I spent a week moving down the coast of Oregon, from Newport to the CA border, at the end of October/beginning of November 2011. This was first time I had been up there for any significant duration, and the first time as a "serious" photographer. It was quite a revelation! There's tons of these ocean "sea stack" shots, but I had no idea how difficult they are to get. I did some research on the web for locations, but I didn't have a clue about the locations themselves and how to compose shots out of some very complex terrain.
So I just scoped out the places I had researched, and pretty much walked up and down the beaches and shot. I quickly became aware of the need to know tide tables, of being able to deal with ocean mist and spray on lenses, of tripods sinking into soft sand during long exposures, and sneaker waves (having been doused by one at Cape Perpetua, when I was was far away from any waves that seemed at all likely to reach me ... oops! ... thus the name "sneaker"). I fell in love with the Oregon coast, and will be back soon...but not in summer; it was obvious from how the state park campgrounds are set up that the entire coast is overrun with crowds at that time.
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