This photo may be the last clear sunset shot at the Oregon Coast for 2014. Oregonian’s know that Fall and Winter bring the most dynamic and amazing sunsets but unfortunately they are hard to come by and you have to ask for a little luck. One of my favorites reasons for going to the beach, during the cold months, is that sunset is between 4:30 and 5:00 pm but if you go on a day when the skies are clear you will wish that you had more time to explore and take in the sights. To get this shot I made sure to use my tripod, bubble level and remote switch. However, I didn’t bring my ND filter so I wasn’t really able to set the exposure time for more than two seconds. I did attach my CIR PL, warming filter and UV filter in order to take advantage of the warming tones as well as remove any unwanted noise. The one thing to remember is that when you are taking sunset shots, during the month of November, the sunset comes and goes lightning fast so you want to be sure and keep on your feet. Luckily, there are usually less people so you will normally have the opportunity to move about more freely without running into people or finding them standing in your way. The tides are also much more aggressive and the swells move in and out pretty quickly so you will want to keep that in mind since you may find yourself getting caught in a fast moving swell as you take that epic shot. The most important thing to remember is to think outside the box and stay creative since you can sometimes get that perfect shot when you least expect it. I was really impressed with the crashing waves moving left to right once they reached the beach so I waited for the best chance to get this particular shot. I really liked the way the water was dancing just above the beach but at a very fast pace. Even though I couldn’t set my camera to shutter priority, I was able to keep the aperture at only F-4, which allowed me to get the movements of the waves as well as the colors of the skies drenched in reds, yellows and orange. I also made sure to keep the ISO at 100, the WB at 0 and held the shutter speed at 1/60 second. I was using my Canon T1i and attached my Sigma 17-70mm lens and set the focal length at 42mm in order to frame each of the rocks in the shot. Since I only shoot in jpeg mode I was able to keep the photo at only 1.67mb, which keeps it from being too big. The next several days is calling for some pretty rainy weather but I would recommend checking the weather for the next sunny days and take advantage of sunset opportunities like this.
If you are ever interested in getting a beautiful and unexpected sunset shot along the Oregon Coast, I would recommend that you visit during a time when the weather is stormy and unpredictable. You can almost always expect the weather, along the Oregon coast, to be unpredictable but you can never be sure what to expect. The summer months are the most predictable unless the fog stays enough offshore that you aren’t able to get a good sunset shot. This is usually the only thing that you will ruin your shots. However, if they are predicting stormy weather, you can have a much better chance of being surprised by some crazy sunset opportunities. It’s important that you closely watch the weather predictions and then adjust for the chance that they will get it completely wrong. However, if you’re wanting to get some crazy sunset weather, you don’t really need to check the weather unless you want to be sure and pack the right clothes. I find that rainy and stormy weather offers photographers the chance to really step up their game and allows you to really step out of the box. I try not to be a storm chaser but rather choose a location that will create the best canvas for some stormy weather shots. Utilizing rocks, sand and trees can really enhance your photo and if you can include the clouds and sun, you really have a winning shot. I took this shot and it shows how I took advantage of the offshore rocks, beach, clouds and sun cutting through the clouds. To get this shot I set the camera mode to shutter priority and set the speed at 10 seconds. I wanted to get the movement of the clouds and make the ocean look frothy. You can’t really see the beach but it’s in the foreground and the beach is made of medium sized black rocks. I attached my CIR-PL, warming filter and ND filter in order to increase the shutter speed and not have too much glare from the sun. I also wanted to capture the reflection of the sun beaming off the frothy ocean in order to create a biblical type of photo. I also set the ISO at 100 and put the white balance at +1. I was using my Sigma 17-70mm lens and set the focal length at 55mm.
[/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] A very stormy and cold winter sunset along the Oregon Coast. One of my first expeditions to the Oregon Coast, to capture the sunset, during Winter turned out to be one of my most memorable experiences. It didn’t help that the roads were icy and I had to drive over 4 hours round trip even though there was no more than 11 hours of light during the entire day. However, I had decided that I wanted to try and capture the perfect winter sunset with everything that an Oregon winter can offer. I made sure to bring along most of my snow-shoe gear so I wouldn’t have to suffer from the 34 degree temperatures and howling winds that made the temperatures drop into the teens. Even though my time allowed to photograph the scenery was limited, due to the shortened season, I was able to get this photo. The sun was actually dancing around some very fast moving and very aggressive clouds and it almost seemed that they were having a power struggle with each other. I was looking to get this exact shot of the sun just peeking from the cliffs with the clouds painted in an orange glow with the waves crashing against the rocks. The surf is also glowing in the turbulent and frothy salt water and the suns rays are spreading out along the entire sky. To get this shot, I made sure to set up my tripod, remote switch and bubble level in order to avoid any camera shake or blur. I also attached my ND4, CIR-PL and warming filter. I kept the camera mode in Program in order to avoid any blur from the water or clouds since I didn’t want to lose the personality of the swells. The shutter speed ended up at 1/6 second and the aperture was at F-4.5. I set the ISO at 100 and the white balance at 0 since the light was pretty dark due to the low light and time of day. This photo was taken just a few miles from Oceanside, Oregon, along a very secluded but easily found beach.
[/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] 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] 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] If you like sunsets then I would recommend visiting the San Juan Islands in summertime. You will want to drive to the NW side of the island and I would get there about an hour before sunset since you may be able to spot bald eagles diving for their dinner as well as watch sea lions swim within feet from the shore. I’ve been photographing the sunsets at this very spot for two summers and every time I visit the sunset is always different. You can expect each sunset to be different from the day before and that’s pretty much guaranteed. To get this shot I set the shutter speed at 30 seconds in order to have the water completely flat and increase the contrast since the sun had already set. This caused the sky and water to be engulfed with the orange hue caused by the intense sunset.
[/caption] A crazy cloud formation appeared just before sunset in the San Juan Islands, WA. The sun was completely shrouded behind several cloud banks as more and more clouds swept across the scene. The sun was scheduled to set around 8:45pm and I took this photo at 8:20pm. The clouds just above Vancouver Island are a deep orange since the sun was lighting up the only part of the sky that it could. The clouds in the upper part of the sky were moving at a very high speed and almost looks as though I had set the camera mode to shutter priority. However, the camera mode was in Program/Normal and the shutter speed was only at 1/320 second. The aperture was automatically set at 9.1 since I had the ISO set at 100, the white balance at -0.7 and attached my CIR-PL and warming filter. I set the focal length to 55mm in order frame the clouds in the photo without showing too much blue sky. I was using my Sigma 17-70mm lens but with the lens at 17mm there was too much blue sky in the upper atmosphere and the orange hue was most dramatic where the sun was.