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Cape Fear

Cape Fear - Devil's Gulch Oregon Coast

(click to view on black // canon 5d mark ii, canon 35mm 1.4 L, f/16, iso 400, 58 sec // buy print)

As this Movie Title Series continues on an on for over a year now…it feels like I’m running thin on movies I’ve seen that have titles which work well enough for images.  Hence you may start seeing films that I’ve actually never viewed before. Or perhaps I may have seen portions of it, but have no clue what it was about, nor remember anything.

Sort of like Cape Fear.

I am certain I saw this movie, or at least the majority of it. But aside from knowing it was on the water, kind of scary and called Cape Fear, that’s all I remember. Now that I look it up on IMDB, I find out the plot was about “A convicted rapist, released from prison after serving a 14 year sentence, stalks the family of the lawyer who originally defended him.” Creepy. I believe people liked it…I remember all this talk about how freaky it was. Robert DeNiro…Nick Nolte…Jessica Lange. May need to watch this one again. Lange is now on American Horror Story and is downright creepy in that as well.

This image is from Devil’s Gulch along the Oregon coast. When I stood there, it was kind of freaking me out a bit. You probably don’t know it, but the road around that mountain on the horizon isn’t down by the water. It’s about  1/4 to 1/3 of the way up the mountain. That’s how far you have to hike to get down to this point. The sun was going down, it was getting dark, kind of foggy, the waves were crashing around me, the low-tide exposed rocks were black as night…and I have to say…I was nervous.

Cape Fear.

But I loved this scene. I hung in there for a few exposures to get it right. The silhouette of that mountain was just too beautiful to pass up. I definitely would love a week driving up the coast of Oregon, and that probably still wouldn’t be enough time.

Devil’s Gulch

Devil's Gulch - Oregon Coast

(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark ii, canon 16-35mm 2.8l, 33mm, iso 200, f/10, 302 sec, 10-stop // buy print)

Ever since I first saw a long exposure of the Oregon coast, I knew I wanted to shoot something like that…someday. The sunsets there are spectacular, but when you can’t get those, the rocks, the water, the waves…they make for some of the most beautiful coastal shots anywhere.

Last week I got sent to Corvallis, Oregon for my day job, and from the second I knew I was going, I got excited. I borrowed a B+W 10-stop filter from my good friend Rick Young to use not just on my recent New York trip, but also for this coastal visit.

On Wednesday night, I bailed out of the office a bit after 4pm and made for Thor’s Well, which was 90 minutes away according to Google Maps. The road from Corvallis to Waldport via State Route 34 was astoundingly beautiful. I had so little time to make it to the ocean before sunset, I was groaning audibly in my car at the literally thousands of photo ops I missed along the way. Normally I seem to end up with my best shots on the journey instead of the destination, but this was something different.

I had to ignore the rest of it. I wanted those black rocks.

When I finally arrived, it was only 30 minutes to sunset. And the climb down to the rocky terrain was about 60 feet below the road. The tide was out, which was fine, but to get good shots of Thor’s Well, you kind of need the tide to be in a bit more. So I ignored that location and setup right away at the spot above in the photo.

I have to say…it was pretty freaky for this desert boy to stand at the edge of this 20 foot or so drop watching waves come smashing in, splashing upwards at random spots with deep, thundering sounds echoing everywhere. I have zero knowledge of tides, how they work, when it might come back in…so I was doing my best to stay alert.

This exposure was just over 300 seconds. I blended it a bit with another one that had a smidge more detail on the left shore. I definitely am a newbie when it comes to the 10-stop filter, so a calculator would have been a smart thing. You don’t realize how quickly you lose light.

I have a handful of other shots I’ll show at some point…especially from the next morning. But I have to show this one today…it’s my first oceanic long exposure and I was pretty stoked when I saw it in Lightroom.