Harris Beach Flow

Nearest Area
Harris Beach State Park
Brookings, OR
The ebb of water well inside the surf line flows around one of the smaller sea stacks at Harris Beach State Park in Brookings, Oregon. Hip waders and knowledge of the tide (it was outgoing) along with a keen eye kept on the incoming water surges were all helpful for photographing this scene of the water flow over the tidal flats at this lovely State Park. Once I identified this spot as having a particularly interesting area of flow and decent composition around the flow, I experimented a bit, determining that a 2 second exposure with full polarization worked well for the water (all the better for bringing out contrast between the moving spots of foam and the blue/black water around them), but not so well for the largely blue sky (i.e. the polarization created an unnatural color gradient in the sky in this 17mm focal length view). So after jamming my tripod legs well down into the sand, I practiced taking two shots - the first at 1/2 second with polarization dialed out, focused on infinity while the water around me was slack, and the second at 2 seconds with polarization dialed fully in at 2 seconds and focused on the foreground region as the water around me was rushing back out toward the surf and sea stacks in the distance. After trying this a few times, I captured this particularly nicely shaped flow pattern. I blended the exposures in Photoshop using a mix of manual and luminosity masking, and further highlighted the lines of blurred bits of foam by dodging and burning through carefully selected luminosity selections. Harris Beach State Park, by the way, is a great staging ground for campers looking to explore the southern Oregon coast; particularly for accessing the nearby Samuel Boardman Scenic Corridor, which is also full of photographic potential.
Date Added
December 12, 2019