Sunday, November 21, 2010

Shore Acres - Angry Ocean

There is an area on the Oregon coast where the oceans fury can really show her stuff, especially in the winter stormy months. Shore Acres State Park is just such an area. There is an iconic shot that I am after that has eluded me on previous trips to this area. Shore Acres can be accessed from the Coos Bay, North Bend Area Via the Cape Arago Hwy. As you travel west you will pass through the town of Charleston then You will have the opportunity to visit three state parks in succession; Sunset Bay State Park, Shore Acres, and finally Cape Arago State Park.

I was mainly concerned with visiting Shore Acres because I knew what I was after. There is a $5.00 parking fee here, but well worth it in my opinion. You get an added bonus at this park; the Botanical Gardens are truly beautiful during the spring and summer months. In the winter months the gardens are transformed into a holiday light spectacular; a tradition started by the Friends Of Shore Acres in 1987. Here is a link for detailed info on this event.

Now back to the photography. The seas were moderately angry and I did see potential for some good wave action. I proceeded to mount my Sigma 70-200 2.8 lens and secure it to the tripod before leaving the parking area. The skies were unstable and squalls were threatening to roll in overhead. The park has constructed a nice viewing structure when conditions get to stormy to stay outside, I did use it to dry off myself and equipment a couple of times. As I shot I knew I needed to stop the wave action with a fast shutter speed so I left off the polarizer and set my camera to fire in burst mode. I spent the next 45min shooting three shot bursts and waiting for the sun to show. Out of the 100 frames I took this is really the only shot I was marginally happy with, the waves can get twice as high under the right conditions. Another point I will make is lens selection. The 70-200 was the wrong lens for this shoot and my 16-20 would be to wide. Ideally a 24-70 would be perfect in my opinion. I will definitely shoot this area again. It is exhilarating watching the waves and trying to capture that perfect shot.

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