The real fun of landscape photography is how challenging it can be. Any time you go out and shoot, you are at the mercy of mother nature. Weather conditions in particular have huge impact on the final image. Whether there are clouds in the sky, color at sunrise/sunset, direction of the wind, whether its high or a low tide and the list goes on…
You can’t predict the weather, but you can improvise!
Great images are made when you hike for miles, when you stay up past midnight or when you stand in one place for hours. It happens when you spend a few hours scouting, when you stand in freezing water and when you are willing to be away from the world.
Your image is a product of the conditions and your willingness to get the shot of your dreams. Often times, you have to surrender to conditions while on other occasions you need to go that extra mile to fight them. This delicate balancing act is the most exciting part of landscape photography.
If this sounds like hard work, well it is…but it’s also exhilarating! My Oregon trip was full of such experiences.
On Day 3, after shooting that sunrise at Cannon Beach, I drove south on highway 101. It is such a pleasure to drive on this coastal road! My suggestion is, if you need to reach somewhere on this route, add a few hours to the ETA . It’s so hard not to stop along the way!
I stopped at Oswald West state park. This park with its old growth forest, moss laden trees and a trail that eventually takes you on a small secluded beach, is worth a hike or two.
After hiking for few miles, I left the park and continued driving south. I reached Cape Kiwanda around mid-day. It was still couple of hours to sunset, so I walked around the beach and scouted for the right composition.
This stunning beach is a little less popular than Cannon Beach, and I’d recommend it to anyone going to the area. There is also a great brewpub right on the beach! Talk about the location, right?
Huge sand dunes and rock formations protruding into the sea occupy the north side of the beach. All along the Oregon coast, sea is aggressive and waves bring so much energy to the whole scene. I climbed on top of the dunes, to check out the magnificent view A long stretch of sand, huge ocean waves crashing on the rocks and golden glow of sunset just a couple of hours away. I sat there enjoying the view for few minutes, but this wasn’t really my shot.
Sometimes cameras can’t really capture what we see. Have you ever climbed on a mountain top to a spectacular view, so excited… And then when you took a shot, it looked… well… meh? if you have been in this situation then you know exactly what I mean.
Our eyes see things in 3D, and since there is no depth in 2D images, sometimes it all looks kind of flat! To convey the same grandeur as your eyes see, your images need layers. I needed a composition, that would emphasize how it all really looked! I found a spot close to the waves, with a line of rocks leading into the sea where the sun would set. I shot some long exposures to catch the motion in waves and some even longer to get that dreamy effect.
After Cape Kiwanda, I returned for my night stay at cannon beach.
Next up,my drive to a fabulous lighthouse, some sea lions and my first shot of star trails. Stay tuned for the next blog.
In case you missed part 1 of the Oregon series, here is the link : Photographing Oregon