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BCA News: Fall 2019

The Beauty of the Palouse
Connie Johansen, FBCA and Karna McKinney, FBCA

Palouse © Karna McKinney

In August 2019, Connie and Lee Johansen set off with fellow BCA Chapter member and friend Karna McKinney on a photo adventure to the Palouse. Inspired by the article in the summer 2019 BCA news, by Gigi and Robin Williams, and by Karna's beautiful images of the Palouse in southeastern Washington state. Karna had photographed there several times. In the past the BCA Pacific Northwest Chapter held chapter meetings and workshops including an aerial photography workshop in the Palouse region.

Palouse Fields © Karna McKinney

Late summer turned out to be perfect time of year for photography. Although they missed the pea and legume harvest, combines were still harvesting wheat and tractors were tilling adjoining fields, creating a beautiful patchwork of gold and brown among the rolling hills. From high on Steptoe Butte, a spectacular sunset was observed and photographed, made all the more dramatic by particulate matter in the air created by distant forest fires. It was a fabulous trip, full of excellent memories and lovely images. Setbacks from the weather required a second day of shooting. Color, infrared and B&W images were taken. Lee created some beautiful panoramic photographs.

Wheat and Silos © Lee Johansen

The Palouse is very popular for photography workshops. June is the busiest time of the year with hundreds of photographers roaming the rolling hills and valleys of gorgeous green fields and farms. Occasional fields of bright yellow canola add contrast in late spring. The area is large, covering approximately 19,000 square miles, spilling over the border into Idaho. The geology is quite unique.

Steptoe Butte © Lee Johansen

Washington state is divided east and west by the Cascade Mountain Range which captures cool, damp marine air, creating the lush green forests of the Seattle area, the Olympic Peninsula and most of the west side. The east side of the state is dry, hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Sagebrush, dry pine forests and basalt scablands cover much of the eastern Washington, the Palouse being an exception. Large rivers, such as the Columbia, the Yakima and the Snake have cut deep gorges and canyons through the basalt cliffs. The variety of landscapes to photograph is endless, but the Palouse remains a favourite.

Karna, Connie and Lee hope to get more PNW Chapter members together for future photography adventures. Let us know if you would like to join us.

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