Shadowy Figure, Bandon Beach, Oregon, USA by Robert Strain

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Bandon Beach and its sea stacks are some of the most accessible and photographed stacks in the world. This was a must do on a trip up the California and Oregon coasts.

Arriving later than ideal, I found nearly a dozen photographers with their tripods at the edge of the surf. There was one more photographer up to his waist (and shoulders with higher swells coming in) who was receiving scathing looks from the other photographers. He had positioned himself in their images and there was nothing they could do about it. My take was that the guy probably traveled from South America for this one shot and was not to be denied. He even had the appropriate waterproof gear on. We were occasionally entertained as he struggled to keep his tripod firm and camera dry. It seemed that he had not planned well enough to realize he would be fighting a rising tide.

Instead of joining in with the derisive comments, I set about making the best images I could. My late arrival meant I would be limited to silhouettes, which was just what I needed to make him disappear into the stack on the left side. It was not too difficult to find a position that placed the Bandon Needle in an attractive position with the more distant stacks providing depth against the soft sunset. Although I could totally edit the human sea creature out of the photo, I left his faint shadow in place as a reminder of the fun that evening and that I should arrive in earlier next time.

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