I’m teaching my Lightroom seminar in Seattle on Friday, so I decided to visit some friends in Portland and shoot for a couple of days. Well, last night, my buddy Brian Matiash and I drove to the Oregon Coast to a place near Cape Perpetua called Thor’s Well (a 3+ hour drive, each way). I’ve seen photos of it and I really wanted to get a chance to shoot it. It’s this rock formation that forms a well along the coast. At sunset, with the right light and with water flowing into it, it looks great!
Here’s a screen capture I took of photographer Gary Weathers photo of Thors Well that I liked. You can also click here to see Gary’s Flickr page where he’s got a lot of other great photos too. This is something along the lines of what I was hoping to see 🙂
Sadly, as much as you think you can plan, if Mother Nature isn’t in on it, then you’re outta luck. The tide was too low to to get the photo that we wanted. In fact, it was so low that we had a hard time even finding Thor’s Well because it just looked like a hole in the ground. Here’s my photo. It’s kinda missing something huh? Like… maybe… WATER! 🙂
So Brian and I did what any good photographer would do in this circumstance. We cried, cursed, made obscene gestures and left to go grab a beer. 🙂 Just kidding. We made the best of the situation and just took some photos of the surrounding area and rocks which were actually really nice looking as well. The photo below was taken with a Nikon D800, Nikon 16-35mm lens and a 3-stop ND filter for a 20 second exposure (which is what smooths the water and gives the sky that streaky look).
We actually had a great time. Even though it was a long drive, the time flew by and I’m still glad we went. The coast is beautiful. I’ve been along the Oregon coast several times, before but I never get tired of looking at it. Especially being from Florida. It’s about as different of a coastline as you can get from what I usually see.
I’ve got lots of other photos from the trip too. Including another visit to one of the locations behind, The Story Behind the Photo (Week 3), where I almost died (not really) 😉
If you’re in the Seattle area, I hope to see you Friday. If not, I’ll be sure post some more photos from the trip over the next couple weeks. Have a good one!
Another good reminder of how important planning is. I was in Italy for just over a week in August traveling around Tuscany. I was expecting to get sun flowers and green rolling hills like we see in all amazing shots from Italy. 40+ weather had killed all the green and nothing but fields of dead black/brown sun flowers.
So like Matt I did the best with what I had and got some great photos. It was just not what I had expected to get. I learned my lesson make sure to check everything if you are looking for a specific photo.
The last few weeks you have been commenting a lot on various stop ND filters.
Would it be possible for you to go into greater detail about them and their use at some time. I would love to learn more about them.
Sure thing. I’m working on writing something soon.
Heh… I have the same photo of Thor’s Well that you do! Ah, if only I’d done a bit more planning…
I had almost the same experience in Kauai with Mokolea Pt. I had seen a thor’s well type shot by Patrick Smith and when I got there the maelstrom in the ocean effect was just not there. Thanks for sharing your humanity with us!
Wow, Matt! Beautiful photograph! Sorry you missed Thor’s Well … that would have been a fantastic opportunity based on the Gary Weather’s photo. Oregon coast is beautiful indeed. We are planning a vacation up that way next year so this gives me some great ideas! Have fun at your LR 4 seminar and knock’em dead!
Beautiful images Matt. Too bad the tide was out. I have always admired Gary’s photo and didn’t know where it was taken. Time to add it to my “to visit” list.