, something toward $75K for the equipment).



  7. Thanks Yamo,
    I probably agree with your assessment regarding levels/contrast. These were all batch processed from NEFs to small PJGs using NX. I didn't adjust anything. On my home system #1 looks as close to the real thing. I will probably play with them this weekend prior to printing.
    Thanks for the link to Michael's work. I'd seen it, but it always makes for a fun read anytime.
    The sky was rather blah most of that day, so opted to leave it out when I could. I did use a polarizer on a couple to see if I could intensify it.
    Thanks again for the candor.
  8. Personally like #3 & 7 the best! I agree the post processing comments.
  9. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    A nice series, All of these make really excellent use of the the low-lying light of morning/evening. Since you asked for critiques I'll comment more specifically on a few. I'm looking at these on an uncalibrated monitor at work, so I'll limit my comments more to composition than color or tone.

    I think the first would look better as a pano without the bottom third of the frame; the foreground is dark and empty, and just doesn't really add to the image. But I do like the subdued lighting on the rest of the sense.

    The third shot is really well executed. Not only do you have the great interplay of light and shadow from the hills, but the "patchwork" of the fields also provides and interesting element. The trees/buildings add a nice sense of scale. I think this is my favorite shot.

    The second-to-last has a really nice sense of depth, there seem to be mulitple layers of receding hill. I might like to see a little bit more of the darker area (treeline) at the bottom of the frame; or maybe crop it out altogether.

    It's a really beautiful area, I'll definitely have to visit some day.
  10. Having lived decades ago in Colfax and Dusty I really enjoyed your images.............if memory serves me, when the barley changes to dark green with a hint of silver, and, the there is a gentle breeze, the colors are spectacular......I have never forgotten the variety of colors in your area. . . the wife however missed the "green" of Western Washington. . . she doesn't like the rain however!
  11. Thanks Jeff, those comments do help. One of the most liberating things about digital printing is being able to play with all manner of cropping solutions. I will definitely try out your suggestions. I find the colors and tones and shadows very seductive- I just love the rich, even somber hues, but I do so at the expense of some of the other details in the scene.

    Gerald, yes barley is a very seductive crop! I drive through Colfax and Dusty a lot--I have a project in the Dayton area (Columbia county) and I've been down there 2-3 times a week since April. There are some wonderful shots begging to be made of the horses on the ranch where one turns off of highway 26 to get on 127 at Dusty. Someday :Happy: !!

    Feel free to holler if you ever get out this way.
  12. Beautiful work, Nick. Gorgeous contours and soft colors. #3 is my favorite.
  13. Bob Mohr

    Bob Mohr

    Oct 20, 2005
    Baltimore, MD
    Really liked #3. Sidelighting makes it three dimensional, and the colors are so soft.
  14. I've been meaning to take the processing advice you all gave me, but with the new semester starting in a week, I've had to put in long days at the office. Now times to play with NX--besides having to reacquaint myself with NX 1.2--subtle changes. To rub this loss of time in even deeper, my 17-55 arrived on Thursday--I've managed a few shots around the house, but no real test. We have house guests today, so perhaps Sunday will be my day!

    Thanks for all the comments.
  15. Wonderful images ... reminds me of my days at WSU. GO COUGS!!


  16. Thanks Ken, I'll pass that on to my wife, she teaches at WSU--and any compliments my work gets can only be good for my lens lust!:Shocked:
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