I’m en route right now to the California Redwoods and the Oregon coast. Last year I spent a week here exploring, hiking, scouting and photographing this amazing area. I was struck by the beauty, both big and small, in this environment. I spent some days shooting along the coast, and Bandon beach was impressive. I spent half the day soaking up this beach area. I’ve found I am my most creative when I really absorb my surroundings, and just concentrate on the beauty. Not thinking about business, deadlines, personal issues…be in that place at that moment, no distractions, 100 percent focused on my surroundings. As I wandered the beach, I found a beautiful rock surrounded by a moat of tidewater. I decided to work every angle and composition I could imagine. I knew there was a good image there, I just had to find it. I shot right through sunset, which was nice since it was clear, but no crimson sky overhead. And I remembered an important concept for landscape photography; after the sun sets, just keep shooting.
One thing many photographers forget is film, or digital media, will record colors and tones differently during long exposures. What you see at the moment is not what you will get in the final shot. It is similar to northern lights photography; that dull green glow in the sky will look spectacular after a 30 second exposure. The colors saturate, shapes form…it is hard to believe what the camera records versus what you see in real time.
I knew twilight colors with clear sunset and sunrise would render rich and saturated during a long exposure. I set up for my shot, and started shooting exposures from 1 second to 10 seconds as the light faded. I was ecstatic with the image. Not only were the horizon colors saturating nicely, but the tide pool also picked up purple tones from the sky. The icing on the cake was the wind blew ripples on the moat water around the rock creating a nice soft silky appearance during the long exposure. I knew I had just created one of my favorite images for 2017. Just me, the ocean waves rolling along the beach, and a beautiful tidal moat surrounding a beach rock…being in the moment and lucky enough to record it. When I made it back to my car it was totally dark. But waiting that extra 30 minutes after sunset was worth every second.
Read our 2018 trip report. We had an incredible trip!