[/caption] Summer is usually the best time to witness an awesome sunset along the Oregon coast. However, sometimes a cloud front moves in very unexpectedly and causes photographers to panic and scrambling for ways to take advantage of on otherwise wasted sunset opportunity. This is exactly what happened last weekend in Cannon Beach. The entire day was sunny without a single cloud in the sky but eventually a large cloud bank had built near the horizon out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I knew that I was in trouble so I decided to try to take advantage of the extremely low tide that created many of the rocks to become exposed that are otherwise completely submerged even during most low tides. However, I was really impressed with the photos that I was able to get of the Needles much farther out. I was able to get into a position that is almost impossible and was able to take this shot. I was impressed with the exposure since Haystack rock, which was just feet from me, was completely blocking out the sun but the Needles were glowing from the intense sun glare. The photo was taken at about 8:15pm and the sunset wasn’t until 9:15pm. However, the shade from Haystack rock allowed me to switch the camera mode to shutter priority and set the shutter speed to 3.2 seconds. You can see the froth and ghosting effect from the waves crashing into the rocks in the lower right part of the photo. I made sure to use my tripod, bubble level and remote switch and also turned off the OS in order to eliminate any camera shake or blur. I also attached my warming filter, ND4 and CIR-PL. I set the ISO at 100 and the white balance at -2 which caused the aperture to automatically set at F-28. I was using my Sigma 17-70mm lens and set the focal length at 46mm in order to frame the rocks as close as possible to the edge of the photo. I was fortunate that there weren’t any blurry sea birds in this shot since there are usually dozens of sea birds flying around and near the rocks. If you look closely, you can see several of them resting on the rocks.
[/caption] A view of the Needles in silhouette, well after sunset, offers a rare cobalt blue view of the beach and sky. A great way to get a very interesting and magical photo along the Pacific Coast is to wait at least 1 hour after the sun has set and then set your shutter priority at around 10-30 seconds and photograph the ghosting of the tide and capture the cobalt colors created in the beach and sky. As long as the horizon isn’t completely obscured by an approaching front you will be able to take advantage of the brilliant colors. This is only one of several that I took but it shows several cool features. You can see the ripples in the sand from the receding tide, the blue colors in the sand and sky, the silhouette of the rocks and the ghosting effect of the water. To get this shot I made sure to use my tripod, bubble level and remote switch in order to avoid any camera shake or blur. I made sure to turn off the IS on my Sigma 17-70mm lens and set the focal length at 32mm. This photo was taken at around 9:30pm which was about an hour after sunset and that’s about how long it takes for the cobalt blues to come out. I removed my ND and CIR-PL filters since it was pretty dark and there wasn’t much brightness left. However, I did attach my warming filter and set the ISO at 100 and the white balance at -0.3. I set the shutter speed at 15 second and since I had the camera mode in shutter priority the aperture was automatically set at F-9.
[/caption] Haystack Rock is just a few feet from the beach at Cannon Beach, OR with it’s western side holding flanks against the crashing waves. This photo was taken from the stairwell about 50 feet above the beach. This was actually my last shot of the evening and I was hoping to get a silhouette of Haystack Rock with the deep cobalt blue colors along with the last remaining colors from the sun. I was amazed that I was able to get exactly what I was hoping for. The cobalt blue color is attained by waiting at least an hour after the sunset and waiting for the sky to turn blue but before the night sky darkens too much. However, if you take it at the right moment you can get some of the last remaining red, orange and yellow colors from the sun. To get this shot I made sure to use my tripod, bubble level and remote switch in order to avoid any camera shake or blur. I was using my Sigma 17-70mm lens and set the focal length at 38mm since I was quite a ways from the rock. I removed the ND4 and CIR-PL filters since the light was way too low. However, I did keep the warming filter and UV filter attached. Since I had the ISO at 100 and the white balance at -1.3, the aperture was automatically set at F-8 since it was in Shutter Priority. I did set the shutter speed at 20 seconds and because of the long exposure there was plenty of light entering the camera sensor. Sunset was at about 8:40pm and this photo was taken at 9:42pm and the light was very low with only the horizon putting out any light.
