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Palouse Harvest Regional Event (August 2-6, 2023)

August 2 - August 6

Leader | Travel and lodging | What to expect | General Information



Event Overview

Wednesday, August 2, 2023 at 5:00pm pm to Sunday, August 6, 2023 at 10am.

Join John Pedersen on this NANPA Regional Event to experience and photograph the visually dynamic landscape, Americana, and farming life of America’s Tuscany – the Palouse region of Washington State.

The Palouse, located in southeastern Washington State, is renowned for its undulating landscape, scenes of rural America, farming and life in the country. Photographers flock from the world over to photograph this amazing area with wheat covered rolling hills reminiscent of Tuscany. Spring is a common time to photograph the Palouse when the wheat is a lush green color. Later in the season, during harvest time, brings different, yet also interesting photo opportunities. During harvest season the fields are a mixture of yellows, golds, and browns, creating a patchwork tapestry of tones across the landscape. The fields can be in different states from golden un-harvested wheat plants, to the stubble of cut stalks, and then the dark brown of tilled earth. Dust and haze hang in the air at sunrise and sunset creating a red and pink glow along the horizon. If the timing is right, it may be possible to photograph huge combine harvesters cutting the mature wheat and transporting it to the grain silos and railways. Harvesters cutting the wheat and plows tilling the earth create graphical lines on the landscape that add an incredible amount of visual interest to a photograph. This season offers photographers additional material to craft compositions in both color and black and white.

$675 NANPA Members/$875 Non-members

Last Date to Register:  May 27, 2023

Maximum Number of Participants: 10

Farmhouse surrounded by fields of wheat. Photo credit: John Pedersen

Photo credit: John Pedersen


John Pedersen

John Pedersen is a full-time professional photographer, workshop leader, author and creative educator based in Portland, Oregon. A lifelong resident of Oregon, John is intimately familiar with the popular and hidden photographic gems across the Pacific Northwest. John has been leading domestic and international photography workshops for many years to some of the most beautiful and iconic locations for photography. John has a passion for teaching and helping others grow their photographic knowledge and skills to fulfill their creative passions. He provides in-depth teaching and tutoring on a wide range of photographic topics.

Travel and lodging

The base for this event will be at:

Best Western Wheatland Inn
701 N Main St
Colfax, WA 99111

NANPA is holding a block of (4) King bed rooms and (6) double Queen bed rooms for event participants at the rate of $146.69 + tax (9.9%) per night per room, for the nights of August 2, 3, 4 and 5. (checking in Aug 2, checking out Aug 6).

To book a room at this discounted rate:

Call the hotel directly at 509-397-0397 and ask for room block for NANPA Photography, or use this link for online booking

Check-in time is any time after 3:00 pm.
Check-out time is noon (12:00 P.M.)

Deadline for reservations in the NANPA room block is June 1, 2023.

Airports and Ground Transportation

  • Spokane, Washington Airport (GEG) is a little over 1 hour drive away from Colfax, WA

Car Rental: Car rental is available at the airport. A normal passenger car will be appropriate, all roads and parking will be on paved or slightly graveled areas. No 4×4 or other special vehicle needs required.

Event Transportation

Transportation to and from the hotel and during the event is not included and is the attendees’ responsibility.

Ride Sharing:  We will be starting each day from Big Meadows Lodge. Ridesharing is encouraged to reduce the size of our vehicle presence and improve the traveling/following experience. You are welcome to either drive or ride with someone. This is also a great way to meet people and make new friends during the event!

Note that NANPA does not have insurance for carpooling arrangements and assumes no liability for them. Carpooling, ride sharing or anything similar is strictly a private arrangement among the participants. Participants assume the risks associated with this travel.


One brunch will be included. All other meals are on your own.

Combine harvesting wheat. Photo credit: John Pedersen

Photo credit: John Pedersen

What to expect

Unlike some other regional events, during this event, photographers will have the chance to photograph subjects beyond nature. Participants need to understand that when photographing at this time of the year, days can be long, with early sunrises and late sunsets.

