Over the past week or so i’ve spent time in Redwoods National Park and several state parks along the southern Oregon coast, taking advantage of a stretch of fine weather out here. As I write this I’m in Samuel Boardman State Park, drying out my gear and my self after deciding that I could make it through a narrow corridor between two beaches, even though the surf was high and the waves were pretty big. I was wrong, but my gear made it through fine and the only thing that was damaged was my opinion of my own judgement. I do wish I had brought a second pair of pants, though, because I think Carhartts take a long time to dry out!
I had never been to the Redwoods before despite living just a four hour drive from them, and I’m really glad I made the trip. There’s a feeling I had while walking through a forest of such ancient, giant trees, that reminds me of the way I felt while hiking through the High Sierra on the Pacific Crest Trail. The landscape feels almost sacred, like humans shouldn’t be there, and I noticed that at times I was holding my breath as I looked around me. Still, like most forests it was difficult to photograph though I did manage a few.
It was difficult to find an area that I could isolate without too much bright sky and contrast, but I like this portrait of redwood trunks against the green of the forest. For the last two seconds of the exposure I zoomed in slowly to get the streaks of light and to soften the hard lines of the forest.
When I saw this smaller redwood sort of snaking around the larger one I knew I wanted to capture it. After trying several different perspectives I settled on this one, though I can’t say that it really captures the moment as well as I had hoped.
Just to give you an idea of how big these trees are, and this one wasn’t at all unusual!
Clover grew pretty thick around the bases of many of the big trees, but usually the bark of the tree wasn’t as symmetrical as this one. There wasn’t much color in the scene to begin with, and as the photo was mainly about lines and shapes I prefer it in Black and White.
A small tree grows at the base of two giants.
I spent one morning at Harris Beach on the south end of Boardman, and saw this gathering of gulls from the hillside overlooking the beach. I like the lines and simplicity, and it’s not often I get to use my long lens.
Often times the clouds on the coast leave a lot to be desired by the photographer, appearing hazy and indistinct in the humid air. But yesterday evening the clouds were lovely, and as I scrambled around the beach looking for a good composition I came across this tiny washboard stream going out to sea.
Canon 5d Mark iii, 16-35mm lens, 1/250 sec at f/8, ISO 100, handheld
Many of the small islands just offshore around here have a few gnarled evergreens on top of them, and it’s just an irresistible draw for a photographer. I tried for an unusual perspective this time by having the wispy clouds take up most of the frame, and I like how it turned out.
It was mid-afternoon when I arrived at Cape Blanco a few days ago, not normally an ideal time to be out trying to shoot landscapes. I’d gone there to focus on this pillar, which i’ve photographed before but I just felt there was something better to be had there. I still feel that way, but I got a couple of nice ones.
One of the many islands at a beautiful beach north of Brookings. Solar halos are amazingly common on the coast, though I can’t recall seeing them anywhere else. Caused by sunlight reflecting off high-altitude ice crystals, they’re a real boon to the photographer.
I needed a long exposure to capture the movement of the little rivulets of sea foam in the wake of each wave, but it was midday and really bright out so even with my aperture stopped down to f/22 and ISO at 50 the shutter speed was still just 1/4 second or so. Fortunately I always carry a 10-stop neutral density filter which screws onto the front of the lens and reduces the brightness of the entire scene by 10 stops, supposedly without altering color though mine definitely makes photos warmer.
A morning view of the big rock pillar at Cape Blanco, complete with pink light and some ubiquitous coastal fog.
On Saturday morning I went down to the beach at Bandon to check out the big sea stacks, but once I saw this lone Canada Goose in the surf I decided it was more promising. I wanted a longer exposure to blur the scene a bit, but the goose was slowly walking around constantly so I didn’t think it would happen. Then a wave rolled passed it and it stopped moving as the water rushed past its feet back to sea, and I was able to take a fairly sharp shot of the scene.
After my morning session in Bandon I started heading home under a steady rain, but almost skidded off the road as a passed a wooded creek full of blooming Skunk Cabbage, which is not the name I would have chosen for these beautiful plants. I donned my hip waders and explored the amazing landscape of bright colors in a normally dark forest.