[/caption] There is no greater way to end the Labor Day Holiday than having the ability to catch a sunset like this along the Oregon Coast. Cannon Beach is by far the best place to catch the sunset and I’m always impressed with the quality of the sunset as well as the color of the rocks and sand. On this particular sunset the tide was starting to go out so you could see all of the contours of the sand in the foreground. This is always a great opportunity in order to create some terrific personality in the photo. As you can see, the fog in the distance was very thick and you pretty much have to assume that the sun is going to set 15-20 minutes before sunset since it sets behind the fog. Sometimes this gives you even better sunsets but you really have to be prepared for the changes in color since the fog will reflect the sun. I was also lucky that I was able to get this type of panoramic shot without having any people in it since I wanted to get a panoramic landscape shot. Since the sun was still fairly high I wasn’t able to set the shutter priority so I ended up setting the camera mode to Normal/Program and set the ISO to 100 and the white balance at -0.7. I also attached my CIR-PL and warming filter in order to avoid sun glare and sun spots. I was using my Sigma 17-70mm lens and set the focal length at 17mm. The aperture was set at F-5 and the shutter speed at 1/125 second. I was able to get some descent shots while setting the shutter speed to between 10 and 20 seconds but the sun had already set and the colors weren’t nearly as awesome.
[/caption] Summertime along the Oregon coast is one of the best times to enjoy the beaches and tide pools. Though the weather can be unpredictable, when you have the opportunity to experience the beaches when the weather is nice you are sure to be impressed. The summer usually guarantees a descent to perfect sunset and the same goes for most sunrises. Because the sun sets after 9:00pm you are more likely to have the opportunity to photograph the rocks surrounding the beaches without having to rush your shots. Low tide normally offers the best opportunities since you can walk along the tide pools and include the smaller rocks that would otherwise be submerged beneath the water during high tide. I took this shot using my Sigma 17-70mm lens and had the focal length at 19mm in order to maximize the field of view in order to ensure that the entire photo was in focus. I also wanted to highlight the rocks as they move towards the horizon. I had attached my CIR-PL and warming filter in order to avoid too much overexposure due to the brightness of the sun. In fact, I was standing behind Haystack rock in order to block out the sun since it was about 15 minutes before sunset and the sun was blinding. I had the camera in shutter priority and set the shutter speed to 4 seconds. The aperture was automatically set at 19mm since I had the ISO at 100 and the white balance at -1.3. I made sure to use my tripod, bubble level and remote switch to avoid any camera shake or blur. I was hoping to find some bright starfish clinging to some of the rocks but the only starfish I saw was in the sand just below the photo.
[/caption] The Fourth of July weekend was spectacular along the Oregon coast. We spent 3 days at Rockaway Beach and were met with 3 straight days of clear skies and warm temperatures with absolutely no clouds. On our drive home I decided to stop at Cannon Beach and wait for the sunset to cap off an unbelievable holiday weekend. However, by the time sunset came at 9:10pm the clouds had moved in along the horizon and completely absorbed the sun at around 8:45pm. I decided that I would try to capitalize on this and try to make the best at what I was given. Since the light was now pretty low I attached my ND8 along with my CIR-PL and warming filter and set the camera mode to shutter priority so I could blur the clouds and waves crashing against the rocks. The clouds were traveling at such a high speed that I knew that I would be blessed with some spectacular colors. To make matters even better is that the moon was just above the Needles. This particular shot was one of my last photos of the night and it was taken at 9:37pm which was well after sunset. I set the shutter speed to 30 seconds in order to maximize the blur of the clouds and water. I made sure to use my tripod, bubble level and remote switch in order to avoid any camera shake. Luckily there wasn’t much of a wind which was crucial to the success of my 30 second exposure shots. The tide was also low which allowed me to get close to the rocks scattered all around. I set the focal length at 28mm and the aperture was set at F-11 due to the amount of filters and the fact that I had the ISO at 100 and the white balance at -1.