Based in the Pacific Northwest, John has been conducting workshops in this area for over 10 years, so he knows how to get participants to the best spots to make their trip rewarding and productive. John will work with the group to provide enough time to recharge during the day ensuring that they have ample photography opportunities, yet retain enough energy to enjoy the experience.

The event will be based out of the small town of Colfax, WA. This town is centrally located to all the locations that we will visit, minimizing driving times in the mornings and evenings.

During this event, participants will have the opportunity to photograph the following:

Grand Landscapes

The Palouse has wide-open landscapes with an expansive sky overhead giving the opportunity for grand scenic landscape shots. The sheer size and scope of the land brings a sense of amazement and each photographer can work to capture this scenic area in whatever way they want to tell their story. Of course, having nice clouds in the sky will help, but even without them, there is a lot of beauty to capture in the land and open sky above.

Natural Abstracts

The rolling hills of the Palouse make an ideal subject to create natural abstract images using the curves and folds of the landscape. From tight compositions to abstract panoramas, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination. During the harvest time when some of the fields have been plowed already, the plow lines on the ground add another compositional element that photographers can use in designing their image, adding more visual interest to the natural scenes.

Barns and homesteads

The Palouse is famous for barns and homesteads, and we will visit and photograph several in the area. Many of the barns and houses are on private property, so mostly we will shoot these from the road. However, in some cases, we may be able to get up close and personal with them.

Americana / Rural life

There are several quintessential picturesque rural towns in the area. We will visit a few of them to photograph the sights of life in a rural farming town:

  • See the wheat come in from the fields to the huge grain silos, to then be loaded on to grain trains.
  • Local post offices and cafes where citizens gather to socialize.
  • Antiques and architecture from the 30’s-60’s.

This is Americana at its finest.


At this time, it’s not possible to predict exactly when the harvest will take place. So much depends on moisture and environmental conditions over the next few months. But if things work out, we could be on location to see the farmers harvesting the wheat using large combines.

Photography Locations

Some of the locations that we will most likely photograph include:

  • Steptoe Butte–Steptoe Butte is one of the highlights of the area rising 3600’ over the landscape to give expansive views of the rolling wheat fields. A great place for grand landscapes and intimate nature shots with long telephoto lenses.
  • Garfield, Oaksdale, Endicott, Palouse–Small towns located around the Colfax area that we may visit. These towns have one post office, maybe one café and are typically dominated by grain silos, railways, and older buildings. They are the quintessential “small town America” from the 1950’s. Tons of great photographic potential.
  • Dahmen Barn–An old barn south of Colfax, it is now owned by an artist consortium and features expansive property with a fence surrounding it that is made of old iron wagon and tractor wheels. Great for macros and interesting photographs. Plus, there are farming sculptures and typically old cast-off items great for photographing.
  • Daves Old Trucks–This location is a “maybe” on the itinerary as it’s a 40 minute drive from Colfax. It is located in a small town North of Colfax and is a collection of old rusty trucks sitting in an open lot. There are approximately 50 trucks there and photographers can get up close and personal with them, creating monochrome, abstract, macro or storytelling shots.
  • Barns/Homesteads–The Palouse has many old barns and homesteads. We will visit and photograph several of them during the event. A few of them we can get on the property and get up close. Others we will have to shoot from the road as they are on private property.

Your leader will have visited the areas prior to the event and the field trip locations will be based on what is most photogenic at the time, weather conditions, etc.  These will be announced on Wednesday afternoon during the Registration/Orientation.

Fence made out of iron wheels Photo credit: John Pedersen

Photo credit: John Pedersen

General Information

We will be based in Colfax, Washington during this regional event.

Please keep in mind that this NANPA Regional Event is designed to be a photo tour, not a photo workshop. In other words, there are no formal instruction sessions planned, there are no assignments, you will not be receiving any handouts or the like. Your leader John has experience teaching photography and are available to answer questions and give you guidance. If you need help, please advocate for yourself, and speak up and ask for help – John is happy to help. Be aware that many of your fellow participants may also be accomplished photographers in their own right and may be able to help you too.  Part of the regional event experience is the camaraderie that comes from sharing experiences and lessons learned among participants.

