This stretch of beach is my favorite place along the Oregon coast. I’ve visited this location many times before, but the weather has always been bad. Determined to get a good shot here, I decided to stick around the area in hopes of finding a good sunset. Finally, on the last day of my trip, the clouds were showing signs of color as sunset approaches, so with high hopes, I strapped on my pack and headed out to the cliff side shooting spot.
On my previous visits, the waves would hit the side of the cliffs so hard that you’d feel the thump in your chest. Today the ocean was unusually calm. I stood at the edge of the cliff just taking in the scene. I really wanted to convey the peaceful feeling I was getting there, so I decided to shoot this scene with a very long exposure. I used a 10-stop ND filter and bracketed the shot with 2 separate 4 minutes exposures. The bracketed shots were used to balance out the darker areas of the rock against the setting sun. I varied the aperture instead of the exposure time here because I want to keep the exposure at a constant 4-minutes. The very long exposure time really smoothed out the waves, giving an illusion that the sea stacks were floating on clouds. The sun also briefly peaked through the clouds during the exposure and gave me a nice splash of light on the rocks. I love the effects of the flying clouds mixed with different colors of the sun as the exposure time progresses. The final shot was such a surreal image that I’ve decided to call this image: Dreamland.