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Scenes from the Palouse

by Dave Burns | Posted in Trip Reports | Tags: , , , ,

Sunset on Newly Tilled Soil

In August, I took a workshop instead of giving one and went to the Palouse, a mostly agricultural region in Washington State (and little bit of Idaho) that has become popular among landscape photographers. I joined Kevin Raber from the Luminous Landscape for a week of photography there. We had a great time, a great group, and we spent loads of time shooting, talking about photography, exploring, probably eating too much food, and making new friends.

There’s a town named Palouse but the Palouse region contains many small towns, rolling hills of wheat and beans to the horizon, and all the trappings of farming areas such as harvesters working the fields, barns with rusty, abandoned trucks in them, etc. Sometimes we photographed sweeping landscapes and other times we got in close for abstracts of rusty, colorful cars.

It’s typical for landscapes in the Palouse to have blue skies and a clear view to the horizon but this time, the lower atmosphere was filled with smoke from the extreme wildfires in California. If you looked straight up, you might see blue sky but if you looked to the horizon, all you saw was haze. So, we turned lemons into lemonade and had fun focusing on abstracts in the landscapes, and the shapes and lines of barns and sides of silos, etc.

For those interested in gear, I used all Fujifilm gear this trip. About two-thirds of what I shot was with a rented GFX 50S and a few lenses. I also brought my Fuji X-T2 and my X-E2 that is converted for infrared. I had never shot with the GFX 50S and it handles like a dream. Intuitive controls, small and lightweight for a 50 megapixel medium format camera, sharp lenses, and immaculate image quality. Depending on the GFX’s future lens selection, I could definitely see buying one. In particular, I’d like to see a full-frame equivalent of a 70-200mm lens. I understand that this might be very big and spendy though. The X-T2 performed as well as it always does and the longer lenses (the 50-140mm and the 100-400mm) worked well to isolate elements of landscapes. I used the infrared X-E2 less than I expected but there are a few in the gallery that I liked.

I’ve included a gallery below of some of my favorites from the workshop.

– db

About Dave Burns

Dave Burns is a wildlife, travel, and landscape photographer whose passions range from the beauty of the African savanna to the streets of Paris. He created Dave Burns Photo Tours to share his favorite places with other photographers, help them capture unique images, and learn more about photography and digital work flow. His next trip is an African photo safari to the Serengeti in October 2018. Dave’s images are in private collections and galleries. To contact him, use the contact page on this site.

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