This tour is open for 10 participants to give each plenty of time with the leader and to retain flexibility based on weather and the best opportunities.

This event is designed for all levels of photographers – amateur, intermediate, advanced and professional – interested in improving their photography skills or looking for location guidance to capture images of this part of eastern Washington State.  If you are new to photography, be sure to ask John for help. He will be available to answer questions, explain techniques and in general help you improve your photographic skills.  If you already have plenty of photography experience, He will ensure that you’re in the best locations at the best times for those perfect shots.

Please know your camera before you arrive and bring your manual, just in case we need to look up something.

Health and fitness

The fitness level for this event is Low.  We will be close to our vehicles most of the time and what walking we do will be over fairly level and mostly even ground.

During this time of year, the harvest is happening around the region, which means there is airborne dust.  People who have respiratory issues may notice this, so please come prepared.

Staying hydrated is important to keep up energy and fitness, so all participants will be encouraged to bring water bottles with them during the day when we are out.

Weather & Clothing

During this regional event in August, the weather should be fairly warm and dry.  Low temperatures average around 52 degrees with high temperatures averaging in the mid 80’s.  Some years though temps have risen to close to 100 degrees during the day.  If there is excessive heat, we will manage our energy and take frequent breaks to ensure everyone stays hydrated and rested.

Light and baggy clothing is best to protect you from the elements and airborne dust.  Clothing made of nylon or polyester works best.  A light jacket may be needed for cooler mornings and evenings.  Clothing to keep you cool during the day is highly recommended.

Suggested Camera Gear:

  • Camera Bodies
  • Wide angle lens
  • Medium Telephoto Lens (70-200mm)
  • Super-Telephoto Lens (100-400mm)
  • Tele-converter if you have one
  • Graduated Neutral Density filters
  • A good tripod and a remote trigger will also be very helpful.
  • Cleaning cloths
  • Laptop or tablet to review your images and (optional) a portable hard drive to backup images

Other Recommended Gear:

  • Headlamp for early mornings and late evenings
  • Water bottle
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
Black and white photo of curved rows of planted wheat. Photo credit: John Pedersen

Photo credit: John Pedersen

Regional Event Cancellation and No Refund Policy:  

NANPA will not offer any refunds for registrations for this event regardless of when the cancellation is made or the reason for the cancellation. NANPA reserves the right to cancel any event or activity due to insufficient registration or any unforeseen circumstances. NANPA will offer refunds if NANPA has to cancel the event. It also has the right to substitute presenters if those originally scheduled cannot attend. Registrants may purchase event insurance as part of the registration process through NANPA’s partner, Allianz. More information on this option will be shown during the checkout process for the event registration.

NOTE:  If you do not purchase event insurance at the time that you pay for your registration, you will NOT be able to go back and purchase it with Allianz later.

If you choose to purchase travel insurance separately, you can do so with your own insurance carrier, or NANPA members can receive a special travel insurance rate through USI Affinity/Travel Insurance Services.

COVID-19 Policy

NANPA is committed to the health and safety of all participants and leaders at any of our events.  We have taken steps to reduce the inherent risks surrounding any public location where people are present.  We ask that you familiarize yourself with our COVID-19 health and safety precautions and requirements prior to your trip.  Masks are discretionary unless required by a particular venue or location.

You should evaluate your own risks when determining whether to participate.  By attending this event and signing the NANPA Regional Events Liability Release you acknowledge and agree that you assume these inherent risks associated with your attendance as we have explained them to you.

Most importantly:

If you have been feeling sick or have been exposed to someone in your household who is feeling sick or has tested positive for COVID-19, PLEASE STAY HOME.

NANPA follows the CDC rules and the rules of the state in which an event is held.  Those rules currently are:

NANPA will let you know if anything changes prior to the event.

We thank you in advance for your adherence and support as we work together to keep everyone safe.


Thank You to NANPA’s 2023 Regional Events Sponsor


USA States/Territories
Type of event
On Location
Cost range
$675 - $875


Best Western Wheatland Inn
701 N Main St
Colfax, WA 99111 United States
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