[/caption] I took this photo during the month of August while the temperatures were warm and the day was sunny with almost no cloud cover. Only a few wispy clouds in the distance help create a spectacular mood across the horizon. To get this shot I was using my Canon EOS T1i and my 18-55mm lens. I had been trying to set my shutter to a higher second count but the sun was too intense and I ended up switching to Program/Normal mode in order to avoid over exposure. However, once the sun had set I was able to use the shutter mode but unfortunately the sky’s were much darker and the mood wasn’t as spectacular. I was trying to catch the silhouette of the sunset in the sand as well as the small pools of water resting near the rocks. However, getting the crashing swells at their best potential was a tall order. I felt that I couldn’t make the most of this sunset and time was running out. I ended up scrambling all over the beach like a crazy animal trying to get the best shots. I made sure to attach my warming and my CIR-PL filter. I was also using my tripod, bubble level and remote switch so I wouldn’t have any blur. The focal length was set at 50mm in order to frame the rocks in the photo. The aperture was at F-5.7 and the shutter speed was at 1/13 second. Again, because of the intensity of the glaring sunset I had to set the ISO at 100 and the white balance at 0. This photo was taken just south of Cannon Beach, OR. I usually don’t come to this spot when taking sunset photos due to the tides swallowing up the beach. However, since the tide was low I was able to take advantage of the sunset.
[/caption] I decided to upload another one of my photos that I took at Cannon Beach, OR on 10/13/10. This day was one of the best sunset experiences that I’ve witnessed while shooting at the Oregon Coast. The sun was intense and the sand and water were perfect. The Needles seemed to just float in between the horizon and the sand as if they were sails from a ship or from the dorsal fins of a huge shark. Fall is by far the best time to get great photos along the Northern Oregon Coast. You are almost guaranteed sunny and mild weather as well as mostly clear days. The sun also sets between 6:30 and 7:00 pm. This allows you to have plenty of time to pursue some great day shots without having to wait until a 10:00 pm sunset. The sun was so intense that many of my shots that I took with the sun above or next to the rocks are so bright that it’s almost painful to look directly at the photo without having to squint. This photo was taken with the sun directly behind the left rock which gives a nice silhouette. You can really see the sunburst of the suns rays bursting out from the needles in all directions. Another great thing about photographing along Cannon Beach is that you can continue to shoot well after the sun sets. Since the sun was still pretty intense I wasn’t able to use the shutter on my camera. Even with my ND8 and ND4 filters, the sun was just too bright to set the camera in shutter mode. However, I did use my UV, warming and CIR-PL filter. I was also using my tripod, bubble level and remote switch to ensure that there was no camera shake. I had the camera in Program mode so the shutter speed was at 1/100 second and the F stop was at F-7. I was using my Canon Rebel T1i along with my 18-55mm Canon lens. I had the focal length maxed out at 55mm and had the ISO set at 100 due to the intensity of the glare. I also set the white balance at -1.3 step. The tide was pretty high so I wasn’t able to get as close to the rocks as I normally can when the tide is low. In fact, I had to chase the tide as it receded and then swelled back up the beach. I spent a good part of my evening trying to get as close to the rocks as possible. The one good thing about high tide is that when the water recedes it leaves the sand in amazing shape. The sand almost looks like its moving and gives off a great glare from the rocks and color of the sunset. The tide will also wash away any debris that may ruin an otherwise perfect photo.
[/caption] There is nothing better than going to the Oregon Coast in October and finding that it’s 75 degrees and the sand and water are almost tropic like. I was able to wade out to my knees in order to take some photos of the Pacific Ocean while the tide was receding from the beach. You don’t see too many Oregonians wearing swim trunks and bikinis at the beach in October but this was no ordinary day. You could also see several swimmers body surfing with nothing more that their swimsuit. This was truly an epic day to be a sunbather but most importantly a photographer. The sand was perfectly smooth and there was hardly any sea weed or shells to get in the way of my photographs. Normally I set up my tripod to ensure that I don’t have any camera shake but this afternoon I found that it would be more exciting to get near the surf and try to capture the personality of the moving tide. To get this shot, I was using my 12-24mm wide-angle lens and I made sure to attach my UV, warming and CIR-PL filter. I made sure to have my lens hood attached in order to avoid any sun glare due to the intensity of the sun bouncing off of the water and the sand. I had the focal length at 17mm and the F stop was at F-7. The ISO was at 100 and the white balance was at -0.3. The sunset was scheduled at 6:50pm and this photo was taken at 4:07pm. This caused a lot of sun glare so I had to be sure to constantly adjust the white balance and the ISO. Since I was mostly shooting due south, I was able to use the intensity of the sun glare to my advantage. Early Fall seems to offer some of the best sunsets and driest weather along the Oregon Coast. However, you really have to watch the weather forecast and expect it to change at a moments notice.
