- Where to Stay: Best Western Inn at Face Rock in Bandon is an affordable hotel on the southern end of the Oregon Coast. The hotel is set on a gorgeous seven-acre lot right on the ocean and is just minutes away from dozens of activities and attractions.
- Where to Eat: Edgewaters gets rave reviews for its fresh seafood and local cuisine. The view of the water isn’t bad either!
- Must-See Attractions: Charleston Harbor, numerous lighthouses that dot the coast, and Bandon Beach should top your list of things to see while you’re traveling the Oregon Coast.
- Check the weather on the Oregon Coast right now.
Just the other day, we explored the photographic opportunities on California’s Redwood Coast.
While some would say the Northern California Coast and the Southern Oregon Coast are cut from the same cloth, the two offer distinct reasons why they should be on your photography bucket list.
Where the Redwood Coast’s appeal is in its forests and rugged shoreline, Oregon offers more wide-open spaces and miles and miles of open beach where you can photograph tide pools, sea stacks, lighthouses, and more.
Let’s examine a few of the Oregon Coast’s photography hotspots that are worthy of your time.
What to Photograph on the Oregon Coast - Sunsets
Given that there are miles and miles of open beaches along the Oregon Coast, it represents an ideal opportunity to photograph spectacular sunsets.
The beaches in the Bandon area, in particular, are a photographer’s playground given their size, accessibility, and the presence of sea stacks and other rock formations jutting out of the ocean’s waters.
The pastel colors of the sunset cast alongside the deep blues of the atmosphere is a gorgeous combination of colors, particularly when they’re reflected in shallow waters and wet sand of the beach.
When shooting at sunset, get there early and stay late. The light changes so rapidly that you can capture images of the same location that have many different moods and personalities.
What to Photograph on the Oregon Coast - Sea Stacks
If you want to feature sea stacks in your photos, Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint won’t disappoint. The area also has easily accessible beaches and intertidal areas you can explore at low tide.
The rugged shapes of sea stacks offer an interesting visual contrast to the softer elements you’ll find along the Oregon Coast, like smooth beaches, rolling waves, and windswept clouds.
This juxtaposition of hard and soft is an excellent subject for black and white photos, in which shapes, textures, lines, and contrast take on added visual importance in the absence of color.
Quick Tip: Manmade elements like decaying ships or the remnants of an old pier are also excellent subjects for making black and white photos. Above, the linear lines of the old pier contrast beautifully with the smooth water.
What to Photograph on the Oregon Coast - Movement
The Oregon Coast is a prime area for honing your long exposure skills.
Whether it’s blurring the movement of clouds as they roll towards the coast or creating ethereal shots of waves crashing on a rocky shoreline, there are ample opportunities to include indicated movement in your photos.
When creating long exposure images, it’s important to have static elements - like the rocks in the image above - that contrast with the movement in the shot.
Additionally, don’t be afraid to get in close for a tightly-framed shot. Doing so allows you to create a more intimate photo that puts movement on full display.
How to Make the Most of Photographing the Oregon Coast
There are many resources you can utilize to plan a photography trip to the Oregon Coast, like those linked at the bottom of this article.
But why spend all your time trying to figure out where to go and what to see when you can leave the planning to the experts and explore this area as part of a photography workshop?
Visionary Wild’s Oregon Coast Workshop comes immediately to mind as being a prime candidate.
With master photographers Jack Dykinga, John Shaw, and Justin Black at the helm, you’ll be guided to locations up and down the Oregon Coast where you can develop your skills behind the lens.
From the “base camp” in Bandon, you’ll head out each morning and evening for photo sessions on the coast. In the context of the small group, you’ll take part in advanced instruction on key photography topics.
Of course, it helps that all this learning takes place in one of the most beautiful areas in the world!
When you’re not out exploring with the group and getting one-on-one time with the workshop instructors in the field, you’ll come together at the hotel to take part in presentations on composition, light, creativity, and digital workflow.
Likewise, time is set aside for image critiques so you can get feedback and support from the group and workshop leaders.
In that regard, Visionary Wild’s photography workshops are much more than showing you the sights. Instead, this workshop is all about seeing, learning, developing new skills, and becoming a better photographer.
All you have to do is get yourself there and get yourself home after the workshop is completed. While you’re there, lodging, food, and transportation are taken care of.
What could be better than enhancing your photography skills under the close tutelage of expert photographers in a breathtaking location?!
Planning Your Oregon Coast Photography Trip