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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

An Oregon Coast Travel Tale (Part 1)

Ok, so what do you do when you travel six hours on a flight pull into the hotel exhausted and wake up the next morning to gray skies and fog? You pray it gets better! That being said praying kind of worked. 

Let me explain. We left our hotel with gray skies and headed for the fog enshrouded coast not knowing if the fog would hold all day – it did. What a disappointment. Our trip down route 101 along the coast was another six hours of not seeing much. The beautiful scenery along 101 was invisible to us as we sped by listening to pod casts our sons’ had downloaded on their phones.

We stopped every once in a while to make a shot or two of the fog covered shore or islands peering through the mist. We did not bother to stop at Cannon Beach as it was covered in fog. When we arrived at our destination on Bandon Beach on the south shore just below Coos Bay we were met with an overlook of incredible beauty but covered by fog. 

We decided to put long pants and hiking shoes on to climb down the massive set of stairs to the beach. We were met with incredible amounts of huge driftwood – wow, a B&W photographers dream.  The driftwood and fog made for some great images.


Plus there was no one on the beach, yay! I had a great time poking around the giant stumps. The fog started to clear a little as sunset approached but we only got a sliver of color. The next morning I was up early hoping for some nice light and I was not disappointed. 


The shot above is not my best one. I have three frames with the flock of geese in it but the thumb nails on my iPad are so small on import I could not tell which one I wanted. 


Walking around in the early morning light on the beach and on the bluff was great, the scenery was outstanding.


As the light rose and made it over the cliff face it was almost like alpen glow the way it just lit the top portions of these giant edifices. I met some nice photogs along the way who were participating in workshops. This the end of part one. More to come on a day of travel to shoot lighthouses in horrible light and another morning among the giant rocks!