Heceta Head Lighthouse

Before we could leave Cannon Beach, we had to take time for one last photo. Here is a shot of Faith, Mary and Skip under the arbor outside the Sea Breeze Court. Click an image to view larger.

Faith, Mary and Skip upon leaving the Sea Breeze Court
Faith, Mary and Skip upon leaving the Sea Breeze Court

After we left Cannon Beach, we drove south along the coast towards Yachats (pronouced Ya Hots) where we would stay for the next 4 nights. There were many scenic overlooks along the coast, and we could see that the gloomy weather that dominated our stay in Cannon Beach wasn’t interested in following us farther south. We stopped at one overlook and had a beautiful view of the Pacific and the beaches. In the distance we could see that the weather was certainly improving.

Oregon Coast
Oregon Coast

Our first night in Yachats was looking to provide some beautiful sunlight as the sun set, so I decided to try and get some images of the Heceta Head Lighthouse. When we visited Oregon last year, the Heceta Head Lighthouse was undergoing renovations, so all you could see of it was a giant tarp covering the structure. Earlier this year the renovations were completed, so after dinner, Skip and I drove down to an overlook just south of the lighthouse to wait for the golden hour.

We had picked out a good spot, but little did we know just how windy it would be there. We were a couple of hundred feet up the over the Pacific, but the wind was just howling up there. And boy was it cold!! You would think that in July the air temperature would be pleasant. But the wind coming off the Pacific is anything but warm! After a while, Skip gave up and retired to the warmth of the car while I stood outside and battled the elements for an hour waiting for my shot. I took a lot of images from the overlook, but I was disappointed in what I captured. It seems the wind provided just enough vibration to my camera and tripod that my images of that night were not as sharp as I would like. Still, I liked the layers of color from the sky as the sun set. Ideally this shot works better in the winter when the sun is farther south. Then it would light up the trees and rocks much better than in the summer. Sigh…yet another reason to return.

Heceta Head Lighthouse
Heceta Head Lighthouse

I decided to go back to Heceta Head Lighthouse a couple of nights later to try for some different perspectives. I wanted to try and capture an image of the lighthouse from above. You can see from the previous photo that there is a rise behind the lighthouse. So I hiked up there with my camera and tripod to see what I could get from that perspective. This first image was taken from the base of the lighthouse facing south. The viewpoint where I took the previous image is across the water and on the right side of the opposite bluff.

Oregon Coast from the Heceta Head Lighthouse
Oregon Coast from the Heceta Head Lighthouse

I hiked up behind the lighthouse and was disappointed to find that there were no clear angles to shoot the lighthouse. I had seen some images posted by others from this viewpoint, but they must have been taken some time ago when there was less vegetation blocking the view. Still, I thought it was a nice view and I tried a variety of different compositions. I think I liked this one best.

Heceta Head Lighthouse, Oregon Coast
Heceta Head Lighthouse, Oregon Coast

As the sun continued to set I decided that I would try for a sunset shot with the beach, sea stacks and lighthouse in the frame. I hurried down the path to the beach and trudged across the soft sand to find the spot that I wanted. I had about 10 minutes to spare until the sun completely set, so I had a few opportunities to try some different compositions. The only thing I regret is that I didn’t think early enough to grab some driftwood and place it on the wet sand forming a line towards the setting sun. That likely would have made for a much more dramatic image. But I’ll take what I was able to get that night.

Sunset at Heceta Head Lighthouse
Sunset at Heceta Head Lighthouse

More to come…

4 Comments

  • Debbie Tubridy

    August 8, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Wonderful landscape shots!
    Looks like you guys had a great time!

    • Michael

      August 8, 2013 at 7:40 pm

      Thank you, Debbie!

  • Jess Yarnell

    August 8, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    These are gorgeous, Michael!

    • Michael

      August 9, 2013 at 7:23 am

      Thank you, Jess!