Unseen Reality of the Oregon Coast: Science of Newport, Nye Beach at Night
(Newport, Oregon) – If you think you know what many of the landmarks of Newport look like: you may be wrong.
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder – but so is reality. Reality is slightly different if you're a mechanical eye, as the camera not only never lies but it sees things us humans don’t see. The truth about the world around us – and the Oregon coast resort town of Newport – becomes apparent when the photographic eye takes in the atmosphere of the beach at night. Various gasses – both manmade and natural – not visible to humans come to light, as do various interesting light sources.
It's an intriguing combination of science and aesthetics that takes place when photographing the beach at night.
All this can be seen along with a dose of mind-bending twisting of reality as well along the Yaquina Bay in Newport and the quaint historic village of Nye Beach.
The sea itself is a strange, otherworldly mist at Nye Beach, which is essentially the beachy area of Newport.
Interestingly enough, this section of town used to be a separate village from the rest of Newport back in the early days of the two towns, some 100 years ago. Newport was the bayfront area, and the two were vaguely connected by a muddy, rut-ridden road that had wooden planks loosely thrown on top to aid transportation.
Down on Yaquina Bay, a wide variety of striking things happen when the lights of the historic bayfront are squeezed through the ocean fog that envelops the bay. Various colors erupt in a way you’ve never seen before and in curious shapes. The bridge and its architecture create another landscape all its own.
On the South Beach side of the bay, the crabbing and fishing pier is lit up in an ethereal manner by all this. This is also a place of exceptional romantic possibilities, especially with the hazy beauty around you on a night like this and the sound of the waves lapping at the sides of the bay somewhere in the darkness.
Wowing moments abound at this place at night as well. Like when a fishing boat comes back in slowly from a trip out to sea, with its brilliant light suddenly illuminating different aspects of the bay as it passes. At one point, as it approaches from a distance, it looks like some heavenly messenger or something out of the recent Spielberg movie "Super 8."
At Nye Beach, there’s another pier – a host of rocky boulders piled at the tideline that’s nicknamed the “pier.” It appears to be covered by an otherworldly mist, but this is simply what the ocean looks like when photographed in motion over a period of several minutes. Those atmospheric gasses that drift around usare more obvious here, along with the way certain kinds of lights color the air.
This scene above is immediately beneath the Nye Beach Turnaround, looking north. Normally, the lighthouse and Yaquina Head would be visible, but not on this night. It's essentially the same spot as the photograph above it - showing distinctly how various lights and gasses and can change things drastically from within just a few hundred feet.
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