Palouse and Tilt-Shift Fun

It has been a busy summer for photography and work (non-photography-related job).  I have fallen behind terribly and aim to get caught up with a few posts before Thanksgiving.  I have two ready to go and will start off with this one.

Last year I started offering photo tours of the Palouse.  Though I haven’t lived in the area that long, I’ve definitely put in the time to learn the back roads, of which I’ve counted over 400 in Whitman County alone.  Though the client’s photographic productivity and enjoyment of the area is foremost, I also take my gear to occasionally capture a few frames.  This has allowed me to have fun using just one lens or trying a different lens at familiar spots. I own the 24 tilt-shift and have borrowed the 90 tilt-shift (both Canon). My use of these lenses have been for DOF, perspective correction, and panoramic stitching.  The 90mm lens did not get as much use and I had more of a learning curve so satisfactory shots were harder to come by; one will be shared in the next post.

The first image was taken with the 24mm. Both a downward tilt and downward shift were used along with a 2-stop reverse GND for the sky.  I also shifted upwards to capture enough of the sky; the filter had to be readjusted upon shifting so the gradation line was kept uniform at the horizon.

Palouse River Canyon Morning, August 2014

The second image was also taken with the 24mm. Again, both tilt and shift downward were used for DOF and perspective, respectively.

Old Barn and Clouds, Summer Morning

This image is from a favorite spot of mine. I really like the bowl created by the landscape. The 24mm coverage just barely gets the sweep of the field. I used shifting to correct perspective and capture a large amount of sky (one shot shifted down and one shot shifted up). I do not believe I tilted for DOF since the foreground distance was relatively far from the lens.

Wheat Bowl


Palouse Winter Panoramas

One final surge of Winter (hopefully the last) was experienced in early February here on the Palouse.  Good snowfall, frigid temperatures, and good light all came together for a good week of photography.  Though I took numerous images, here is a sampling of panoramas from this Winter.  Some are cropped to a 2:1 aspect ratio (first and last images) while the remainder are multiple images taken with a 400mm and then stitched.

Ladow Barn, Winter

Kamiak Butte in Afternoon Light, Winter

Steptoe Butte in Afternoon Light, Winter

Palouse Winter Morning, near Kamiak Butte

Waiting out Winter

Palouse Antiquity

A few weeks ago my wife and I spent a Saturday aimlessly driving around Eastern Washington.  I meant to show her some sights and abandoned buildings along the way, but at one point we randomly decided to venture towards Ritzville to hunt for old, bygone structures.

The first destination was near Endicott.  I was aware of the abandoned home but unaware of the barn and few outbuildings beyond.  Though there is more to see than just these two sheds, this was the shot I liked the most from this stop.  (The black and white image was taken in the rear entrance to the house.)

Endicott Sheds

Aged Lines

After continuing on the gravel road and coming to the highway, we decided in a spur-of-the-moment fashion to head towards Ritzville.  My brother-in-law had mentioned many old houses being in the area.  The farmland is much flatter in this area and more conducive to the grid pattern of the country roads.  One can also see quite far in all directions; spotting potential photo opportunities could be easy, we thought.

Before arriving at Ritzville, I headed back east just to cover some extra land.  As luck would have it, a beautiful old barn was adjacent to a home.  I isolated the barn from its surroundings and was very thankful for the nice clouds accompanying the subject.

Ritzville Barn

There are many roads to choose from but we had limited time.  I drove north from Ritzville and aimlessly meandered through the grid.  We could see clumps of trees here and there signifying a farm house.  One collection of dilapidated buildings was found and perused.  Not much was found to my photographic liking at the time so we continued.  Of in the distance I saw what promised to be a old house.  I was unsure if a road went to the location.  I took the chance and we were both very pleased!  Many old carts, trinkets, and boards from fallen buildings surrounded the site.  The gem was the small house, still standing after many decades.  It was a great find; a great way to end the day’s exploration.

Ritzville Antiquity No. 1

Ritzville Antiquity No. 2