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1. Of all the natural landscapes that magically attract humans and photographers, in particular, none may be more compelling than a spectacular coastline, where the land and the sea fight for supremacy. The Oregon coast is one of these few places. Here you can see and photograph the clash between these titans of primal elements and the dramatic results of their battles.
2. Focus your camera specifically on the southern Oregon coast known as America’s Wild Rivers Coast. This 101-mile stretch along the Pacific is a nearly perfect landscape photography opportunity. Not only is the rugged shoreline carved by wind and wave into amazing formations, but towering forests and some of the last remaining wild rivers in America majestically join with the sea to create a visual overload of images.
3. As much as the sea and coast draws you and your camera, you may want to start your photography adventure of the southern Oregon coast with the authentically quaint and charming seaside villages, such as Bandon-by-the-Sea. Not only does it remain true to its heritage, but lives in harmony with the environment, making it a surprisingly “undiscovered country.”
That harmony is worth capturing in your landscape images, so you can show how humans can be an equally natural element that adds to the whole, without overwhelming it. Bandon’s seaside architecture also offers interesting patterns and forms that should not be overlooked.
Your Bandon-by-the-Sea images should also show how it interacts with the Coquille River that flows by the town on the way to the Pacific.
4. Across the Coquille from Bandon is Bullards Beach State Park. From here, you can access the Coquille and walk a path to the beach through the transitional landscape between the forest and sea. Take a moment or two to look for subtle, but interesting, subjects in the open, grassy fields and lowland forest that give way to the sandy dunes of the coastline.
5. The Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge is another part of this transitional landscape, a large tidal salt marsh at the mouth of the Coquille that is an essential element of the estuary that empties into the sea. The challenge here is to use a long telephoto lens to capture the many migrating shorebirds and other waterfowl that congregate in the marsh.
6. To the south of Bandon-by-the-Sea is the Bandon State Park, which is mostly a long stretch of the beach that surrounds you and your camera with the views and subject matter you came to photograph. The sea-sculptured rocks are shaped into towering sea stacks and huge prows of the land thrust into the pounding waves.
7. Within Bandon is Coquille Point with a viewing platform that is a perfect set-up for sunsets as well as photos of North and Middle Couquille Rocks and Elephant Rock standing stubbornly in the sea just off the coast.
8. Another photographic challenge of the southern Oregon coast is not to forget about the macro landscapes and subject matter that are to be found in tidal pools and just beyond the reach of the waves.
9. The greatest challenge for most photographers who have the opportunity to shoot in such a grand environment is learning how to go beyond the obvious. The spectacular sunsets, coastline and sea life are all spread at their feet and beg to be photographed. Too many photographers, however, can’t seem to grow beyond the cliché images. They know there is something more about the sunsets, rocks, etc. that is evident, but they don’t see it and can’t seem to capture it. It’s almost the equivalent of a writer’s block.
10. You can break through this block if you are guided by the right professionals who understand what you are experiencing and know how you can open your mind to the much greater photographic possibilities the southern Oregon coast offers.
Join Visionary Wild for its Oregon Coast Workshop, May 21–25, 2012, learning and photographing in and around Bandon-by-the-Sea. Not only will much of your time focus on finding a new vision for landscape photography, but also delve deep into the fundamentals of digital workflow.
This is an intensive and advanced training seminar hosted by Jack Dykinga, one of the world’s most respected landscape photographers; John Shaw, a professional nature photographer, widely published for decades; and Justin Black, renowned photographer and Visionary Wild workshop leader.
For complete information, please visit http://visionarywild.com/workshops/oregon-coast/
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