2019 Oregon Trip

Photo Notes

Silver Falls State Park

  • Trailhead near Winter Falls provides great access to middle section of Canyon Trail and 5 waterfalls, including Middle North Falls and Double Falls.
  • Stongly consider also going to Lower South Falls
  • Overcast skies are critical for shooting South Falls
  • Shooting from trail down to South Falls can work after sunset in summer
  • Best location may still be just below bridge along Canyon Trail


Sahale and Koosah Falls

  • PM Golden Light shots
  • Overcast skies help but not a "deal breaker"
  • Make it a priority to hike McKenzie River between Sahale and Koosah!


Proxy Falls

  • Afternoon shot
  • Overcast skies help but if it's bright sun you can still "work" the bottom of the falls for great shots
  • Best falls in the area
  • Hike trail to falls counter-clockwise to shorten it
  • Wear hiking shoes with good grips for the scramble down to the base of the falls
  • Best shooting from upper right below falls, but there are "islands of rock" out in the channel depending on the water level
  • Allow lots of time here!


Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway Near Bend

Smith Rock State Park

  • AM Golden light shot. Ridge prevents clean sunrise shot
  • Shoot from trail just as it begins to drop into the canyon
  • Great shots along the River Trail as soon as the sun clears the ridge
  • Look for great blue herons fishing
  • Park in large parking lot near entrance and hike west along the rim to find eagle's nest in the top of large pine tree--See Google Earth
  • Golden eagles nest in cliffs northeast of the picnic area parking lot

Sparks Lake

  • Make it a top priority to find the right location for the Sparks Lake shot across to South Sister - Drive through campground to day-use-parking area. Shot is from Ray Atkeson TH west of parking area.
  • Sunrise or AM Golden Light Shot
  • Requires no breeze because lake is large but very shallow

Mt. Bachelor

  • Good shot from overflow parking area on west side of highway across from Fall Creek Parking Lot. Walk out into meadow to get wildflowers in foreground - This is a PM Golden Light Shot
  • Good shot just past bridge of Mt. Bachelor from stream meanders in the meadow - This is a PM Golden Light Shot

Todd Lake

  • Easy hike to picturesque lake surrounded by forest on 3 sides and meadow and cliffs to the north. Best shot is from upper end of lake in the meadow, but it must be late enough in the spring/summer for the snow to be melted and the meadow to fill with wildflowers. This year on June 18, there was still 3' of snow around the lake and the meadow was still melting out.


Benham Falls

  • Mid to late-afternoon shot
  • Easy hike to shoot spring cascades in the Deschutes River.
  • River goes from placid meandering river to high-volume cascades trapped in a narrow gorge in 1/2 mile


Oregon Coast

Cannon Beach Area

  • Ecola State Beach is a PM Golden Light shot. Even though the best two viewpoints have been closed, there is still a good spot from the two picnic tables near the southern cliff. There is also an easier viewpoint to shoot Tilly from the west viewpoint accessed from the main trail.
  • Alternate view of Haystack Rock from north is dunes accessed by parking in Les Shirley and hiking west to beach. Best very early morning and low tide.
  • Tolovana Beach is a great access point to shoot Haystack Rock and Needles for sunrise or sunset. Wide, gently-sloping beach makes great reflections in the wet sand. BE SURE TO WALK ALL THE WAY TO HAYSTACK ROCK AND LOOK FOR PUFFINS!!!!!!!
  • Great shot through the trees at Cannon Beach from first turnout at the long curve at the south end of Cannon Beach. This is a morning shot.
  • Hug Point is a PM Golden Light shot. Waterfall is small and unimpressive. Low tide is great with reflections in the wet sand.
  • Nehalem Bay at AM or PM Golden Light and high tide has great reflections from south shore near a marina.
  • Nehalem Bay beach area west of campground was a great place to shoot sunset through the dune grasses.

