Tim Boyer Photography

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Eastern Washington

Fall Harvest in the Palouse

Landscape PhotographyTim BoyerComment

While this was my second time photographing in the Palouse, I enjoyed it so much more this time.  It was fun to drive around and explore the backcountry roads and there was a fair amount of excitement anticipating what was coming around the next curve in the road, or over the top of the next hill.  One of my favorite experiences was driving up a hill and reaching the crest.  The wide open landscape was exposed slowly, the sky, the distant hills, then the wheat fields in front of us.  Then I'd  hear a wow, or a that is so cool, or a oh my God!  It's that kinda place.  Beautiful, expansive, wide open sky and wide open for exploration, the creative mind can flow and wander the opportunities are boundless.  This trip was about exploring the back roads, to see more of the less traveled landscape.  I'm not sure I did it as much justice as it should have, but I'm already planning my next trip, to photograph the iconic places, and to explore more of the open, vast terrain.  

Steptoe Butte and  a lone tree.
Steptoe Butte and a lone tree.

Images for Steptoe Butte

Pan blurr of thte  Palouse wheat fields from Steptoe Butte.
Pan blurr of thte Palouse wheat fields from Steptoe Butte.
A mix of harvested wheat and green fields from Steptoe Butte.
A mix of harvested wheat and green fields from Steptoe Butte.
Harvester from Steptoe, taken with a 400mm lens.
Harvester from Steptoe, taken with a 400mm lens.

Finally some golden light on golden fields.  It was worth the wait!  I used the 100 to 400 mm lens from just below the summit of Steptoe to isolate the textures I liked the most.

Harvested fields from Steptoe Butte.Golden light filtered through the end of a dusty day.
Harvested fields from Steptoe Butte.Golden light filtered through the end of a dusty day.
End of the Day harvested wheat field textures from Steptoe Butte.
End of the Day harvested wheat field textures from Steptoe Butte.

Most of the fields had been harvested already, and it rained the prior day to our visit, so there was no harvesting as the wheat was drying.  On day two, however, we came across some harvesters close enough to the road.  Next year I'll get this with a wide angle, and I'll be there earlier!

Harverster coming aroudn the corner.
Harverster coming aroudn the corner.

I don't  shoot cars very often, but I liked this truck, its rust, the well used condition, the old wooden tool box on its flatbed, we spent about an hour getting the details, finding angles and just enjoying it.

A retired old Chevy truck abandon on a back country road.
A retired old Chevy truck abandon on a back country road.
The golden windmill.
The golden windmill.

The Palouse is famous for all of the lines, forms, textures, that create endless composition possibilities.  There's just so much, the hard part is focusing in and isolating just one part.

Patterns textures and abstract shapes.
Patterns textures and abstract shapes.
Harvested fields and tilled Earth.
Harvested fields and tilled Earth.
Tilled barren ground and  harvest wheat fields detail.
Tilled barren ground and harvest wheat fields detail.
Bi-plane crop duster getting ready to come aroudn and take another pass.
Bi-plane crop duster getting ready to come aroudn and take another pass.

The old barns and classic reds are there, but I like the older barns with the original rusty brown red, not the newer bright red.

Just another red barn out in the wide open sky.
Just another red barn out in the wide open sky.
Red barn detail.
Red barn detail.
The reamining building of the town of Wilcox.
The reamining building of the town of Wilcox.

Three days in the Plaouse is only enough to scratch the surface.  I'm going back next month, and then I'm going back in the winter too.  I want to see how it all changes.  I'm planning workshops for next year, email me (tboyer@seanet.com) if you're interested, the details will be on the website in a few weeks.  In May, 2015 we'll do the classic green hills, flowers and all of the iconic locations, in late July, 2015 we'll do the harvest of golden wheat, we'll look for opportunities to get close to those big harvesters and get some dramatic compositions.  It will be fun, and there will be some places we'll have as destinations for a specific photo opportunity. But, I think the exploration of the Palouse is part of the experience, so we'll  leave room and time open for just seeing what unfolds before us on the back roads of this incredible landscape.

Enjoy!

Thanks

Tim

Bird Quest 2014 #9

Bird PhotographyTim BoyerComment
Shy and hiding behind an irrigation ditch.
Shy and hiding behind an irrigation ditch.

Why are Burrowing Owls so shy?

I must have driven by them three or four times before I finally saw them.  I think one of them must have blinked at the wrong time and by subconscious mind noticed it.  It was like I knew they were there, but couldn't spot them.

Burrowing Owl-7614
Burrowing Owl-7614

The next morning I went by early to see if they were still around.  This one stayed up on up on the irrigation ditch and let me get a photo.  The second Burrowing Owl's head is just visible on the left by the tail of the one on the ditch.

Lesser Canaada Goose,
Lesser Canaada Goose,

I think this is a Canada Goose, subspecies "lesser".  The bill does not appear to be stubby and the head does not appear to be rounded as a Crackling Goose would be.  The neck length seems to indicate Lesser Canada Goose. Photographed at the Old Fishing Hole Park, Kent WA.

Tundra Swan
Tundra Swan

Tundra Swan from the  Sakgit Valley yesterday.  I thought these were Trumpters until I got home and magnified the image to 100%, the yellow between the eye and bill was clearly visible then.  Maybe my eight year old, $100, eight power binoculars need to get replaced.

Good Birding!

Tim

Birding/Photo Project 2013

Bird PhotographyTim BoyerComment
Sage Sparrow singing at Quilomene Wildlife Area, Old Vantage Highway, WA.
Sage Sparrow singing at Quilomene Wildlife Area, Old Vantage Highway, WA.

Yesterday I was in Eastern Washington and  made a few stops on the Old Vantage Highway.  Within a couple hundred yards of the highway I found this Sage Sparrow singing non-stop.

Male Mountain Bluebird landing on a fence, Old Vantage Highway.
Male Mountain Bluebird landing on a fence, Old Vantage Highway.

Off the dirt road at the Quilomene Wildlife Area entrance, there is a nesting pair of Mountain Bluebirds.  I like this image because it seems like he's about to crash into the fence post.

Sage Thrasher, Old Vantage Highway.
Sage Thrasher, Old Vantage Highway.

There were a few Sage Thrashers around, but they were not as vocal, and a bit shy about getting their picture taken.

California Quail Ginkgo State Park, Wa.
California Quail Ginkgo State Park, Wa.

At the Ginkgo Petrified Forest Interpretive Center a pair of California Quail were milling around.  This is the  male, as he walks away from me.

Just taking a break on the wire.
Just taking a break on the wire.

I did a quick drive through the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge and found a pair of Northern Rough-winged Swallows.

He's looking around to find the other male Red-winged Blackbird singing in the area.
He's looking around to find the other male Red-winged Blackbird singing in the area.

Red-winged Blackbirds are starting to call and defend their territory, this one was in the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge.