Slowing down the ocean

As we move into autumn and the colors start to change I wanted to test out my ND filters which I don’t use that much. I hope to make it up to New Hampshire in October for some water falls and colored leaves. I’ll be scouting locations for workshops next year. So I headed over to my favorite place for water Halibut Point State Park. My filter system is not that varied. I use B+W three stop and 10 stop filters for my Leica lenses. For my Canon lenses I use a variable Tiffen ND filter. So off I went at zero dark thirty for the rocky shoreline at Halibut Pt. The tide was almost all the way in and coming up the flat rocks and I wanted to try out the 10 stop filter on the Leica 21mm Super Elmar.


This image was made at the Leica M-P 240’s exposure limit of one minute. Besides the huge wait time of about 45 sec. after the exposure for noise reduction processing, I found using the Leica very easy. Using the EVF was a huge benefit. I love the foggy look of the water but if I had brought my three stop filter I would have used it instead. If the ocean had been a bit more wild I think the water would have been more interesting.


The exposure here was much shorter at 20sec. and the water is still very misty looking but at 40 sec. less time the water does not show as much. Then I switched over to my Canon 5Dmk3 with the 24-70 f4 L. As much as I like this lens the bowing of the horizon is horrible. I used my Tiffen variable ND filter which I had set at the third to highest density level. At the highest and second to highest density level there is some x-ing going on. I converted the Canon shots to B&W as they looked better. The B&W images below were made using the Alpine Labs Pulse. This is a nifty little unit that is small and pretty easy to use. I need to use it more so I get used to it. At one point it stopped working and I needed to shut the camera off and then on again and also restart the unit. It controls the camera in many ways. I am disappointed that you can’t make the shot and control the camera on the same screen in the smart phone app. You have to swipe back and forth to do this. It’s a pain. The other issues had to do with it stopping to work. Not a big deal when shooting waves but imagine if it was important.




An Oregon Travel Tale (Part 3)

We are now back and I am finally getting around to posting the last installment of our trip out to the Oregon coast. We drove back down to Bandon and hoped for a sunset which never happened as the fog rolled in again to seal it’s fate. What a bummer because it was really looking up. But the next morning the fog was minimal and the rock sentinels were sprouting everywhere. I headed down to the beach to make some more images and what I found was awesome.



The image below is of the back side of this stump. It looks like part of a whale.


This really cool stump was anchored in place below some 30 ft tall volcanic rock spires. It had initials carved into it probably from eons ago. The ocean has been weathering it for a very long time.


These giant edifices were inspiring to photograph and I hope I get another chance to shoot them in light that has more color to it.




After the light started to rise in the sky it was time to leave and head north again. We stopped along the way to take in the view that we had not seen on the way down. It was truly magnificent. We wanted to stop and see the Heceta Head Light up close but the rest of the family wanted to keep going. So I made do with images of it from far away at the Sea Lion Caves.


This image was taken 200 ft below the surface but there were no sea lions on the rocks.


We could however see the Heceta Head Light from the top of these stairs.


Then again from 200 ft up near the Sea Lion Gift shop.


Then as we moved up the coast we saw some incredible scenery from way high up on the bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.



We headed for Cannon Beach and made it in time for dinner and sunset which was truly uninspiring. But I managed a good shot out of it anyway. The shot below is on the more un-photographed side of Haystack Rock. It was nice of this couple to walk by and make the shot for me.


The next morning did not give us much in the way of sunrise type shots so off we went on our journey north. We ran into a familiar site along the way – a traffic jam on Rt. 20 headed toward Boston. Who would have thought. Traffic never changes. Only 3,365 miles to go.


Well that’s it for this years blog post on our annual trip to Oregon. Next year it might be Yosemite, who knows.

An Oregon Travel Tale (Part 2)

The light was beautiful but as it got higher the sky it was time to start our tour of lighthouses in the horrible high sun. This part of the coast is gorgeous but the driving between locations is long. So back to the podcasts on our sons’ phones with hands on the wheel and back and forth discussions between two old folks and their close to thirty something sons. Heated discussions at times! But interesting never the less.

I have always wanted to see the entrance to the Coquille River. It has jettys on either side which are guarded by a lighthouse. If any of you know the crazy entrance to Newburyport in Massachusetts then you know exactly what I mean. It’s nuts! So much so that the Coast Guard practices going out of the mouth and over the huge waves with their forty footers. We watched one go out for a practice run it was crazy. The waves were huge. The other impressive thing about this location was the amount of driftwood everywhere. 

The beach on the right side was packed with driftwood. Truly amazing. We spent lots of time wandering on the beach and watching the huge waves crashing on the jetty and beach. Then we got back in the car for more driving and listening. More driving – ugh! The next stop was the  Cape Arago Lighthouse which is privately owned by Native American’s so it can only be photographed from far away. Kind of boring looking anyway.

After seeing this scene along the way we travelled up to the Umpqua River light which was beautiful but was not much of a photo in the mid day light. I can’t remember if I shot a photo of it or not. If I find one I’ll slide it into this post. They had a museum there and a great view of the entrance to the river. Then it was back on the road again. More to come in the next segment.