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Author Topic: Best Time to Visit the Oregon Coast  (Read 17037 times)

koolk2

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Best Time to Visit the Oregon Coast
« on: March 02, 2010, 01:34:58 pm »

I was in Newport for a day last June and got to photograph the tide pools at Seal Rock Beach. I would like to experience more of the southern Oregon coast. I've done the online searches and read several books, so I have an idea of where to go. I'm looking for opinions on whether one time of year is better for sunsets, clouds, fog, etc. When checking workshops most of them go in the summer months. Is this the best time?

Your input is appreciated. Also, if you have a favorite spot to photograph on the mid to southern coast, please let me know.

Thanks,

Ken
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NashvilleMike

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Best Time to Visit the Oregon Coast
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2010, 01:49:13 pm »

Quote from: koolk2
I was in Newport for a day last June and got to photograph the tide pools at Seal Rock Beach. I would like to experience more of the southern Oregon coast. I've done the online searches and read several books, so I have an idea of where to go. I'm looking for opinions on whether one time of year is better for sunsets, clouds, fog, etc. When checking workshops most of them go in the summer months. Is this the best time?

Your input is appreciated. Also, if you have a favorite spot to photograph on the mid to southern coast, please let me know.

Thanks,

Ken

I went in early July a couple of years ago and had decent luck. There is always the chance of getting locked in with fog for a couple of days so it's not a "clear weather guarantee like Death Valley in May" kind of deal, but it's worth waiting it out (or shooting things that work better in the fog).

As for favorite spots - yea, Bandon Beach, just between the Face Rock viewpoint and the Sunset Motel. Just blown away by it.

-m
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Sheldon N

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Best Time to Visit the Oregon Coast
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2010, 02:37:13 pm »

I find the Oregon coast less photogenic in the dead of summer. We tend to get REALLY clear skies overall for long portions of the summer, so the only cloud action is often just marine layer fog. Spring can be really good, more weather/clouds/atmospherics happening, and winter can also be good on the front edge or backside of a storm. Winter/Spring is much less likely to be friendly overall for general tourist visting though since it can go from stellar to crappy to back again depending on what kind of weather front is passing through.

For locations, I like Yachats, Cape Perpetua and Bandon in the southern part of the OR coast. A good chunk of my landscape shooting is done at the coast. Here's a link to some of my stuff... let me know if you have specific questions on any locations.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sheldonnalos/...57607318254959/
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gvaughn

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Best Time to Visit the Oregon Coast
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2010, 09:40:16 pm »

I'm in agreement with Sheldon, both on timing and locations.  Summer is a fun time to visit the Oregon coast for the average tourist, but that marine fog layer sits just off the coast much of the time and usually kills the sunsets.

May is a great time to visit - more chance of good weather than early Spring, but the fog layer hasn't settled in for the summer. Look for very low tide days for great tidepooling.

Bandon is, IMO, the prime spot on the coast for photographers - the sea stacks make wonderful subjects in almost any weather and time of day, and especially at sunset. If you base yourself there, you can also work north to the Sunset Bay - Cape Arago - Shore Acres State Parks complex, and south to Cape Blanco State Park for lighthouses, waves crashing on rugged cliffs, wildflowers and formal gardens at Shore Acres. More great sea stacks further south from Cape Sebastian to Harris Beach just above the California border.

There are also several beautiful waterfalls in the Coast Range mountains, and in late May the rhododendrons will be blooming in the forests.

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bobtowery

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Best Time to Visit the Oregon Coast
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2010, 11:23:49 am »

First of all - GO! It's such a wonderful place.

[In my experience] the West Coast from San Francisco north is best experienced in the Fall. There is little rain, almost no fog. This condition extends all the way to BC. The most magical month in Puget Sound is definitely September.  Of course there are images to be made anytime of year. Fog / clouds / rain have their own appeal.

Last Fall (end of Sep) my wife and I did a loop from Astoria down to Bandon. Then west to I5 and back to CA.

You can view several images and a Bandon movie here on my blog:

http://bobtowery.typepad.com/bob_towery/oregon/

This link is just the category Oregon.   We did not get rained on at the coast at all. We had one day of rain in Astoria, and then on the last day, when we drove home, it was lightly raining along hwy 425, for which I am thankful as I got several enjoyable images.

As you'll see by driving just a few miles inland at that time of year you can get some bonus fall color.

I highly recommend The Photographer's guide to the Oregon Coast by Middleton (Amazon link).

Comments are free on the blog this month, so leave a comment there if anything moves you.  Have a wonderful trip!

Bob Towery.
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jdemott

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Best Time to Visit the Oregon Coast
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2010, 11:33:02 am »

I'd say spring is the best time for photography at the Oregon coast, with the best chance of interesting clouds and light, plus spring vegetation and blooms.  But you have to be prepared for a lot of variability in weather--you are likely to get wet and/or rained out at some time.  Summer and early fall are predictably dry, which is probably one of the reasons workshops are scheduled at that time, but the weather tends to be either "severe clear" or foggy.  Winter has some spectacular moments but they are much less frequent than in spring.
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koolk2

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Best Time to Visit the Oregon Coast
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2010, 10:48:32 am »

I want to thank all of you who responded. I am now in the process of trying to put a trip together for mid-May. If not this year then I'll definitely put it on the calendar for 2011.

Ken
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resumner

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Best Time to Visit the Oregon Coast
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2010, 12:31:08 am »

You'll love it.  I went last May.  Lots of fog, wildflowers, green everywhere, beautiful weather.  Nice sunsets but they weren't spectacular.  I did get to see whales at Cape Lookout, that was really great.  I flew into Portland, hiked the Columbia River Gorge/Mt. Hood waterfalls; then went to Lincoln City and down the coast to Bandon.  Then back up to Astoria then to Seattle and back to Portland in 8 days, about 1500 beautiful miles.  I would jump at the chance to go again.  I have a gallery on my site from the trip:  www.reneesumner.com

Enjoy...it will be beautiful no doubt.  Not a good time of year for crashing waves, but DO check out the rhododendrons if you are near Florence area.

Renee

Quote from: koolk2
I want to thank all of you who responded. I am now in the process of trying to put a trip together for mid-May. If not this year then I'll definitely put it on the calendar for 2011.

Ken
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