A Unique Opportunity

Recently we had a great opportunity to make some great images. The sun and the moon rose right behind the Twin Lights on Thacher Island in Rockport. Of course at different times of day. I was fortunate to have some very nice people from Pennsylvania along on a full day tour. We got up early and were greeted with a fabulous sunrise that was a wowser.

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I love the layers of color in this image. Then as the sun got higher the colors begin to go more yellow.

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Then to make this such a great opportunity we came back around sunset. Of course the sun was going down on the other side of the island but we were looking for the Harvest Moon to come up right next to the North Tower.

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I love it when the geese cooperate.

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In my opinion this lighthouse is so cool. I love the little house and the granite bricks the tower is made of. The best thing is that anyone can find this out when these great opportunities happen. I use TPE on my phone. The app shows where the sun and the moon are going to come up and go down and where it lines up. Great stuff.

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 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!