Spring Sunset Draws Dozens to One Oregon Coast Beach
(Cannon Beach, Oregon) – If you ever really want to feel like just one of the crowd, try being a photog at one tiny section of Cannon Beach, on the north Oregon coast. We’re not talking being one of the throngs with camera cellphones, small instant digital cameras, and those regular folk who mistakenly believe using their flash while shooting a coastal sunset will do them any good.
Indeed, even if you’ve got the superior equipment and better-than-average photographic knowledge, you’re just one of the herd just behind the Needles of the famed Haystack Rock.
All of a sudden, you’re nothing special, in spite of whatever pricey, pro equipment you may be lugging around. Here, on this particular sunset in late May, around two dozen folks are lining a 100-foot-long stretch of beach, just behind the Needles rock structures – at just the right angle so the sunset falls around them in some way.
Apparently, a new tradition is born.
On any given beach, at any given moment during the ups and downs of the tourism year, you’re likely to be one of only a handful of shooters that looks like he or she may be a pro if you're carrying around such gear. Even on the more crowded of sandy stretches this is true. But this spot – and usually from only this angle – draws them in droves to capture that money shot.
Who can blame them, really? Framing that sunset between the Needles or between them and Haystack is a postcard anyone would want to send home. Then, add to that the current cloud conditions that spring provides at sundown and you have a recipe for a coveted capture of the moment and the place.
For some reason, sunsets in spring tend to be more dramatic and wild, as a combo of thick, moist air and plenty of puffy clouds creates places for those last rays to bounce off of, squeeze through in striking shafts, or it bends and twists the light in endless configurations and shades.
In short, there’s more bang for your buck with a spring sunset out here.
This night was no different, except maybe slightly more exciting than normal.
Then, depending on where you are in this tiny part of Cannon Beach, there’s a rock near the Needles where giant waves get launched into the air, providing even more dynamic eye candy for the photographer – whatever the skill level – or the casual observer.
Perhaps that’s the most important thing to take away from these final moments of daylight along this raging coast: it’s really all about watching the sunset. Sometimes, when you spend so much time and energy shooting a moment like a sunset, you miss that moment. Sure, you’ve frozen that moment in time for yourself and for others. But the truth is, if you’re immersed in all the technique, observations and calculations that it takes to capture a sunset correctly, the irony is you’ve missed that moment for yourself.
Spring is definitely the best time to photograph a sunset on the Oregon coast. Just don't forget to experience one or two for yourself as well.
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