[/caption] This photo was taken two days from the time of the photo that I posted yesterday on 10/4/10. This was my second trip that I made. The photo that I posted on 10/4/10 was taken last Tuesday and this photo was taken on the following Thursday. I had to return to the coast since they were calling for even warmer and sunnier weather than my trip on Tuesday. I am very glad that I decided to make the additional trip since the sunset was spectacular and the afternoon was near 80 degrees. Each sunset was totally different than each other, which made it even more spectacular. You never want to pass up an opportunity to visit the Oregon coast when they are calling for nice weather in late September or early October. The sunsets are always remarkable and the days are shorter. There are also less photographers and tourists flocking to the beach. During this photo, the tide was very high, so I wasn’t able to get as close to the rocks as I normally do. I again was using my tripod, bubble level and my remote switch in order to ensure a crisp and shake free photo. The photo was taken at 7:14 pm, which was about 20 minutes after the sun had already set. I was able to take the photo without using an ND filter. I was using my 12-24mm wide-angle lens and I had my UV, warming and CIR-PL filter attached. The focal length was at 14mm since I wanted to have Haystack rock and the Needles in the field of view. The F stop was at F-22 and the white balance was at -2. I was using shutter mode and set the shutter to 3.2 seconds. Because the glare was fairly high and the sun had just set, I wasn’t able to increase the shutter speed without using an ND filter and risk causing too much grain to appear against the rocks. There was a fog lingering along the Needles, which did cause them to look somewhat grainy but I tried to darken the rocks to eliminate this. However, many of my photos did come out looking grainy along the rocks. The popcorn clouds really glow with red as the sun had just set and the glare from the sand created a really nice reflection. The clouds in the background as well as the fog also created some personality. These are the type of photo opportunities that you wish you could always have. Sometimes I wish that I could live on the coast so I would never miss sunsets like this one. Just another reason to love the Pacific Northwest.
[/caption] Photographing the Needles during sunset is one of the best places to photograph along the Northern Oregon Coast. You can always find a way to use the rocks to shield the sun and create some great personality of the sunset and the beach. The Needles, as well as Haystack rock are at the perfect distance from the beach, which allow you to usually get the moving surf in the foreground without having to stretch your filed of view. However, sometimes high tide will require you to photograph at a further distance. At low tide, you can walk along the many rocks on the beach and use them to create an impressive setting. Sea birds that nest and feed along the beach and rocks also offer some great opportunities to include in your photograph. I took this particular shot during low tide and I was able to get the surf in the foreground as well as the beach. You can just see some of the spray of the water on the far left side of the rock. I also always take a shot of the sun just creeping over the smaller rock in the middle that looks like a ship. Again, there are so many areas to move about during sunset that you usually run out of time as well as risk getting in someone’s way that is also taking sunset shots. I usually try to get here early enough so I can gauge the best place to be when the sun is beginning to set. The tide usually dictates where I plan to position myself. During this particular photograph, I was using my ND4 filter along with my CIR-PL, warming and UV filter. Again, I would recommend using a CIR-PL if you expect to use the shutter mode. You can’t take these type of shots without first eliminating some of the harsh light due to the intensity of the sun’s rays at sunset. The ND4 also allows me to open the shutter in order to get the mirrored image of the water while the sun was still somewhat high above the horizon. I was still only able to have the shutter open for 1.61 seconds but without the ND filter I wouldn’t have been able to use the shutter at all. The F stop was at F-36, the ISO was set at 100 and I set the white balance to -2. I was using my Canon 18-55mm lens and had the focal length at 49mm. I was also using my tripod, bubble level and remote switch. This shot would be impossible without a tripod. Cannon beach is one of my favorite places to get these types of shots when visiting the Northern Oregon coast and I would recommend Cannon Beach to anyone that may be visiting Portland since it’s an easy 80 minute drive.
[/caption] Cannon beach is not only one of the best places to photograph sunsets but it’s also one of Oregon’s busiest spots to shoot sunsets. Haystack rock, the needles and the large tide pool makes it a no brainer why its so popular. This is one of the few spots that lure dozens of photographers trying to capture the perfect sunset. I took this shot on 9/09. September is always a great time at the Oregon Coast. The days are long and the weather is usually perfect….Sunny, warm and always offering a great sunset. I usually start with several ND filters and then start removing my filters as the sun sets and it gets darker. I have sometimes stacked two ND filters (8 and 4) along with my warming filter and my CIR-POL filter. The sun is usually so intense that I need to block out the intense glare. For this picture I had used my ND-8, warming filter and my CIR-POL. I had set the camera on auto with a 1 sec shutter speed. I set my ISO to 100 and F-16. I used my 18-55mm Canon kit lens at 39mm. I have several sunset pictures of the Needles. I usually choose the Needles over Haystack rock since I find them more interesting and they are just past the breakers allowing more personality in your photo choices.