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Lost//Discovered: Oregon

It’s only taken me about eight months to finally edit a bunch of stills from our annual Lost//Discovered road trip. My buddies Andrew, Aaron, Jay and Jason, along with myself, flew to Oregon, rented an RV and did a trip down the coast, then back inland to find some waterfalls and then three of us ended up at Mount Hood to finish the adventure.

Here are the pics. Hope you enjoy!

 

Mist and Water

Every year my buddies Jay, Jason, Andrew, Aaron and I go on a road trip somewhere. The previous two have been in Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. We call these little excursions “Lost//Discovered.” The name implies a feeling of getting lost from our normal lives and discovering something about ourselves. Be it passion, direction or literally anything. It’s one of my favorite times of year and this past trip was another fantastic time!

This time we decided to fly to Oregon and rent our RV there, and just explore whatever seemed fun to us. The coast, waterfalls, mountains, anything we could get to. It’s a time of year when we all have a lot less going on in our businesses photographing weddings, and it’s the perfect time to get away, explore and hang out.

These trips are often tough for me. Often at this point in the year, I just need a break and while I want to time-lapse and drone everything I see, I’ll also wish I could just carry a single camera and lens, and just stand there quietly capturing the scenes around me. It’s a battle within. Sometimes I didn’t do anything and other times I made a choice between droning or time-lapsing. I love that I didn’t do a whole lot but walked away with some scenes I’m super pumped to have photographed.

This film is short, barely three minutes, and doesn’t have a ton of scenes. I love this song “No Place on Earth” but Tony Anderson, and so I just let the notes dictate the number of clips I used. It’s a mix of drone and time-lapse of random spots in Oregon. But every shot contains either mist or water, which is pretty much why I was craving Oregon in the first place. We were hoping for foggy conditions, waterfalls, waves, the ocean and anything akin to that. Even frozen Trillium Lake covered in snow had a low fog slightly obscuring Mt. Hood. The light was amazing the morning of our second day from Ecola State Park, and I gobbled that up.

Equipment included two Canon 5DSR’s and a Phantom 3 Pro. Time-lapse clips rendered in After Effects, and the final film edited in Premiere Pro. I used the Lumetri Color effect to do simple editing of the drone footage.

Hope you enjoy!

The Astoria-Megler Bridge

Astoria_Megler Bridge
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 17-40mm f/4 l, 17mm, f/16, iso 50, 123 seconds // buy print)

I had never heard of the Astoria-Megler Bridge until we stumbled across it on our vacation a month ago to Cannon Beach. We drove north to check out the Peter Iredale shipwreck and then also the town of Astoria itself. But when I was passing by this bridge and saw all the wooden supports scattered around, I apologized to my wife and flipped a u-turn.

It was an overcast day, so I opted for a long exposure and black & white processing. I loved that bridge. We drove over it later and it was kind of creepy to just suddenly be that high over the water…and then further down you can see it drop again and is level with the ocean. Creepier still was the fog that left us driving towards Washington but seeing nothing ahead of a road going into grey and water on each side.

I loved the Cannery Pier Hotel on the left side and while I was intending to shoot only the bridge, I ended up really digging this comp. It helps give you an idea on the size of the bridge as a comparison.

Oregon…endless possibilities of things to shoot there. I feel so blessed that I’ve been able to spend time in that state.

Stormy sunset at Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach Sunset
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 17-40mm f/4 l, 17mm, f/16, iso 100, blend // buy print)

I’d been to the Oregon coast about three times before our vacation to Cannon Beach and then four nights during our recent stay. In all that time this is the best sky I’ve had. It’s always been overcast and murky, which I love most other times, but I’ve been dying for color and stormy looking skies at sunset.

Even this one didn’t end up with the color you might hope for when the sun hit the horizon, but I dug it anyways because…well I love storms as you may know. The cloud on the left above the two little pillars of rock kept moving towards me and as the sun went down and I left the beach, I got hit with some pellet-size hail. It was cold and windy…even the surf blew up a few times into my lens and I had to clean it off. A beautiful, beautiful evening.

You may even be able to spot the first floating around the top of Haystack Rock.

