The Seascapes of the Rugged Oregon Coast



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There’s no place like the rugged Oregon Coast to experience the raw power of the Pacific Ocean with its majestic sea stacks, hidden beaches, colorful tide pools, and rugged cliffs!

There are few places more photogenic than the rugged Oregon Coast. Lined with stormy seascapes, expansive dunes, hidden beaches, colorful tide pools, and rugged cliffs, there’s really no place like the southern Oregon Coast to experience the raw power of the Pacific Ocean! At the same time, walk through old-growth forests, chase the tide in hidden coves, hike secluded beaches, or savor the view of a classic lighthouse to enjoy the region’s spectacular serenity.

Undoubtedly, the Oregon coastline is one of the country’s prettiest and most geographically diverse shores. Perhaps the most photogenic stretch of the coast can be found along the Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor between Brookings and Gold Beach. The Corridor is known for its impressive sea stacks, natural arches, and rugged beaches. You’ll find waterfalls cascading down onto the beaches and sea caves lined with anemones and starfish.

A particular highlight of this landscape adventure will be the time and focus given to Astrophotography and long exposures. We’ll learn how to plan an Astro and long exposure shoot, find suitable locations, and organize your camera gear. We’ll also review the benefits and limitations of working with single exposures, creating a composite from two exposures, and blending blue hour exposures with star-stacked shots.


Itinerary & General Information

Our specific itinerary will be heavily influenced by two factors throughout the workshop: the weather and the tide.

Weather conditions on the southern Oregon Coast can be very unpredictable. Almost all of these locations vary dramatically between high tide and low tide. While high tide tends to display the raw power of the ocean at its noisiest, angriest, and most rambunctious, low tide reveals the spectacular serenity and beauty of the region. Some of the locations we will photograph are only accessible (and safe to hike) during low tide, e.g., you can access 4 other beaches from Secret Beach when the tide is out. Others are best photographed at high tide.

We will generally spend 2 days along the Samuel H. Boardman Corridor; a day at Bandon Beach, Thor’s Well, and the Heceta Lighthouse; and a day photographing the Redwoods. However, please note that to capture some of these locations, we may need to make multiple trips at different times of the day to get the shots we want. A tentative itinerary will be forwarded as we get closer to the workshop date.

Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor – This 12-mile stretch along the Oregon Coast is like a condensed version of the entire Oregon coast, meaning it’s got a little bit of everything! Gorgeous sea stacks, stunning viewpoints, and even dunes! This part of the Southern Oregon Coast also connects with 18 miles of The Oregon Coast Trail. This epic backpacking route winds you through the craggy bluffs, sea stacks, and secluded beaches.

Bandon Beach – Bandon Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the Oregon Coast for photography. The beach is easy to access and enjoys some wonderfully shaped sea stacks. The main area for photography is a 1-mile stretch just south of the Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint. There are several excellent sea stack shapes, with Merlin’s hat and Face Rock being the most famous.

Thor’s Well – Thor’s Well has a great allure for landscape photographers. The raging sea and the smooth flow of the ocean into what looks like a passage to the underworld makes for a great photograph. The Thor’s Well is a collapsed sea cave (about 12-15 feet across) that sits near the edge of the sharp volcanic rock overlooking the Pacific Ocean. When the ocean tide is just right, the waves push up through the hole and cover the surrounding area. The waves are then swept back from the sea cave to the ocean.

Heceta Lighthouse – The Heceta Head Lighthouse is a working lighthouse (that beams 21 miles out to sea), and it is the brightest light on the Oregon coast. It is said to be the most photographed lighthouse in the United States. There are also many good times to shoot this classic lighthouse: fogged in, the middle of the day, at sunset, or just before dusk when the light is visible.

We will spend a final day at the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park just across the border.

John Bosma Fine Arts Photography is an Authorized Permittee of the National Park Service.

What to Expect

Our specific itinerary will be heavily influenced by two factors throughout the workshop: weather and the tide. While the schedules for sunrise, sunset, and low/high tide are easy to identify, weather conditions on the southern Oregon Coast can be very unpredictable. We’ll start with a tentative schedule for the workshop, but we will need to be flexible and adaptive to changing weather conditions.

The majority of our days will start early, before sunrise. After a quick coffee or tea, we’ll be off to get into position at a location in the best light of the day with breakfast in the field to maximize our shooting time. We’ll often continue until mid-to-late morning before heading back to Basecamp.

Back at Basecamp, we’ll have time for off-loading memory cards, classroom lectures & instruction, working on our images, one-on-one guidance, or time to relax. Then, in the mid-to-late afternoon, we’ll head out again to capture the evening skies, getting the most out of the sunset and shooting the stars in the night sky.

More important than just getting you to some of the best and most remote locations at the best times of the day, this five-day landscape photography workshop will teach you how to visualize an image, how to plan your shoot, how to capture your image in the field, and how to bring your image to life using a variety of post-production techniques.

In the Field:

We’ll learn how to scout and visualize a scene, compose a ground/sky/sea landscape to show scale and tell a story, how to manage complex highlight and shadow scenes, how and when to use filters, how to plan your images for a blended blue hour composite, how to focus your camera at night to capture pin sharp stars and foreground, and how to use apps like PhotoPills to plan a shoot. We’ll also use techniques such as dynamic bracketing and exposure blending, focus stacking and focal length blending, neutral density filters, and stacking for noise reduction.

In the Classroom:

We’ll spend time developing your post-production workflow – learning when Lightroom is enough and when you need to move your work into Photoshop. We’ll learn how to use techniques such as luminosity masks to create and solve contrast, color, and blending issues; how to blend multiple images together in Photoshop to create blue hour blends, focal length blends, and exposure blends; how to use start stacking to create pin sharp starry night skies; how to create Orton glows and sharpen your final image; and how to use apps like ProPanel to increase your efficiency.

You’ll benefit from hours of capture time in the field with an instructor by your side, and classroom instruction as you learn new techniques and strategies for creating dynamic images.


Tuition & Payment Terms

What’s Included in Your Tuition:

  • 5 nights lodging / 4.5 training days
  • Field meals and snacks
  • All ground transportation during the workshop
  • Workshop course materials
  • In-the-field photographic training
  • Online prep & orientation classes prior to the workshop
  • Post-production classes and techniques during the workshop
  • Online post-production classes after the workshop

What’s Not Included in Your Tuition:

  • Transportation to/from your home to our Basecamp in Brookings, Oregon
  • Lodging beyond the 5 nights included in the workshop
  • Meals
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Travel Medical and Trip Cancellation Insurance
  • Personal expenses, gratuities, and anything not listed as included


What to Bring and How to Prepare for Your Workshop

Please see our How to Prepare For Your Workshop page for guidelines on workshop prep, gear, and packing. Approximately 90 days before your workshop, you will be sent a PDF with more specific instructions.