[/caption] Here is another photo of a beautiful sunset at Cannon Beach, Oregon. I was able to get so many awesome sunset shots last Saturday that I am going to post as many as I can. The colors were absolutely amazing, as you can see and the sky was lit up with every radiation color the sun could muster. I was using my Canon T1i and my Sigma 17-70mm lens and I made sure to use my tripod, bubble level and remote switch. The sun had literally just set below the horizon when I took this photo. The amazing explosion of orange and yellows are almost too much to comprehend. I wanted to get as much of the horizon as possible so I increased the telephoto to 70mm and set the ISO to 100 and the white balance at 0. I had the camera mode in TV and set the shutter speed at 2.5 seconds as well as attached my ND4, CIR-PL and warming filter. This caused the aperture to be automatically set at F-22 due to the low light and the filters on the lens. Haystack rock is visible on the right and the swells were just heading back out to sea when I snapped this photo.
[/caption] You can get some pretty amazing sunset shots at Cannon Beach, OR but the sunset last Saturday was a day to remember. The daytime temperature was 78 degrees and the temperature at sunset was 65 degrees with no wind and not a cloud in the sky. It was short sleeve and shorts kind of weather in May. However, the sunset was even more epic than the weather. The sunset took on the look of a massive nuclear explosion off the Oregon coast with a cascade of orange, yellow and cloud tracers shooting across the sky. The photo pretty much speaks for itself. I did add a lot to the color in photoshop but the raw photo was still pretty awesome. I wanted to really create an intense emotion so I went to town by darkening the highlights and saturating the colors. I ended up with over 75 photos just like this one with some better than others. This is why I live near the Oregon coast. You get the most amazing sunset shots anywhere on the planet. To get this shot I was using my Canon T1i and attached my Sigma 17-70mm lens. I attached my ND4, CIR-PL, warming and UV filter in order to reduce the glare from the intense sun. I made sure to use a tripod, bubble level and remote switch in order to avoid any camera shake or blur. Sunset was at 8:38pm and this particular shot was taken at 9:03pm. The sky literally lit up just before it set and the colors just got more intense as it lowered below the horizon. I wanted to post a panoramic photo so I set the focal length at 19mm since 17mm was too wide and the corners were vignetted due to the ND filter being attached. I had the camera in shutter priority and set the ISO at 100 and the white balance at -1.3. I also wanted to get a nice ghosting effect from the water so I set the shutter speed at 10 seconds. This also caused the aperture to be automatically set at F-22. It was high tide so I wasn’t able to get near the tide pools but I was able to take advantage of the reflection of the rocks and the fast moving water.
[/caption] Sunsets along the Northern Oregon coast can surprise even the most seasoned photographer or local residents. The most important thing is to have the clouds on the horizon to allow the sun to set below the Pacific Ocean without being obscured from any oncoming cloud formations. After that, you have no idea what the sunset might look like. On this particular sunset, the sun was partially obscured by the approaching clouds and some light fog had moved in and around the rocks. This caused the rocks to appear as though they were almost floating in mid air. The clouds high above looked like pop corn being strewn along the sky. This was one of the most entertaining sunsets that I had ever witnessed and I was caught off guard, which caused me to almost panic and just start taking photos without having any real plan. The tide was also pretty high, so I wasn’t able to get too close to the rocks and tide pools. This meant that I had to stand pretty far back but at least I was able to this this type of shot with the reflection of the rocks and the varying colors of the sky and beach. I was using my Canon T1i and attached my Tokina 12-24 wide angle lens. I also attached my warming filter and CIR-PL in order to keep the shutter priority open. I made sure to use my tripod, bubble level and remote switch in order to avoid any camera shake or blur. Since I put the camera mode at shutter priority, the aperture was set at F-22 and I set the speed at 13 seconds. The focal length was at 15mm in order to get the most panoramic photo as possible without having too much empty space past the rocks on either side. The ISO was set at 100 and the white balance at -2 due to the glare from the water. This photo was taken on 9/3/10 and it was about 7:30pm. The sun had set around 6:30pm so the color contrast was almost perfect but unfortunately the fog hovering around the rocks made it challenging to get the best shots. It also helped that I didn’t have any problems with other photographers or beach combers walking in front of me. In fact, I can’t really remember why I was able to get so many of these far away panoramic shots without having an issue with people getting in the way.