3 Capes Scenic Drive

  • Cape Meares Lighthouse can no longer be reached from the north. Must take Highway 101 to Netarts Highway and approach from south.
  • Cape Meares Lighthouse is a morning shot, but all the coastal viewpoints are PM Golden Hour Shots.
  • Oceanside Beach State Recreation Area in Netarts is a PM Golden Light or sunset shot. The beach provides an alternate view of Three Arch Rocks, but the "secret" of the area is the tunnel that goes through Maxwell Point to Agate Beach and its view of a group of sea stacks. This has the potential to be an oustanding sunset location; especially at low tide.

Lincoln City Area

  • Boiler Bay is best as late afternoon, golden light shot
  • Try shooting Boiler Bay at twilight with a slow shutter speed and long mid-range lens for "soft" wave action in cove near fence area nearest entrance
  • Otter Crest State Scenic Viewpoint gift shop is now a good place to shoot north up coast. The old viewpoint from the gate no longer works.
  • Yaquina Head Lighthouse is morning shot. Good shots of Murres on rocks just off-shore. Good shot from begining of trail to beach with vegetation in foreground for color. Good shot from beach south and east of lighthouse. Shoot video with sound to get sounds of water over the rocky beach. Look for waves crashing on rock directly below lighthouse from curve in beach. Shore provides good leading lines into lighthouse
  • Yaquina Bay Lighthouse is good afternoon shot. Try to time during tours so windows aren't "boarded up." Good shot of bridge from group of trees on southeast side of parking lot. Time permitting, walk down to beach and shoot bridge from river level; especially at twilight.
  • Make Seal Rocks a priority for a.m. golden light. Good area for tide pooling. Good wave action n rocks in northern group of sea stacks. Area around southern sea stacks has very wide beach at low tide and good place for sunset images. I like Seal Rocks at low tide, but it must be awesome on big wave days. Trying shooting long exposures with ND filters.

Coos Bay Area

  • Be sure to hike the coast trail from first Cape Arago turnout to Shore Acres, and then return on the shortcut inland. Great sandstone formations along this area of the cliffs. This is a p.m. golden light area.
  • Shore Acres is a morning shot except for the lily pond, which is better in the p.m.
  • Viewpoint at the end of the road to Drake Point is a good sunset shot.
  • Keep trying to find a way to park along highway and hike into a view of the lighthouse from the east
  • Charleston Harbor is interesting in the fog.
  • Make it a high priority to shoot Sweet Creek Falls trail on overcast day!!!!!!!!!



  • Coquille River Lighthouse can be shot from South Jetty and Jetty Road S.W., as well as the loop road accessed from the campground. I prefer a p.m. shot with grasses and dune in the foreground. Also can be shot as a morning shot. Also can be shot from the parking lot for the restaurant at the west edge of Old Bandon.
  • Bandon is all about the sea stacks and the beach at sunrise and sunset--assuming it isn't completely fogged in. Be sure to shoot cave and areas where the waves crash through the main rock at the base of trail from Bandon Ocean Wayside Park (Face Rock Wayside Park).
  • Cape Blanco was a bit disappointing. It is on a ridge but back away from the ocean. There are no views of the lighthouse with the ocean visible. Areas around the lighthouse are closed, so the only shot is of the lighthouse from two sides.



  • Harris Beach State Park in Brookings has it all. It has rocky cliffs, beaches, and sea stacks that make great subjects for sunset images. Our favorite area was a small cove at low tide at the northern extreme of the beach in the northern section of the park. It has great sea stacks and the sunset light seems to paint the sky with a very soft glow most evenings. Harris Beach can be a great sunrise or sunset location.
  • Chetco Point provides expansive views north and south and has potential for good sunrise or sunset shot.
  • Arch Rock area is great for morning shots; especially of the small cove just north of the point. Be sure to shoot this cove from the main viewpoints, as well as from the turnout just north of the main area. There are good shots to the north, down at Arch Rock, and to the south from the viewpoints accessible from the main parking lot.
  • Natural Bridges is an interesting shot requiring HDR on most days to deal with the contrasts. Generally, it's a morning shot, but in the late afternoon, the glow from the p.m. sun lights the arches and makes the natural bridge more obvious.
  • Meyer Beach seems to go on forever. It's very flat and has interesting sea stacks. Try to get waves crashing through arch in large rock nearly straight west from the bridge. Because the beach slope is so gentle, it's a good place for reflections as the tide comes in.