I processed this image by manually blending with luminosity masks, which is a tough, tough system to understand and perfect. I’ve been using LM’s for awhile now, but mainly on single images. This was a four exposure blend to get the detail in Haystack, but also the clouds and sunset off in the distance. The blending is tough. But if you get it right, I think it looks amazing.

I love LM’s for this kind of thing because I feel it’s a way more natural result than HDR processing that I used way back in the day. Still learning and perfecting, but digging the results.

 

The Peter Iredale Shipwreck | Oregon Coast

The Peter Iredale Shipwreck
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark iii, canon 17-40mm f/4 l, 17mm, iso 50, f/16, 119 sec, b+w 10-stop // buy print)

Last week my wife and I took a much needed mommy-daddy ONLY vacation up to the Oregon coast. No kids, no worries…just relaxing in a beach house, reading, eating good food and seeing the sights. I miss it already.

This is the Peter Iredale shipwreck. It ran ashore back in 1906 meaning it’s been sitting there for over 106 years. Incredible. Slowly over the years it’s been buried and worn away from ocean waves, wind and probably vandals. It was amazing to me how it’s there without protection. No ropes, no fences, no nothing. In fact a Toyota pickup was just off camera to the left here by about 50 feet. The guy was clamming out in the waves. I was surprised you could just drive right by it and park.

It’s a lot bigger than you would think from a picture…at the high point there it’s about 15-18 feet. It was kind of crazy walking from our car over a bluff and seeing it for the first time. No words to describe it. Looking at something that has been in the same place for 106 years and is slowly disappearing was magical and thought-provoking.

When we were planning this trip, I knew I wanted to go here. I’d seen a few photos and couldn’t believe how close it was to Cannon Beach. I’ve been up that way before but had no idea about the ship wreck until recently.

The day was foggy and rainy, so I opted for some black and white long exposures.

 

Gorge | Seal Rock, Oregon Coast

Gorge - Seal Rock Oregon Coast

(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark ii, canon 17-40 f/4 l, 17mm, f/10, iso 50, 258 seconds, b+w 10 stop nd // buy print)

One of the hardest things for me when I get a chance to visit Oregon is that usually I don’t have a lot of time to take pictures. I end up running to the coast with only an hour or two maybe to find cool spots and setup shots around sunset. The last few times there I’ve felt like I walked away with only a single good image because of just not knowing the terrain very well and having zero time to explore.

This last trip was kind of the same way. I had picked out Seal Rock from Google Maps because it had easy parking access and was around the area I wanted to be in for sunset. When I got there I hiked down the trail to the beach, but before I got there, I noticed another path veering off towards some cliffs and I decided to skip the beach and check it out.

And I’m glad I did. The rock on the left is what I believe is the actual “Seal Rock”, because the “beach” side of it is pretty crazy. But on this side, it helps create a gorge with this other giant rock/cliff on the right.

The tide was way out, so I hiked down pretty low to take this. The water actually came right up under the tripod a few times during this 4.3 minute exposure.

A cool little spot, totally dug all the creepy rocks.

 

A foggy day at Multnomah Falls

Foggy Multnomah Falls

(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark ii, canon 17-40mm f/4 l, 17mm, iso 200, f/10, 131 seconds // buy print)

It’s kind of amazing that you can get to this place in less than 30 minutes from the Portland airport. I’ve never been here, or down “The Gorge” and I have to say, it was utterly amazing. Waterfalls everywhere and such beauty. On my way back to Portland, I looked across the Columbia River to the north shore and saw sheer cliffs with waterfalls crashing down into the river…and it was like something out of Lord of the Rings or some fantasy movie.

Even these falls…Multnomah Falls…with the bridge and the trees, seems like it’s from some dream.

It was a foggy, rainy day. Which probably isn’t out of the norm for this area or Oregon in general. But I think it’s moreso like this in the winter months. Everything was wet. Everywhere. The sky was murky and foggy…the trees sometimes masked in clouds. When I got home and looked at these shots, I knew I wanted to do one in monochrome. It just felt right.

This was a 131 second exposure using a 10-stop filter. I started this in Silver Efex 2 and then took it into Photoshop for some luminosity masking to add more detail. Love how it turned out.

Make sure to click on it for the best effect.

