The Palouse hills are located in Southeast Washington state and extend into Idaho and parts of Oregon. During the last several ice ages, advancing glaciers ground up the bedrock into fine sand and slit. This sand was deposited by the glaciers and it accumulated in Glacial Lake Missoula. The Missoula periodically flooded eastern Washington creating large temporary lakes that eventually drained leaving a thick layer of silt. The southwest prevailing winds blew the silt and dust into the Palouse are forming loess that resemble sand dunes.
I was in the area attending a workshop with Nick Page and a group of 10 other photographers. The first afternoon we head out into the Palouse toward Steptoe Butte, which looks over the rolling wheat covered hills. The photograph below was taken about 1 hour before sunset. The low sun highlighted the contours in the hills and the grain silo and with the light in the farmhouse it created a line of sight between the two. I was using my full frame D800 and 70-200mm f/4 lens to capture this scene. With a shorter 200mm focal length, I was able to reduce the shuttle speed to 1/125s so I could use an f/9.0 aperture but I needed a relatively high ISO640. I was hand holding my camera so I didn't want to go much lower on the shutter speed and the risk of a blurry image from camera shake but that required a higher ISO but I have found that noise starts to be introduced around ISO1600 with the D800.
On the way to Steptoe Butte we drove past a herd of horses and with a little encouragement we were able to capture a few of them as they ran past us.
I like this photo not only for the great highlights on the hills but the waning light reflected off of the creek leading the eye to the highlighted lone tree in the background.
This is the first in a series of blogs that I will write over the next few weeks with some tales from my Russia trip mixed in.
Your comments are welcomed and if you have any questions about the photo or any other leave me a message.