Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Steptoe Butte, Washington

Steptoe Butte is a high quartzite island rising above the beautiful rolling hills of the Palouse in southeastern Washington State.  I was on an annual camping trip with two friends, Bruce Gregory and Stephen Johnson, and we decided to photograph the landscape at sunset from the Butte.  We wanted a viewpoint that would look across the hills instead of straight down on them, so we drove about half way to the top and waited for sunset.
The sky was gorgeous, but the beautiful clouds blocked the sun from touching the ground below.  All we could do is wait, and hope the sun would drop below the clouds before it went below the horizon.
And then it happened.  The sun found a slot below the clouds and sweet light touched the tops of the hills below, lighting the immaculate farms of the Palouse.
A grain elevator stood out like a beacon in the soft light.
We had five minutes, or less, to capture the rolling landscape before the sun disappeared.  As I was photographing these hills, the light went flat almost without a transition.  It was an amazing evening.  We had waited an hour or so for the light, and when it finally came, we captured a few memorable images and the show was over.  We will have to return to Steptoe Butte again soon.