A Worthy Sunrise

The weather forecast for the Inland Northwest doesn’t look good for the next week.  However, today was suppose to be partly cloudy.  The clouds increased soon after sunrise but the sunrise conditions were great.  I decided to gamble on a orange-red, cloud filled sunrise over the Palouse so I headed back to McCroskey Skyline Drive.  As dawn approached I could make out clouds in the sky…not too many but just the right amount.  I finally made it to the Drive and parked at 6:50am.  About 25 minutes later the light show started.  Initially I had my wide-angle zoom on but decided to catch a few detailed shots with my telephoto zoom instead.  The eastern sky was already changing color and the reflected light onto the Palouse was a rich, red glow.  Right as I took those shots the cloud’s colors began to change dramatically.  I snapped a shot with the telephoto still on and then quickly changed out to the wide-angle zoom.  I also had to set up my filters again (shooting with a 3-soft stop GND and and 3-stop reverse GND).  The colorful clouds were too far above Steptoe Butte and the Palouse to capture them at 70mm.  My wide angle was able to capture the scene much better.  All around a variety of clouds were glowing.  It was one of the best sunrises I’ve seen.  I’m glad I decided to get up early and take a shot at the last decent sunrise I’ll see in about a week.  Here is a series of five photos from this morning.

Sunrise over Steptoe Butte - Telephoto (70mm)

Sunrise over Steptoe Butte - Telephoto (32mm)

Looking northwest from Skyline Drive

Palouse Dawn Detail


4 thoughts on “A Worthy Sunrise

  1. Looks like we just missed each other, Aaron. I was in the area on the 3rd and 4th but mainly concentrated on Palouse Falls (eastern side of river). Now I’m a bit down that I didn’t stay one more day. Excellent shots and well-worth getting up a bit early. Check out my site for a few Palouse Falls takeaways.

  2. Nice job on all the basic views Aaron. I really like the predawn detail, as it has all the patterns that keep me coming back to shoot this magic place over and over.

  3. Hi Aaron,
    Love these makes me want to go there but the weather is as you say not going to be good for awhile, you made a good choice to go out there.
    Keep the lens cap off….

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