Palouse Glow - Palouse, Washington

There is no doubt that Steptoe Butte is the gem of the Palouse. Most of the photos that you might find on a Google search of the Palouse are most likely from there. Despite that, there are plenty of other spots throughout the Palouse that can compete. The problem is knowing where they are. The Palouse is so big (encompassing parts of southeastern Washington, western central Idaho and parts of northeast Oregon) that the only way to find them is to do extensive scouting. When scouting, you need to look for spots that have a decent elevation that give a decent view of undulating landscape. The prime time to shoot this landscape is during the golden hours of sunrise and sunset. When scouting during other times, factors like time of year and the sun’s path is a major consideration. Once you find what you think is a great spot, you must remember how to get back to it on a future trip. This can be a challenge since most of the Palouse has no cell access and you may not even know the name of the dirt road you are on.

One other consideration to consider is that what may look like a great spot when you scout, you may discover that it is not when you return back to it on a future trip. Some of the crops that had great views to it when you scouted may be not great when you revisit them. One factor is time of year. Spring (new planting) and late summer (harvest) can give totally different views. Even if you scout in the spring and revisit during a future spring, things can change dramatically. Late plantings due to weather or crop rotation can really throw a great spot to a bad spot.

The best way to avoid these is to plan a day or two to re-scout the locations and have enough backup spots in your inventory to replace the once that need replacement.