Palouse Falls State Park, WA

A Segment of the Bill Forney Workshop, in the Palouse, WA

(3rd of 7 Posts from this Trip)


(Note:  Click on any of the images below to see an enlargement in a new window)


Falls2About a two-hour’s drive west of Colfax in Washington’s Palouse region is the Palouse Falls State Park.  We headed out in the afternoon to catch the falls late in the day and at sunset.  Our original plan had been to go out the next morning, but thankfully, we changed that plan.  I’m fairly sure the morning sun angle wouldn’t be as good, and maybe even problematic.

The 186-foot fall is at the back end of a horseshoe canyon on the Palouse River.  Access to shoot the falls is about as easy as any I’ve seen with several vantages that offer good angles on the falls adjacent to the parking lot.  However, after seeing some of the shots taken by others from the more northern edge, I wish I’d taken the short hike around to that side.  That spot gives a much wider angle on not only the falls, but also the entire downstream canyon.  But as usual, I learned a lesson for next time.

The deepening canyon shadows during the still-bright sky makes for a good use of the High Dynamic Range (HDR) process, especially before sundown.  Unless the composition’s crop is below the canyon’s edge, the contrast of sky-to-canyon is pretty tough to capture in one tonal range.  Both of these shots are bracketed HDR composites.  Thanks to the digital world, we now have HDR to handle those wide contrast ranges that even today’s most modern professional cameras still can’t capture in one shot.

After sunset, I turned to the downstream canyon beyond the falls toward the southwest.Falls3

It’s very understandable why the Palouse Falls is a popular photography stop for those shooting in the Palouse region of Washington state.

Aside from the exhaustive schedule and the drive back to Colfax, the only other thing I’d have wished for (other than missing the northern rim) was to have some clouds to help the late shots.

Thanks for visiting.  I hope you’ll come back again for more about other segments of the trip (Next 4 posts of this same date).



  1. Amazing that this is in Washington … I had no idea that this area existed. Even without the clouds, it’s still an amazing shot of the blue river contrasted with the dry red-brown of the canyon.

  2. Washington is a much more diverse state geographically than I thought. It is beautiful.

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