Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach reminds me of Carmel by the Sea; only it’s about eight hundred miles to the north. A little more unconventional, perhaps, but that’s a good thing.

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Cannon Beach
The view of Cannon Beach from Ecola State Park

Actually, this is a view of Crescent Beach with Cannon Beach in the distance; but the whole area is known as Cannon Beach. I drove here to Ecola State Park from Portland in the morning, and getting an early start was vital. After I returned from a hike, the roads and parking lots were full of holiday travelers. The July temperature is in the upper seventies.

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There used to be a direct path to Crescent beach from here, but it got washed out in a storm. The alternate trail is about a mile and a half and is rather arduous. Even so, it was worth it, and because it was harder to reach, there were very few people. So I walked the whole beach, took plenty of photos, and skipped the crowds.

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Oregon Coast

I drove up and down the coast of Oregon last week to get a break from the Florida heat and take pictures. This image is from a random beach where I and several others stopped to watch the sunset.

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Oregon Coast
Sunset along the Oregon Coast

There was this little freshwater stream that trickled down from the hills and disappeared into the sand. When a family stepped in front of me, everything lined up, so I took the shot.

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The Oregon Coast Highway is probably better done in an RV so you could stop and take it in for long stretches before moving on; I was in a Ford Fiesta. I took plenty of stops but not nearly enough. Sometimes my wanderings would pay off with something interesting to see, other times not so much. But as they say, it’s not the destination but the journey.

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Emerson Point

To get here, you walk through a jungle trail, and it’s easy to get a bit disoriented. That is until you pop out from the brush at sunset.

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Emerson Point Clouds
Looking out to sea from Emerson Point

The image I took here is similar to one I did from the same spot a half dozen years ago.

The clouds and weather ensure each image will be different, and I never tire of it.

more from Emerson Point

Due to the full range of light and the difficulty of shooting into the sun, this is a combination of at least five photos. I combined the images with AuroraHDR and then parts of it re-layered in Photoshop. In some respects, this is a painting, in that the light was blended to create a picture. That creative process I find satisfying, even if it is the same scene on a different day.

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Scott Lake

Scott Lake was a detour of a detour I took while driving through Willamette National Forest. I took so many detours its surprising I made any forward progress at all.

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Scott Lake
A remote lake in Willamette National Forest

I figured as long as I had gas and some trail mix I was probably not going to have problems. The only real dilemma was deciding when to turn back. If I didn’t need sleep, I’d have driven all night, and that would have been just fine.

more photos featuring the color green

I could see setting up camp here and exploring for a few days. As its the pacific northwest, I’d half expect to see a bigfoot. This area is so big and untamed that it would not surprise me in the least. At least this is where I would be if I were a bigfoot.

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Cape Cove

While driving along the Oregon coast, I stopped here in Cape Cove. The area is so pretty it’s hard to take a bad picture.

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Cape Cove
A long exposure image along the Oregon coast

The coastline has these massive rocks that are the remnants of an eroding mainland. I can imagine that ten-thousand years ago the land extended well beyond where it ends today. These are up and down the Pacific coast, and they make for good studies in geology and, in my case, photography.

more long exposure images from the gallery

I created this effect using an ND filter, which allows for a long exposure, even during daylight; this is a 20-second exposure. With that, the water appears smooth like glass. Also, the aperture is set to f22, which allows both the foreground and background rocks to be in focus, and it creates the star effect of the sun. Also, shooting right into the sun like this created lens flare, which in this case, I quite like.

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Forest Path

A few days ago, I walked through a forest in Oregon’s Ecola State Park. It was a nice break from the regular everyday routine.

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Forest Path
The trail to Crescent Beach

It was my first time visiting Oregon, so I toured both the mountains and coast to get a sense of things. There was no real plan other than drive, observe, and take photos. I’d see something intriguing, and follow it until I had to turn around.

more from the gallery

In this case, I was near Cannon Beach, which is a famous resort town. This particular trail leads to the isolated Crescent Beach, which bears no resemblance to the beaches in Florida. It was a good change of pace.

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Sisters, OR

Imagine living in a town called Sisters; how cool would that be? The name comes from its proximity to the Three Sisters volcanic peaks in Oregon.

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Sisters, OR
The town of Sisters in Oregon’s Cascade Range

The good news is that Middle and North Sisters are dormant. The maybe-lousy news is the South Sister is showing signs. I took a detour to see the fifteen-hundred-year-old lava flow and, as lava flows go, it’s a big one. Here is a shot I took of the lava flow, but it doesn’t do justice. It’s about five miles wide.

The lava flow of South Sister in Oregon

Here is the Wikipedia page.

Anyway, I was just glad to be here and out of the Florida summer heat for a few days. Oregon in summer is a mild climate, not too hot, not too cold. Goldilocks would approve. After visiting the lava flow, I ended up in this mountain town. If South Sister ever decides to come back to life, this place will have front-row seats.

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Simple Seascape

This image is from Ken Thompson Park in Sarasota on a hot summer afternoon. So hot, in fact, that three minutes later I was back in the car.

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Simple Seascape
A minimalist seascape from Ken Thompson park in Sarasota

There are a couple of reasons I like this photo; one is the minimal aesthetic, and the other is that its same spot I took an abstract picture with an iPhone 5.

Squint
A photo I took with the iPhone 5 in the same spot

The abstract I took during a sunset that was like nothing I’d ever seen. I didn’t have a camera, so I used an iPhone. Not that it matters.

see more from the abstract gallery

The two have nothing in common, yet I stood at the same spot for each. It just goes to show what imagination, setting, and post-processing can get you.

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When I See It

If you head down this road for three minutes, you’ll end up at the gulf. If you go the other direction for about two hours, you’ll end up at the Atlantic. Only in, Florida.

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When I See It
The sun sets over Emerson Point in Palmetto

I was leaving the gulf and stopped for a different shot when I happened to look back; that’s how I came to take this photo. Most of the pictures I take originate from this rather haphazard approach. That’s not to say I don’t occasionally plan; it’s just that planning and this type of photography are only loosely connected. Having a plan gets me out of the house, and that’s where the connection ends.

more images with clouds

Once out of the house, the struggle is figuring out what photos to take; to solve that I try to stay open and aware of what’s around me. Over the years, I’ve developed an aesthetic which largely stems from my personality. So, when I go out to take photos, even though I may not know what I’m looking for, I will generally know it when I see it.

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Brain Games

Here is one of the trails at Emerson Point that I recently explored. If it weren’t for that they are well-marked, I’d still be in there somewhere.

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Brain Games
A boardwalk at Emerson Point Preserve

When you look at this photo, something might seem a little off. The path appears level yet distorted. Can you guess what it is? Spoiler, …the boardwalk ascends a hill, it’s not level. Once you know this, the sense of distortion disappears.

more photos from Emerson Point

Our brain is the most complicated thing known to science. But neuroscientist can do all sorts of little test like this to point out the contours of aspects we are only beginning to understand. Check out this short demonstration of the blind spot which we have that the brain fills in. Most of us never even know we have one. I certainly didn’t until a few days ago.

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