[/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] 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] Some of the best sunsets along the Oregon coast is during the Winter season. However, the drive to the coast can be a little dicey, the weather can deteriorate quickly and the sun does set at a quick pace. I normally just check the weather to find a day that is supposed to be mostly sunny and then pick a place to visit. This sunset shot was taken at a hidden beach that has no name and is hardly ever visited. There is no sandy beach but rather large black rocks that line the 1/4 mile beach. There is a waterfall that cuts in between the beach and there are several rock outcroppings that help block out the sun glare and make for a great subject. You can also see one of the lighthouses peaking through the edge of the cliff. This photo was taken in December and the sun was just about to set. A massive storm system had just moved through so the clouds were moving at a very quick pace. Therefore, I wasn’t able to set the camera mode to Shutter priority since the blurring of the clouds were too much. I stood behind this rocky cliff so I could expose only a part of the sun so I wouldn’t have too much glare. I wanted to get the glare of the sun to creeping around the rock as you can see in this photo as well as the halo bouncing around the clouds and the the reflection bouncing off the swells crashing on the beach. I was using my Canon T1i along with my Canon 18-55mm lens. I attached my warming filter and my CIR-PL and set the focal length to 22mm. The camera mode was in Program/Normal so the aperture was at F-4.5 and the shutter speed at 1/6 second due to the low light. I kept the ISO at 100 and the white balance at 0 in order to make the photo as crisp and tack sharp as possible. This photo is almost exactly as I saw while standing at this very spot. Only the warm orange and yellow colors of the sunlit sky was enhanced by my warming filter.
[/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] 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.