The moisture in the air along the Oregon coast can catch you out at times. On one drive south out of Yachats we rounded a bend in the road where we looked down from quite a height along the beaches stretched beneath us. It looked most impressive, but we were then on the way down a twisty road and had missed the pull off. I made a note to come back another time. This I did but the conditions had changed a lot. There was now a lot more mist in the air and the beaches were disappearing into the glare from the sun. Even so, it was still a very pretty location.
The stormy waves coming ashore in Yachats were providing some great splashes as they broke on the shore. They would crash into the rocks and send spray high into the air. If you were further along the shore and looked back at the people closer to the rocks, they would occasionally be silhouetted against the plume of spray. The cool thing about shooting this with a long lens is that it looks as if they are almost being overwhelmed by the waves. Get a bit closer and they are clearly a long way from the water and in no danger of getting wet (except for a bit of the mist if you are downwind of the impact point).
The stretch of coastline in Oregon that we visited had plenty to do. We had to scratch a few of the things we had thought about in order to do other things given the time available. One of the things we didn’t get close to was Thor’s Well. This is a hole in the rocks along the shore where the water can rush up from underneath. You can get close to the hole but you have to be careful as this is the sort of thing that can overwhelm you if you are not careful.
We only got to watch this from the overlook along the highway. The surf was running in quite strongly while we were there and the tides combined with it to provide a fair bit of action at the well. Even so, from this distance, you didn’t get much of a sense of the power of the water. If we go back, I will take the trail down there to get a closer look.
After dinner one night in Yachats, I decided to go out and see what I could make of the waves crashing on the shore at night. A number of lights were trained on the shoreline from the local properties so it wasn’t too dark out there. Even so, it certainly wasn’t very light. Time to test the low light capabilities of the cameras. The fact I was going to get slow shutter speeds didn’t bother me particularly as I was interested to see the effects that I could get showing the motion of the waves.
Light levels were indeed better than I had anticipated and I was able to get a lot of shots that came out okay. There was a good element of luck involved too. Waves are horribly unpredictable. If you see something good, you can almost guarantee it won’t do it again and, even if it does, it will be ages before the next set of waves comes in and, even then, the big wave will break differently. Also, some of the shapes they make turn out to look good in the shot and others are just indistinct messes. Nothing to do but hang around for a long time and try and lot of different shots and see which ones work. This randomness is a little frustrating as you feel you should be able to do something to improve but, in this case, it is a case of being there.
We spent a few days in Yachats, Oregon between Christmas and New Year. It was a nice opportunity to have a break, see some pretty scenery and relax. Yachats itself has a nice harbor and, as you drive around the south side of the harbor, you can pull off onto a smaller road that runs parallel to the shore in amongst the many houses that have been built there. You are on the opposite side to the town itself and the view across the water and the sand flats looks nice with the low winter sung angles.