I love the springtime in the Palouse for many reasons: goodbye to snow, hello to greens, clouds aplenty, and rain storms visiting frequently. The bane of landscape photographers is clear skies. Though a clear sunny day is definitely beautiful, it isn’t entirely picturesque when you desire to photograph landscapes. The ever-changing springtime weather is very enjoyable. The clouds could look menacing, just to clear up 30 minutes later with beautiful sunlight streaming through accentuating the escaping clouds. Here is a sampling of a Palouse spring:
The Plan: Last week I planned to shoot sunrise primarily to capture the moon set. The weather cooperated though it was a little windy. The location decided upon worked well for this time of year due to the position of the moon. If photographed later in the summer, the moon would be too far to the right of the frame and even completely outside of the frame come late June when Summer officially arrives. This position can be attained again in Autumn, but I have not used The Photographers Emphemeris to determined the exact date.
The Coincidence: With a location decided upon and photographing the moon set the goal, I set out early in the morning. The convenient coincidence is the path of the Palouse River. Though the river snakes it way through the scene, one might assume it continues to snake in a similar manner below the bottom of the frame, especially with how the river bends. However, the path of the river that comes in from the lower left hand side is only there during the early spring run-off. I revisited previous photos I had taken in Summer and found that portion of the river is indeed dry, all but for a tiny pool. The river actually runs in from the left side of the frame and makes a 90 degree turn, resulting in the meandering seen here.
Needless to say, I was pleased with the outcome, especially learning of the coincidence of the river flow aiding my pre-planned photographic idea.
Technical Details: This photograph is the result of nine different exposures but 12 total files. Three of the darkest exposures taken were further decreased by -2 exposure compensation in ACR. The resulting 12 files were stitched, of which each image was a combination of four images (three HDR images of four files each were used) to capture highlight and shadow detail (4×3). In short, it is a multi-stitch panorama HDR image. The resulting stitch worked best as a 4×5 aspect ratio instead of 2×3; I had too much overlap on my panorama images.