Bandon Beach, Oregon, USA by Chip Carroon

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Picture Story

An excursion along the Oregon coast has become common for many photographers in the western part of the United States. I make the trip two or three times a year. You can’t help but be impressed by the dramatic seascapes. Some of the good aspects of those views are the offshore rocks which add a lot of interest to the scene. Bandon Beach provides a good example of the opportunities.

I usually like ocean viewpoints with water flowing over and around rocks in the near foreground. While that is attractive, the situation at Bandon is generally different. Here there is an expansive, smooth, low gradient beach with a thin layer of water that can provide a reflection of the offshore sea stacks.

On this occasion, I arrived early to walk the beach and assess the possibilities at sunset. However, with a changing tide, things can change in an hour or two so you have to adapt. After some traditional images, I waited a while for the lower light level at the end of the day. I typically use a neutral density filter so my exposures are significantly long so water and perhaps cloud movements are blurred.

I wanted to capture the colored sky after sunset, but I also wanted to show the reflection that commonly is a feature of the Bandon Beach. The attractiveness of the reflection depends on the overall level of water on the beach according to the tide, but it also depends on the depth of the thin layer of water you want to image as a receding wave moves outward. If the layer is thin, the reflection will be fairly good.

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