The monolithic Haystack Rock

Have you been to Cannon Beach, Oregon yet?  You should go!

I love Oregon, at least all the parts of it that I have seen, and I've seen a pretty good amount of it.  On my first trip there years ago, my wife and I spent a couple of days in the seaside town of Cannon Beach and really enjoyed it.

So recently when we planned our family trip out to Oregon, we made sure to include a stop in Cannon Beach on the itinerary.  It's not a large town by any means, and is mostly famous as the site of Haystock Rock, which you see in all the photos here in this post.

As is pretty evident, this is one huge chunk of rock.  The cool thing to me is that it is pretty close to the beach, and when the tide is out you can actually walk out to it and explore the tide pools around it.  Note however that climbing onto the rock is strictly off-limits.

I suspect that has to do with the inherent dangers and liability of people falling or jumping, not to mention that the rock is home to lots of seabirds, including puffins.  Sadly, the puffin season did not coincide with my visit.  <sad face>

Nonetheless, the tide pools are quite fun to walk around and explore.  We saw all sorts of sea anemones and little fish swimming around and it's a great way to spend some free time.  Besides, how often can you get up close with that sort of stuff?  Coming from Texas, my answer is never.  :-)

And being the photography-lover that I am, of course I took all sorts of shots of Haystack Rock.  Really, how can you not?  You pretty much have to take some shots when you see it, as it dominates the beach, and frankly I find it rather photogenic.

I love trying to capture some reflections in the surf, and luckily on the afternoon that I took these shots the beach was pretty empty, which is rare.  We were there for Spring Break (mid-March) and the entire area was pretty quiet.  Big win in my opinion.

There are also a couple of smaller rocks nearby, somewhat adjacent to Haystack Rock, and they are known as "The Needles".  I think by backing up and including them in the shot, you get a nice balance in your composition, but that's just personal preference.

The truth is that regardless of where you shoot it from, it's a compelling subject, especially under the beautiful seaside skies there.  One great thing about the coast - there always seem to be clouds rolling in, and I love having clouds in my photos!

All of these photos are HDR's that were created in Photomatix, with further adjustments made in Color Efex Pro and Aperture (my normal workflow).  After creating the shots in Photomatix, I used a couple of filters in Color Efex Pro, namely Detail Extractor (applied selectively), Pro Contrast, Brilliance/Warmth, and a little touch of Glamour Glow.  I find these filters help the photo "pop" a bit, and help me bring them to life, more closely resembling what I saw while standing there on the beach.  Also, all of these were shot handheld, as I left my tripod in the car while we walked out there.  :-)  It worked out pretty well though, and usually does as long as I am not shooting in low light.

I hope you enjoyed today's little photo tour of Haystack Rock!