Cape Arago Lighthouse, Oregon, USA by Anna Garrison

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Picture Story

In spring 2017, I lived in my camper along the Oregon Coast. My days were spent studying tide charts and learning about landscape photography. Being there every day, I was able to re-visit favorite spots during different conditions.

A very low minus tide in May drew me to re-visit the Cape Arago Lighthouse situated on Chief's Island. A viewpoint from the south alongside Cape Arago Highway offers a popular stop for photographers to shoot the lighthouse from a distance.

For this shot, I wanted something unique. I hiked down to the beach just north of the lighthouse, then clambored over the slippery rocks only exposed during very low tides. I was mesmerized by the concretions and patterns in the sandstone and used these features to frame the lighthouse. This spot is north of the lighthouse, so the early morning sun coinciding with the very low tide was spectacular.

Unable to capture this entire scene with my beloved 24mm lens, I shot six photos and merged them together in Photoshop. One shot captured the majority of the wave motion, so minimal effort was required to blend the layers.

I've donated a metal print of this to the local visitor's center in Coos Bay. Locals appreciate my effort to bring them a different viewpoint of the lighthouse, one many have never seen!

The lighthouse was decommissioned in 2006. Chief's Island and the 24 acres of surrounding land were returned to the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians on August 3, 2013.


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