DO YOU DO WHAT YOU LOVE
What is your heart song? What gives you the best feeling when you participate in what you love?
PHOTO CLUB GOES TO THE PALOUSE
I recently took a 4 day trip with my Oregon town photo club to photograph the Palouse in the state of Washington. We have 2 members from New York who came too. The Palouse is a picturesque landscape of farming on sloping hills with striking tones of green and browns. This landscape is as dynamic as the ocean to photograph only the hills stand boldly still. This pastoral countryside gives us an amazing sense of wonder. We point our camera at this terrain so we can capture it and bring it home with us.
PALOUSE, SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD, IT SHOULD BE
We gathered on a butte named Steptoe, and took our positions standing behind our camera to shoot the panorama of the Palouse. With anticipation of the greatness before us, we took photos using tripods and sometimes without a tripod. Our cameras were fully loaded with a fresh SD card, lenses to choose from, setting exposure, composition, and contemplating the wind affect. This is late May, but we needed to layer our clothing as it was still brisk, very cold at times. Not all the same day but we endured some foul weather, a lightning storm and a sunset when it wasn’t raining. We were not cold all the time but did have a break in the weather with some heat from the sun and blue sky. We scouted and positioned ourselves for the best composition that has never been photographed before. I’m exaggerating a bit. We were excited to have this opportunity and shared Steptoe with other photographers and tourist taking snap shots of the Palouse.
Not one of the 7 wonders of the world but it should be. We would move our positions and watch while other photographers and tourist took their prize shot of the Palouse. We spent probably at least 2 maybe 3 hours there. In peering across the Palouse from Steptoe Butte viewpoint, it’s was like looking across the ocean. One can see all the rolling terrain in 360 degrees. The world isn’t flat but from there it would make me believe it is. Where, instead of hearing the sun magically sizzle as it sets in the ocean, we hear it whisper as it goes down behind the hills to another dawn. An endless landscape of rolling green hills with grain elevators dotted like stars on a Christmas tree. Following the lines of the slopes of the Palouse, is almost like observing the undulating form of a horse from its nose to its ears to its hindquarters.
PLAN AND GO, JUST GO We planned this trip about 2 months ago. When to go, who can go, what gear do we take, where do we stay, how long do we stay, and what food do we bring. One of the members, took the lead to help us with much of the logistics. She was very good at it. We decided to leave on a Monday and come home on Thursday. The weather was questionable but we brought clothes to layer for sun, rain, cold, and wind. We made our meals at our air bnb and sleeping there was wonderful. Each of us hope to have photographed at least one magical shot of the Palouse and it’s many side road offerings of landscape, wildflowers, old gas station, and grain elevators. Plus the social aspect was so rewarding. Being with like minded people talking about photography for hours was so refreshing. We shared and couldn’t help but ooh and awe at the photos we took of the day while planning the next day’s activities.
We’d leave anywhere from 7am to 9am and be gone all day. We packed our lunches and ate out of the cooler. We’d head back to our air bnb, eat dinner and go out again if the weather permitted. One thing I need to mention, when photographing a lightning storm, be aware of your surroundings and know when to take cover. Try not to get so lost in shooting lightning that you become its target. This was me, I didn’t get electrified, but my friends said, “Debbie, it’s time to go.” I looked up and around, yes, it was time to go and ran with my gear to the car.
NOW THE REWARD
All of us get to go home with the prize of photographing the Palouse and engage in the processing our work. We plan for each of us to find 6 of our best photos to share with the rest of our club members at our next meeting. I took over 1000 photos, maybe 1500. Will all of them turn out, no. Will a few turn out, I sure hope so, at least 6. There were 6 of us in all who went on this trip. Let’s guess that each of us took at lease 1000 shots ( probably more were taken). That’s at least 6000 photos of the a well documented landmark called Palouse Country. Was it good for our mental health and well being? Yes, very much so. Is photography my heart song? Yes it is. Will we be back to the Palouse, there’s a good chance we will. It would be great to capture the fields just before harvest. The Palouse always wants to smile for the camera. :)
Think about if not now, when...
Sing your heart song?