Sunday, July 26, 2009

Heceta Head Lighthouse And The Legend Of The Lady In Grey

Most of the Family and I just got back from a mini trip to the central Oregon Coast. Florence to be exact where we rode Quads at
Winchester Bay in the heart of dune country just south of Reedsport Oregon. I highly recommend this activity. If you are a first timer and want to get an idea of the sport there are many rental options in the area. I recommend Dune Country ATV rentals.

One of the main attractions of the trips for me was to visit and photograph the nearby lighthouses. The Umpqua lighthouse is located virtually next door to the previously mentioned Dune Country and in the heart of Discovery Bay. The Lighthouse itself sits amongst the Coastguard barracks and housing making photography very uninspiring. The lighthouse is well kept and has been freshly painted. The only good vantage point for photography is from out in the dunes area looking back at the lighthouse. You may be able to eliminate most of the distracting elements from this vantage point.
Heceta Head Lighthouse

Next we set off approximately 1-hour north on the #101 to visit the Heceta Head Lighthouse. Just prior to reaching the parking area you will be rewarded with a spectacular view of the lighthouse from a roadside viewpoint. Once inside the parking area there is a self-pay area that you will need to purchase a $3.00 parking permit from. There are nice well maintained trails that take you right up to the lighthouse where guided tours are available for those that are inclined to walk inside and hear a little history about the area and the adjacent
haunted lightkeepers house. The legend of the Gray Lady.
As far as photography goes, there are many compositions to choose from and as a matter of fact a trail will lead you directly behind the lighthouse so you may get this vantage point.

Ideally the best scenario is to sit patiently behind the lighthouse looking west and wait for that incredible sunset and capturing the glow of the Fresnel lens as it makes it’s revolutions. This would require some planning and walking out in the dark of night.

I wish to make a trip back to do just that and in addition would spend several hours at the
Cape Perpetua Scenic Area. Along with “ Cooks Chasm “ and “ Spouting Horn “ the park offers so much photographically in terms of big waves and lava formations. It should be on the short list of every landscape photographer.

Heceta Coastline with Cape Creek Bridge

Happy shooting. Shawn….

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