Colfax area of the Palouse


The Palouse region of Eastern Washington is famous among photographers.  As my sister in law lives in Pullman, I stole a morning during a visit to go shoot the Colfax area.  Ideally I would want to shoot this region in the late spring or early summer, but I was there in October so I missed out on a lot of the green and yellows that make it famous.

One of the most famous places to shoot is Steptoe Butte so I decided to start there for the sunrise.  I got there an hour early and it was a long wait.  Biggest tip for shooting here is to dress warm!  The wind was fierce and made it much colder on top of the Butte than I expected.steptoe butte 48Unfortunately, I didn’t get a great sunrise, but the views were beautiful.  Because you have a 360 degree view, it is tough to decide what to shoot.  I liked the green in the farms here to contrast with the browns.  You can also find lots of great shapes to form good compositions.

Steptoe Butte 36

Once the sunrise had faded, I looked for interesting lines and shapes in the fields.  There are so many composition choices you could spend all day and not shoot the same scene, but as I was freezing and wanted to visit more places, I only stayed for about 30 minutes after the sunrise.

After leaving Steptoe Butte, I headed back to colfax to find the Manning-Rye covered bridge.  This place is a hidden gem and took some research to find good directions for.  Driving south on 195, turn right onto 26 soon after entering town.  Then take your first right on Green Hollow Road.  You will see a few barns on Green Hollow that are worth a quick stop–the one below was my favorite.Barn on Green Hollow 1After following Green Hollow Road for a little while, you reach and fork.  At the fork, stay left on Manning Road.  On Manning Road you will see the below barn on the right side of the road.

Soon after the above barn, you will pass some work buildings and then go slightly uphill and right before the turn, look left to see the bridge.Manning-Rye Covered Bridge 5I loved the bridge.  I was the only person in sight and there were no sounds other than the birds flying nearby.  I wish I would have come here for the sunrise and I will definitely come back when the colors are better!  After leaving the bridge, I drove into Colfax.Colfax Codger Pole 1

Colfax is a small little town with a lot of photo opportunities if you look.  The only place I stopped though was the Codger Pole.  It is three giant poles with players from an old rivalry football game carved into them.

From Colfax, I headed East on 272.  After a couple miles, you will find the below barn on the left side of the road.Barn on 272

Finally, I reached the Heidenreich Dairy Barn, another famous place for photographers.  By the time I reached it, the light was horrible and the fields were a dull brown, but it was still beautiful (I replaced the sky on the introductory image).  heidenreich dairy barn 2

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