[/caption] There is no better place to be on a warm and late summer evening than along the Oregon Coast. One of the best places to take advantage of the nice weather is at Cannon Beach, OR. You can expect great sunset views and some of the best walking beaches in the state. Since many of the sunsets along the North Oregon Coast can be hit or miss, when the weather is showing a great sunset with no coastal fog, you want to head to the beach. This photo was taken on 9/30 and it was about 6:00pm so the sun was pretty intense and the glare was even more intense. Even with attaching my ND4 and my CIR-PL I wasn’t able to set the shutter priority due to the overexposure from the glare. I set the camera to Normal/Program mode and put the ISO at 200 and the white balance at -1.7. The shutter speed was at 1/125 second and the aperture was at F-7.1. The tide was pretty high so I wasn’t able to get as close to the rocks as I wanted to and I ended up setting the focal length at 23mm in order to get the rocks in the background while the sun was peaking around Haystack Rock. I lowered my tripod in order to get a good shot of the water coming in towards the camera. However, the halo from the sun made many of my photographs grainy around the rocks and sky. There were so many birds flying around the rocks that I wasn’t able to avoid a few of them from getting in the photo.
[/caption] When visiting the Oregon Coast you want to make sure that you stay for the sunset. You will surely be in for a surprise and you won’t be disappointed. However, you never know what type of sunset you may experience. This photo was taken at 9:27pm and the sun had just set below the horizon. The marine clouds were coming in and they were moving at a pretty fast clip. The light was low enough that I was able to set the shutter speed to 8 seconds and capture the surf moving along the rocks with most of the seagull’s staying still. The clouds in the background are blurred as well as the fast moving swells. I must have taken over 200 photos in just a half hour time and was able to get several different types of shots from many different angles and spots along the rocks.
[/caption] Cannon Beach offers so many photography opportunities that it’s almost impossible to be comfortable with just a few photos. Haystack rock and the Needles has a million different personalities and you can consider yourself lucky to photograph them on their most unique days. This particular shot was taken on 7/5/11 and the entire fourth of July weekend had some of its warmest temperatures on record. The skies were completely void of any clouds but on this day, clouds were seen streaming northward in the later parts of the day. By the time the sun had set the clouds were traveling at such a high speed that I decided to create a long exposure and see if I could include the clouds and surf. It was already 9:40pm so I was able to remove my ND filter as well as my CIR-PL but left my warming filter on in order to warm the purplish colors in the background. I was using my Sigma 17-70mm lens and had the focal length at 17mm so I could create a panoramic view of the rocks. The aperture was at F-8 since I kept the ISO at 100 and reduced the white balance to -1. I set the shutter exposure to 13 seconds in order to get the effect of the fast moving clouds as well as the slow moving surf. The sky gives off a purplish hue and the blur of the clouds and water give it a mystical look. I was fortunate that there wasn’t much of a wind and the sea birds seemed to stay at bay for the most part.
[/caption] Cannon Beach is a great place to visit if you’re interested in visiting spotless beaches with a beautiful sandy coastline. On warm sunny days you can get some great views of the rocks, coastline and mountains. In fact, September and October can be the best time to experience the most beautiful weather along the Northern Oregon coast. You will also be surprised to find out that the beaches are pretty much void of the vacationers. This can be really helpful if you’re wanting to get some great photos of the beaches without having too many people in them. This photo was actually taken in October and the temperature was near 80 degrees. There were hardly any crowds and I was able to walk out in the waves and get some great shots of the water and sand. You will want to make sure that you bring a wet rag that you can use to wipe of your camera, lenses, tripod and anything else that may get salt spray on them. With beautiful weather like this you will want to be sure and stay for a great sunset.