[/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] A moderate hike takes you high above the Pacific Ocean with views of the National Forest and secret coves. The Oswald West State Park is located just north of Manzanita and the hiking trail is one of the most jaw dropping and gorgeous hikes along the Oregon coast. The views of the Pacific Ocean are amazing and the views along the coast line stretch for miles both north and south and the National Forest is teeming with wildlife. The summit of Neahkahnie mountain is 1600 feet and offers the best overall view and is facing west so you can really enjoy looking across the ocean. This photo was taken near the start of the trail and smugglers cove is in the photo with Devils Cauldron visible in the bottom portion of the photo. This photo was taken over 4 years ago when I was using my Panasonic DMC-FZ30 point and shoot. I’ve returned to this trail since I purchased my Canon T1i but I haven’t been lucky enough to be there on a day like this. I remember that I wasn’t using a tripod so I had to be sure and keep the camera steady. I had the camera in landscape mode and the metering was automatically set at Pattern. The focal length was at 12mm in order to get the best possible panoramic shot without showing the highway below. The aperture was at F-1 and the shutter speed at 1/40 second. I was using my CIR-PL, warming filter and UV filter in order to eliminate some of the glare from the bright sun. This is a hike that you should take if you want to get a really good birds eye view of the Pacific Ocean with the coastline in full view as well as the forest, beaches, coves, wildflowers, wildlife and many other things that most ocean hikes just don’t offer.
[/caption] Sunset along the town of Oceanside Beach offers an amazing view looking across its pristine beach and out towards the Pacific Ocean and Three Arch Rocks. Oceanside is a tiny little town just west of Tillamook and just north of Netarts. The town is small enough to fit in your back pocket but the views are some of the most stunning along the Pacific Northwest coastline. There are several hiking trails and dozens of beaches to discover. Three Arch rocks are almost perfectly positioned off the coast since the their distance from the beach offers some great photography opportunities. There are a few hotels and homes in Oceanside so you can find quite a few beachcombers walking along the beach but during sunset you pretty much have the beach to yourself when taking sunset photos. This photo was taken back on 7/2/09 and I took the shot with my Panasonic DMC-FZ30 point and shoot camera. I remember attaching my screw on ultra wide angle lens and held my orange tinted filter in front of the lens. I wasn’t using a CIR-PL or warming filter since the lens was a screw on and it would crack any filter that was on the camera. I set the ISO at 80 and the white balance at 0 in order to reduce the amount of light even though the sun had already set and it was 9:30pm. The camera was in shutter priority mode and the aperture was automatically set at F-4 and I manually set the shutter speed at 2 seconds. I wanted to get a very panoramic shot so I set the focal length at 10mm in order to get a large field of view. The tide was beginning to come in and some of the froth from the previous wave looked really cool so I took this shot. The indention along the sand was from the swells moving along the beach each time they rolled in.
[/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.
[/caption] If you didn’t know that this beach was located in Oregon you would think that this photo was taken somewhere else in the world. Samuel H. Boardman State Park has dozens of opportunities to photograph some of the most scenic and isolated places available along the west coast of the United States. This particular beach barely gets 100 visitors a year and that’s mostly due to the fact that no one really knows that it exists as well as the fact that the populations along the coast is very small. I was so impressed with this beach that I wanted to see if I could get a photo of the water moving while setting the shutter priority in order to get the movement. However, it was 11:20am and the sun was very high overhead since this photo was taken on 6/23/11. Luckily, I was able to find some shade just below the massive rocks to the left and I was able to keep the sun at a 90 degree angle. I made sure to attach my ND4 as well as my CIR-PL and warming filter so I could cut down the amount of sun entering through the lens. I was using my Sigma 17-70mm lens and set the focal length to 17mm in order to maximize the field of view and get the most panoramic photo that I could. I was only able to set the shutter speed to 2 seconds due to the brightness of the sun but I was happy with the movement of the water as the wave receded from the beach. I set the ISO at 100 and reduced the white balance to -0.2 so I could keep the exposure to a minimum. The aperture was automatically set at F-22 due to the filters that I was using as well as the ISO and white balance setting.
[/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.