Palouse Harvest Photo Workshop
July 30 - Aug 2, 2021
Photograph the amber waves of grain in the pastoral rolling hills of the Palouse! Workshop dates are timed for the beginning of the harvest season as the landscape turns into a palette of warm colors and the combines work the fields. With no moon interference on these dates, we'll photograph the Milky Way if skies are clear! Local expert Ryan McGinty will instruct the workshop along with Palouse veteran Kevin McNeal. This workshop is rated moderate for physical intensity, with 1-2 miles of hiking each day.
- The Palouse in Eastern Washington is ripe and ready for the harvest by late summer and the landscape becomes a golden tapestry of color.
- Combines will be hard at work harvesting the wheat and dust in the air will create stunning sunsets!
- The trip dates correspond with the new moon. When skies are clear, we'll go out and capture the Milky Way!
- Expect to learn many new techniques on this workshop. Come prepared to shoot everything from abstract telephoto compositions to grandiose wide angle shots!
- Workshop includes transportation so you can concentrate on your photography.
- Post-processing and image critique sessions will be scheduled throughout the workshop to help make the most of your images.
The exact itinerary will be kept flexible to account for the weather and current conditions. The itinerary below is just an example of what you can expect. If we stay out late shooting Milky Way, we may decide to skip sunrise the following morning.
- Day 1 (July 30): Meet at 3PM in Pullman, WA for a mandatory orientation session. We will cover many techniques you will be using during the workshop and discuss the itinerary and shooting options in detail. After dinner, we venture out to a nearby location for our sunset shoot.
- Day 2 (July 31): We are out the door well before dawn and make our way up to Steptoe Butte. This high vantage point affords 360-views of the surrounding countryside and you can shoot everything from wide angle to telephoto as the morning light accents the golden tapestry below. We return to the hotel for breakfast and then spend a few hours doing a post-processing session. In the afternoon, we venture into some very scenic areas to photograph barns and rolling hills filled with amber waves of grain. At sunset we make some nice compositions as the combines cut the wheat.
- Day 3 (Aug 1): We are up early again for sunrise at an iconic lone tree. After that we find some old houses and barns set among the golden fields. We return to the hotel for breakfast and another post-processing session. We go out again mid-afternoon as some nice puffy clouds fill the sky. After a quick dinner, we go to Palouse Falls to photograph the sunset over the deep canyon. The skies clear shortly after sunset and we stay out to photograph the Milky Way.
- Day 4 (Aug 2): Even though we are tired, the group decides to wake up for sunrise. Our location is TBD depending on weather and group interest. We return in time to check-out of the hotel and the workshop will conclude no later than 11AM.
If you are flying in, we recommend going through Spokane WA (GEG). From there, it is a 90 minute drive to Pullman where we will be meeting for the workshop. If you don't want to rent your own car, we can arrange for rides and car-pooling to Pullman. If you decide to drive from the Seattle area, expect a 4.5 hr drive. Please be in Pullman, WA no later than 3PM on July 30th and meet us at the Coast Hilltop Inn.
Lodging is not included in the workshop fee so you have the option to stay wherever you like. The group will be based at the Coast Hilltop Inn. and we have reserved a block of rooms for our guests at $104/night + tax. Please call them at 509-332-0928 and mention Action Photo Tours to receive the group rate. We will have snacks and water available while we are on the road but you will be responsible for all of your meals.
Our goal is to maximize your photography while you are here. This can mean long days and not a lot of sleep. We will utilize the middle of the day for rest breaks and post-processing sessions.
Transportation will be provided during the workshop for all participants. However, you are welcome to follow us in your own vehicle if you feel more comfortable doing that. We will be practicing social distancing protocols whenever possible throughout the workshop and we encourage all participants to bring their own masks and hand sanitizers. We will follow strict disinfecting procedures in the vehicles and will have back-up masks available.
This workshop is rated Moderate for activity level. No long hikes are planned but participants should be able to walk a cumulative 1-2 miles each day to get to the shooting locations.
$1495/person + Tax
- All Ground Transportation
- Park Entrance Fees
- In-Field Photography Instruction
- Post-processing and Image Critique
- Snacks and Water
Trip Does NOT Include:
- Transportation to/from your home to Spokane or Pullman, WA.
- Meals and snacks.
When you complete the checkout process, you will be given the option to either pay the full amount or put down a 50% deposit. If you pay the deposit, the remaining amount will be charged 90-days prior to arrival to the credit card we have on file.
Recommended Camera Gear
- Sturdy tripod and ballhead
- Digital SLR or Mirrorless Camera Body.
- Wide angle lens in the 16-35mm range.
- Mid-range zoom lens in the range of 24-100mm.
- Long telephoto lenses in the 100-600mm range. You will want a lens that is longer than 200mm for many of the locations we visit! A 100-400mm or 150-600mm will be perfect.
- Circular polarizer filters and ND filters for your lenses. If you like shooting with grads, bring them along. A 9 or 10-stop ND filter will be useful for creating very long exposures.
- Backpack to carry your gear.
- Extra batteries, memory cards, and cleaning supplies.
- Remote cord for your camera.
- Laptop if you wish to backup your photos or follow along during the post-processing instruction.
Personal Gear List
- Sturdy hiking footwear, hiking socks, and long pants .
- Warm jacket for cool mornings
- Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Sun Hat.
- Water bottle or hydration bladder.
- Hiking poles if you like having them.
- Bug Spray
Kevin McNeal is a Washington-State photographer who is passionate about photographing grand landscapes that reflect the most unique places on earth. Capturing moments of magic light and transferring this to print is the ultimate goal. His images hold a combination of perseverance, patience, and dedication to capture landscapes in fresh ways. The stories of how these images are rendered come across in the feelings the images convey. He has traveled all over North America, shooting diverse landscapes and finding remote places with the hope that we can convey to the public that this earth is worth caring for. His award winning images can be seen in galleries and showings across the United States. He was recently invited to the Art Wolfe Art Gallery for the Environmental Photography Invitational. Kevin was the grand winner of the Landscape category for the Natures Best Magazine and was selected for the Smithsonian National Museum of History in Washington D.C.. He is a regular contributor to publications like Outdoor Photographer.
“I believe that the Earth shares secrets with us that only can be discovered by trying to understand our position on this planet. We are never fully intimate with the planet but are given brief moments that make our souls want more. These glimpses of nature’s power are fleeting and never the same twice. I also believe it is important to share with those who want it. The treasures that await us given the patience that is out there. What I try to do is bring some of that magic to my images to share with the rest of the world. Each of my images tells a story that everyone can relate to in some way whether it is success, fear, or challenging oneself to overcome obstacles
Kevin's portfolio can be found at www.kevinmcnealphotography.com.
Instructor - Ryan McGinty
Ryan McGinty is a landscape photographer based in Moscow, Idaho. His work focuses on the surrounding area called the Palouse. A region in Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington known for its rolling hills of agriculture and surrounding mountains. 15 years experience living and photographing the Palouse year round.
He started his interest in photography at an early age while inspired by a relative landscape painter Norton Bush and photographs of Ansel Adams Yosemite where Ryan grew up. In college he decided to take photography more seriously by taking several classes then becoming assistant wedding photographer. Furthering his education by attending Brooks Institute of Photography. While attending he learned large and medium format film photography which he still continues today. In 2003 he moved to Idaho where his passion for landscape returned and has been the main focus of his photography.
His photographs have been published in books, calendars and travel guides. He has guided several large group and many private tours of the Palouse. His passion is sharing his knowledge from his experiences photographing the Palouse and surrounding areas.