Basalt Landscape

We were returning from a great few days in Idaho via the Palouse lands, looking for compositions.  I wasn’t optimistic for much photographic work on the return journey due to temperatures hovering around 100F and the sky being completely clear.  If there were gorgeous cumulous or cirrus clouds gracing the sky it would have been a different story.

As we crossed the Columbia River, with about two hours till sunset, it was time to stretch our legs, feed Stan, and just enjoy some views in the cooler temperatures (94F)!  And I wanted to also wait a bit for the sun to get lower so I could have a look at  an ancient basalt landscape I photographed many years earlier on my Pentax 67 film camera.  With no diffusion of the sun from particulates or thin clouds I figured having direct sunlight would be too harsh.

After enjoying our quiet break we piled back into the car and took off to look for this spot.  Memory and time shrink distances and it turned out the place was a bit farther than we remembered.  But there it was and I was happy to see it again. I didn’t know if I would see anything new to photograph but I was just excited to glimpse the place again.  As soon as we found the location I immediately saw it completely differently than years ago.  The composition formed in my mind and I was very pleased.

In the past I saw the huge columns, an impressive 6-8 feet in diameter, and focused on them.  Today was about a more relaxed landscape, giving a glimpse of the surrounding environment.  It was a blessing indeed to see the place in new light.

As the crickets and birds chirped I mounted the camera on the tripod and put on a wide-angle lens and with joy of a kid got to work.  I made three variations of the scene and this one, the last, moved me the most.  I would like to return here again…there is another idea I have but it will depend on the light.  As we left, the sense of quiet joy was overwhelming….

Basalt Landscape | Central Washington

Basalt Landscape | Central Washington

2 thoughts on “Basalt Landscape

  1. Ross Martin

    Man, what an intriguing spot this is, and I really like the comp you made! It has the feel of a very different and distant land. I’m quite sure this would make a stunning large print where all the subtle detail and color could be fully displayed.


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