Oregon Coast at Dusk, Bandon, Oregon


We had planned to work the north end of Bandon beach, starting above at Coquille Point, then going down onto the beach. But as often happens, people get ‘locked’ into one area, and very few were taking the initiative to get onto the beach. The sky wasn’t all that promising for sunset – we could see that the clouds at the horizon might well block it just as it could be getting good. But as we all know, things can change. So I headed down with one or two others, to walk back down the beach and prepare for something.

I had a vision: I wanted to capture the pinks and blues of dusk, with swirling water. My intuition, (right brain) told me that I needed something for the water to swirl around, so I set about looking at the rock formations, and found a group that suited me. That accomplished, I set about figuring out my aperture and shutter speed (the left brain was engaged now) and got ready for whatever might happen. When the sun went down, it was as we thought – kind of a disappointment; but I knew that the afterglow could still work, so I waited. I was alone on the beach at this point – some of the group still up top, others had walked further down the beach. I seriously hoped that those further along on the beach were thinking what I was thinking so they’d be ready, too. In the peacefulness of the night, it was just me and the waves, the rhythmic ebb and flow, and it truly didn’t matter if the color never came. I was recharging my internal batteries, feeling the timeless energy of the ocean, feeling the fresh air on my face.

It finally happened. Slowly at first, but the colors began to show up. I sucked in my breath at the beauty. I made several exposures, trying to time them with the wave action to get the effect of mist surrounding the rock and capture some residual flow through the saddle of the formation. At the same time I wanted the wet beach to be enough in the foreground to reflect the colors, too. I wanted it all!

In the end, you get what you get when you’re working around water, and you just have to make a lot of pictures to time the water movement, and hope you get it. But I wasn’t complaining about standing there. Time after time, as I clicked the remote release, I was saying “thank you” for a most wonderful end to our day on the coast.