In mid-July I arrived in Crescent City, California to meet up with Tom and Jim, my fellow participants in the Gems of Oregon Workshop put on by photographer Ralph Nordstrom (ralphnordstromphotography.com/) I had previously taken a workshop led by Ralph through the Desert Institute at Joshua Tree National Park. I found him to be a wealth of knowledge as well as a very patient, attentive workshop leader.
Ralph provided an overview of the workshop and briefed us on the areas where we would be shooting over the next several days. Following Ralph’s presentation, we had a chance to share samples of our photographs with each other. It is always fun to see other photographer’s work.
An early supper was next on the agenda, following which we piled into Ralph’s car for a short drive north across the border into Oregon for our sunset shoot. When we arrived at the beach, fog dimmed our hopes for a spectacular sunset but made for some interesting initial shots.
One of the things I love about seascapes is waves crashing against rocks. The waves were rolling in nicely for some dramatic shots.
In this photo, the fog helps to provide a sense of depth to the scene.
We soon learned that our pessimism regarding a nice sunset was unfounded as the sky started to light up with some absolutely gorgeous pastel shades of pink, magenta and orange. The color reflections in the water surrounding the rocks was stunning.
As the color and light faded we packed up our gear and returned to the car. As we started to drive away, the sky lit up again with beautiful deep reds and oranges. We quickly parked, jumped out of the car, grabbed our cameras and started firing. What an incredible start to our workshop!
After breakfast the next morning, we loaded up our cars and headed up Hwy 101. At our first stop we had lots of time to explore the beach looking for a variety of compositions.
I really liked the patterns in the sand left by the receding waves. The seashell adds a little context to the shot.
The driftwood seems to lead naturally to the rocks on the shore and the sea stacks beyond.
A stream ran across the beach, leading the eye to the rocky coastline.
Our next stop was the Natural Bridges Viewpoint along the Samuel H. Boardman corridor.
A little further was Arch Rock. The straight-on view was OK but not all that inspiring. After looking around a bit I found a vantage point that gave, in my opinion, a much more interesting photo. In the photo below the rock is nicely framed by the trees.
The sun was pretty much directly overhead when we got to Battle Rock, which made finding interesting compositions difficult. I did like the way the line from the receding waves leads your eye to the hole in the rock. And in the second photo below, the wildflowers provide a nice foreground.
And, of course, there were waves crashing on the rocks!
This just reminded me of some kind of grotesque beast lounging on a log.
In operation since 1870, Cape Blanco Lighthouse is the oldest continually operating lighthouse in Oregon. Totally functional, it is also quite beautiful.
We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening in Bandon. The Coquille River Lighthouse made a nice backdrop for a couple of shots.
This Turkey Vulture was enjoying dinner on the beach.
We were treated to an absolutely stunning sunset that evening. It was literally a sunset that just kept giving … and giving … and giving …
Click on any image in the set below to open up the full-sized gallery.
After two spectacular seascape sunsets on two consecutive evenings, it was time to move inland. Here we discovered that the rivers and waterfalls of the interior of Oregon are equally as beautiful as its seascapes.
We spent the final afternoon of the workshop at Crater Lake. Formed by a volcanic eruption that caused the collapse the mountain peak, it is the deepest lake in the US. And it is perhaps the most intense and deepest shade of blue that I have seen in a lake anywhere.
With the sunlight glittering off the water, Phantom Ship looks like it is sailing in a sea of diamonds.
Wizard Island is actually a cinder cone. It is capped by a small crater named Witches Cauldron.
We capped off the day with a visit to the Pinnacles. I was caught by the back-lighting the trees and the sand blowing through the valley. The sandstorm was hazardous to us and, more importantly, our cameras, but I managed to get this shot off before we packed it in for the day.
I thoroughly enjoyed the nearly four days I spent with my workshop mates, Tom and Jim, as well as, of course, Ralph Nordstrom. Ralph runs a number of photo workshops in the American Southwest. Check them out at ralphnordstromphotography.com/workshops.