The Trees

When I last flew to Oregon, I high-tailed it for Cannon Beach. I was in such a hurry, it’s a surprise that I noticed anything else, but I did. I actually drove past the spot below before turning around and pulling over. Something caught my eye and for some reason I knew I had to go back.

I saw all this moss hanging from the branches…and the sun had come out from the clouds. From my car, it looked pretty amazing. But it was nothing like the view from a little path I found. Backlit, mossy trees…it was like walking in heaven. In the first scene below, all I could think about was a that I wish I had a bride & groom standing down there. I mean, it most likely would end up being one of those shots you only dream about.

So I hope you enjoy a little stroll through some trees I found in Oregon. Processed with VSCO Film.

This last one…such a sweet spot.

The Rock

The Rock - Canon Beach - Haystack Rock

(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark ii, canon 17-40mm f/4 l, 17mm, f/16, iso 100, 0.4sec // buy print)

I am in Corvallis, Oregon for three days this week for my day job and was absolutely blessed with an opportunity to go to Cannon Beach on Monday before heading down south. It allowed me to witness one of the most breathtaking sights in America. At least…one of the most amazing places I’ve seen so far in my life.

Quickly though…it’s Movie Title Wednesday and the choice for this image was obvious. The Rock. Nic Cage. Sean Connery. Alcatraz. Yeah, it’s a crazy, over the top movie, but I loved it. It’s right up there with Con Air in my book. Good, fun, guy flicks.

This is Haystack Rock, as if you didn’t know. It’s one of the more iconic locations in the United States. It’s very shape is usually enough for people to know what they are looking at.

What’s amazing to me…is that no photograph I’ve seen does it justice. Much like the Grand Canyon…you can’t look at a photo of these places and get any real idea of the real scope of them. You have to be there. You have to see it with your own eyes. You walk up to it and it just towers over you. Birds fly around at the top and they feel so far away.

It was a 90 minute or so drive to get there from Portland, and then it was a three hour drive to Corvallis after sunset, and I didn’t get to my hotel until 11:30 last night and I’m paying for it today.

But I wouldn’t have missed seeing that place for the world. I was hoping for some gorgeous sunset color, but then again…you know me…dark, moody…stormy…that’s my kind of weather!

As I said above, but in case you missed it…please click on the image to view on black…it’s also shrinks it to fit your monitor and is the actual size of the exported image, and thus looks more accurate!

Alien

Alien - Boiler Bay Oregon

(click to view on black // canon 5d mark ii, canon 16-35mm 2.8 l, 16mm, iso 50, f/8.0, 602 sec, 10-stop filter // buy print)

If I had to pick my top five favorite science fiction movies of all-time, I think Alien would be in there, and perhaps also the sequel, Aliens. The second one was fantastic…there was just so much awesome action and memorable lines (“Game over man, game over!“) but the first one will always be a classic. A terrifying trip with some space travelers who are being slaughtered by a creature hitching a ride on their vessel.

For those that have seen Alien, you may already have figured out why I chose it for this week’s Movie Title Wednesday image. One of the more haunting scenes in the movie is when they find the alien spaceship and rappel into the belly of the thing. Lining the floor in a strange mist are all these organic pods, which just happen to be eggs ready to own your face.

Kind of reminded me of the rocks floating in the foggy ocean in my image. And it’s hard to see, but one of them is actually not a rock, but a old, rusty canister, which to me almost looked like an abandoned space capsule. Sweet.

This photo was taken on the Oregon coast in an area known as Boiler Bay. I left my hotel well before the sun came up that morning and was using Google Maps to locate ANY good spot about an hour north of Newport. I came across Boiler Bay and waited until there was enough light to hike down a fairly steep trail to the beach below. I was surprised I found the spot at all…it was a tiny little pull-out on the side of the road and I barely saw it in the dark.

Glad I did.

I believe this was one of my last shots of the morning before I had to book it to Portland and catch a noon flight. I was lucky enough to have perfectly overcast skies to keep my images moody just like I wanted. This particular exposure was done with a 10-stop and lasted just over 10 minutes. Thanks again to Rick Young for letting me borrow his filter.

I badly want to return to the coast of Oregon sometime, perhaps for a week or two. There is just so much to see, so many skies and sunsets to capture with the gorgeous, rocky shoreline. Two weeks wouldn’t even be enough.