[/caption] Just another beautiful August day in Cannon Beach, Oregon! If you want to know the best times to get the best photos in Cannon Beach I would suggest that you visit between 10:00-11:00am and then again at least 2 hours before sunset. Sunset times can be as late as 9:30pm during the summer and as early as 5:30pm during winter months, so I would suggest that you pay attention to the time of the sunset. The reason for the specific times is that you will have the best chance of being there when the reflection from the rocks are at their best. Also, the sun is still somewhat lower in the sky and the rocks won’t seem as washed out. However, keep in mind that the temperatures can be pretty chilly during the morning, even during the peak summer months. The temperatures will pick up and become pretty warm later in the day but be prepared for the temperatures to drop quickly as the sun begins to set. This is obviously true anytime during winter but even the summer months can drop pretty fast, even after a 75-80 degree day. This particular shot was taken at 6:05pm and the temperatures were around 75 degrees and the water temperatures were even warm enough for me to splash around the low tide pools and small swells in order to look for that perfect shot. Late summer is probably the best time to visit since you’re most likely to experience the most epic day of your life. Warm and tropical weather during the later afternoon and awesome and warm sunsets. Late August and up until the end of September has always been my favorite times to visit and almost all of my best photo days are during these days.
[/caption] Beautiful sunset along the Oregon Coast with Haystack Rock and the high tide rolling in. This is just another awesome shot of the many awesome sunset opportunities that Oregon offers photographers and sunset lovers. I actually took this photo on 5/12/12 at about 9:10pm. I believe sunset was about 8:45 and the sky was lit up like a roman candle as the sun set below the horizon with the clouds offering a second act of amazing color. The tide was finally starting to come in, which always offers some great opportunities to get the swells moving about the beach. I was using my Sigma 17-70mm lens and had the focal length at 31 mm in order to frame the rock in the photo. I attached my ND4, CIR-PL, warming and UV filter. The ND filter allowed me to set the shutter speed to 16 second, which allowed me to capture the ghosting effect of the surf. I had the camera in Shutter priority and the aperture was automatically set at F-22. I set the white balance at -1.7 and the ISO at 100.
[/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] 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] 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] 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] 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.