An amazing sunset in Carmel

An amazing sunset in Carmel

An incredible sunset on the beach in Carmel, CA - I was quite happy that evening!

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Those crazy Oregon sunsets

Those crazy Oregon sunsets

A sunset that goes down in the record books for me...from Bandon, Oregon 

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Haystack Rock from my drone

Haystack Rock from my drone

An aerial shot from Cannon Beach, OR during a stunning sunset...

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One of my favorite sunsets

One of my favorite sunsets

An incredible display of light one evening along the Oregon coastline...

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Twilight in Bandon

Twilight in Bandon

Catching a seascape in Bandon, Oregon one evening, just around sunset when the light gets all moody and interesting...

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The last sunset in Oregon

The last sunset in Oregon

This was one of those nights that you never forget. It was our last night in Oregon on our big summer trip, and we thought it would be awesome to watch one more sunset over the Pacific.  Little did we know it would turn out like this!

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Exploring a sea cave on the Oregon coast

Exploring a sea cave on the Oregon coast

How about 3 photos from the Oregon coast, on a day I went exploring a sea cave?  Sound fun?  Come check it out!

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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!

Baker Beach

I went here for a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge...and saw lots of fog.

Haha, that happens in San Fran.  What can I do about it?  Just shoot away, fog or no fog, right?

My plan when I arrived here was to stick around and get some nice light around sunset, but with the fog dropping in so heavily, it never happened.  So instead I hung out, climbed some rocks, took some photos, and watched some of the tourists walking around...and enjoyed the heck out of it.

It's really a beautiful spot, whether it's foggy or not.  Someday I hope to get back there with the camera and try again, though I must admit the location isn't very convenient for my travels to San Fran, as I am usually stationed on the far other side of town, near the Bay Bridge (that other bridge in SFO).  And of course, that's why I usually end up with a lot of photos of the Bay Bridge.  I shoot what I can get to, in other words.

So, I will cross my fingers that someday I can get back here to Baker Beach and shoot sunset on the Golden Gate Bridge, because this is definitely a great place to be to see it!

It's sunny in Hawaii

Ok, I am not currently in Hawaii, but I suspect that statement is true.

It's cold here in Austin, and it's REALLY COLD in a lot of the rest of the US.  We have the whole polar vortex thing going on, whatever the heck that is.  Sounds to me like a hole in the space-time continuum...and Santa is going to fly through it.  Certainly makes me think of Back To The Future.  "It's the flux capacitor, Marty"!

Anyways, hope you are warm and comfortable, wherever you are.  Unless you want to be cold, in which case I wish that for you.  You know what I'm saying.  Be good people, and thanks for stopping by.

BTW, this was taken on Maui, which is a place that totally kicks a$$.  I'm shutting up now, because this isn't going anywhere.  :-)

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