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Like Day and Night on Oregon Coast: Different Faces Just S. of Cannon Beach

Published 04/01/2020 at 6:24 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Like Day and Night on Oregon Coast: Different Faces Just S. of Cannon Beach

(Cannon Beach, Oregon) - Just about any spot on the Oregon coast has a myriad of faces, even starkly different personalities. It all depends on the day, the season, and certainly weather conditions. But what if you go beyond the day? The changes and ethereal moods that take over a place after dark are startling and stark but always mesmerizing.

Even if you can’t see it. In fact, it takes a camera to see the beaches as they really are at night, no matter how you think your eyes have adjusted.


Photo above: Tiffany Boothe of Seaside Aquarium. Silver Point on a winter's night filled with fishing boats

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Case in point: those famed viewpoints just south of Cannon Beach. The overlook/pull-offs as you wind southward are one of the more remarkable experiences on the coast, and the de rigueur first-stops for those who have just entered 101 – especially those who have not seen the beach before. Silver Point is the name of the main lookout, which provides eye-popping glimpses of Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock to the north, a nearly endless seascape due west and some interesting wave action, and then hotspots like Hug Point to the south.

But what about these spots at night? Not much to see, correct?

Wrong.


Just like any day, every night photographs a very different way. As in this case above, on a warm August night about 2010, the stars are out in full force and the occasional shooting star comes streaking through. This sea of stars is met by the ocean itself, which is then given an ethereal, strange red glow because of an orange moon, almost full, that ducks in and out of a line of clouds. It creates some interesting shapes above and below it, making it look a bit like a sunrise.

But it is, in fact, the moon - and it’s trying to set below the horizon.

Sometimes a shy subject does make a better subject, photographically.


On another night with much better camera gear, Silver Point looks a little more like what human eyes see once they adjust to the dark. Except the streaks of star movement: that comes from having a camera shutter open for a long time, in this case about two minutes or more. The ocean becomes a complete blur, an otherworldly mist, because of the long exposure. A fishing boat on the horizon creates the most striking effect. It’s now a long, straight line of light as it moves far out at sea.

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