View From Steptoe Butte, Washington

View From Steptoe Butte, Wa.

View From Steptoe Butte, Wa. is a magical place for photographer’s.  A drive through the Palouse just after the crops spring out of the ground, or during a time when the lentil plants or others are blooming is a real treat for landscape photographers and agricultural lovers.

Steptoe Butte is a must visit place if you want astonishing photos of the area. No offense to most of the photographs on this site so far, but the dry hot summer and or after crops are harvested is not the best time to see the Palouse.

April – early June and then again in early Fall right before harvest time are great times to visit. Get up very early and be there for sunrise, since it is a magical time. The warm ground and the cool nights make the land steam as fog lifts up and disappears. The low-angled light on the fields is perfect for pictures. Or, be there for a sunset to remember. If you have one, a tripod makes much better pictures.

Light, as we all know, is a critical element for making great photographs.  I consider myself a perpetual student as I am always studying the light in all kinds of situations.  Use ordinary light and your photographs will be ordinary.  Seeing light, learning the light, is a daily practice for me.  One of the most dramatic lighting conditions for landscape photography occurs when light and shadow work together to define a subject.  Here we have the contrast of monochromatic green rolling hills.  The contrast in the hues of the green shades are what amplify the detail of the beautiful rollings hills of the Palouse.

The park has only a restroom and some picnic tables, and amenities in nearby villages are scarce, so plan ahead and take water and a snack if you are staying more than a few minutes.

It is a peaceful, lonely place much of the time, but the wind can be ferocious, and get off the butte quickly if there is lightning since it is the highest point for many, many miles.  For more information from the State Park sight go to

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  • Other sizes are available upon request. Please contact Wendy M. Seagren
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