Tag Archives: palouse

The Palouse

Located between Washington and Idaho, this region encompasses thousands of square miles of rich farm land and is the heart of grain growing in the United States. After hundreds of hours touring this area, I have yet to tire of its beauty. The barns, grain silos, mills, abandoned trucks, and epic landscapes are extraordinary and remind me of the enormity and wonder of this country.

This most recent tour was a bit challenging. The Palouse, known for its puffy white clouds and lack of rain, presented two days of unaccustomed storms. Blank skies, chilly weather, and lots of rain can be daunting and depressing. But patience pays… because weather also present some of the most amazing skies and therefore, photographic opportunities.

Here are a few images from our tour last week:

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Road Runner’s next tour of the Palouse will be the harvest of 2017. We are looking forward to seeing the farmers harvest and process their crops. Known for its colorful and stunning sunsets, harvest time will nothing short of amazing. If you are interested in registering for our 2017 Harvest Tour, click here to contact us

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Palouse Year 3




In a few days Denise and I will be heading to Washington for our Palouse Photography Tour. This is our third year doing tours in the Palouse. For those who don’t know, the Palouse is the largest wheat growing region in the country. The landscape is full of rolling hills, barns and my personal favorite, lots of old trucks.

We are looking forward to working with a great group of participants, several of whom have done other tours with us. We can’t wait to see what they create!

During the last 2 years we have mapped thousands of miles of country roads and, believe it or not, we will be scouting some new areas in the days before our participants arrive. I already know the week will fly by.  Did I say fly?  Stay tuned to this blog to see what that means.


The Palouse – 2015

Road Runner Photography Tours is pleased to announce its 2015 Palouse, Washington Photo Tour, from May 31 to June 4, 2015!

With years of experience in the region, Don and I have mapped over 1800 miles in the beautiful location. This tour will have a maximum of 8 participants, so spaces will fill up quickly. We keep our tours small, so that each participant can receive the attention they need to capture beautiful images and so the group can stay flexible when responding to changing weather and lighting conditions.

If you are looking for an early summer photo adventure through the heartland of America, this tour is for you!

For more information and to register for this tour, click here. Early bird special ends November 16, 2014 at midnight.

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A Perfect Shave




Standing in front of this bathroom sink I could envision the farmer who lived in this house shaving. Who knows, perhaps he had a beard and rarely shaved, but it’s what I thought about when I composed this shot. I used Perfect Photo Suite to edit and process this image. I shot this old farm house during our Palouse Tour last June. We plan to go back to the Palouse in June 2015 and would love to share the beautiful landscapes, abandoned houses and old trucks with you. The Palouse is wonderful location and never disappoints.

Speaking of Perfect. Our friends at OnOne Software are updating Perfect Photo Suite this fall and we wanted to be the first to tell you about it! We have not had a chance to get our hands on a beta version yet, but the new features sound exciting! Lightning fast RAW previews, improved selection tools, a Smart Photo feature that lets you reedit your photos with previous settings intact are, just a few. Of course there are discounts for existing users and introductory pricing for new users.

Click here to check out OnOne Perfect Photo Suite!

What a Difference a Year Makes…

Twelve months, 365 days, one year… lately one year seems to pass so quickly… I feel like I just took down the holiday decorations and we are already halfway through the next year… time is definitely flying for me…

This past June, RRPT went on its second photo tour of The Palouse region of Washington state. This area is simply extraordinary, presenting so many photographic opportunities. Although it may seem easy to navigate, it actually takes planning and mapping to locate the real gems hidden in the vastness of rolling fields of grain.

Two years in a row, Don and I have continued to populate our maps with all of our “finds”. We use this system to ensure our guests get the most bang for their buck when traveling with us. We usually arrive at a tour destination a few days early and spend long days checking out our favorite spots from the year before to make sure that they still exist, as well as travel new areas to continue to develop our population of subjects. For perspective, in 2013 we did 1800 miles, this year we did 1750 miles.

So this was how we approach this past trip… hit the road, search, map, continue. It is amazing to see the constantly changing landscape. We found abandoned cars no longer existed (likely sold as scrap); regal trees toppled by weather; farm houses that last year were bustling with activity now lay abandoned; barns and other structures that stood proud now felled by time.

Here is simply one example of the toll of time… This was such a find in 2013! A great foreground of wildflowers, a barn sitting right at the top of a ridge, and a vast sky.



Definitely on the hit list this year… we drove up a very tight dirt road and found… planted fields, no wildflowers, not a one, and that time had ravaged the building, leaving only the roof intact.




These experiences really highlight the beautiful of returning to locations time and again. With each successive trip you get to witness change; change made by nature and by man.

Next year (2015), we plan to head back to The Palouse. This time we plan on experiencing the harvest! Fields of grain ready to harvest, so beautifully described in America the Beautiful, “O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain, For purple mountain majesties. Above the fruited plain! ” On this trip, we will experience the farmers harvesting and bailing the grain. The winds will carry the dust of longs days of hard work creating rich sunsets. 

If you are interested in being on the mailing list to receive updates on Harvest 2015, Palouse WA, click here and complete the contact form. Please indicate the trip you are interested in.

Below are some additional images from our tour. Enjoy!!

Composite Images

The Palouse is so diverse when it comes to imagery. With this composite image I tried to capture some of this diversity.

The base image is a wall on an old building. The wear and tear of time, weather, and neglect are clearly visible; creating a great tactile feeling. The window is actually a boarded which creates a perfect canvas for another image. The inset image was taken around midnight, using the glow of the moon to light up the rolling hills of grain in the landscape. I wanted the effect to be as if the scene was painted on the boards on the window; essentially bring The Palouse together into one image.


A Different Type of Landscape



The picture above is a landscape in Palouse, but it’s really not about the landscape so much. For me it’s about the color, pattern and texture.

Today so much effort is geared toward having sharp images, tripods, shutter release cables, vibration reduction lenses, and high ISO cameras. All of these features can assist in getting the sharpest possible shot, but sometimes I find more meaning in something soft. The image was captured using a horizontal panning technique at 1/8 of a second. It was also shot at 400mm to visually compress the rolling hills. I shoot lots of abstracts and most will never be seen by others. The keeper ratio is likely 10 percent, but I find this to be a worthwhile pursuit.

Sometimes it’s better in Black and White


Here is a slightly different take on the Palouse Barn from my prior post.  With the sweeping clouds above the barn, I think this one looks better in Black and White.  I had pretty much finished processing the color version when it occurred to me that it might look better in Black and White.

Lines and Light

Recently back from a trip to The Palouse and finally sorting through thousands of images. In processing my images, I have come to realize The Palouse is a sumptuous study of lines and light. The vastness of the landscape, spotted with stunningly dilapidated barns and trucks, is the perfect inspiration for artistry. The amazing thing, at least to me, is that some images scream out to be pure, while others scream out to be abstractions of themselves; be it color, texture, or tone.

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There is something for everyone is this amazing region of the United States and I for one cannot wait to get back. We are planning a photo tour there next June! Stay tuned for more information about our 2014 Photo Tour schedule.