Tim Boyer Photography

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Common Murre

Oregon Coast Workshop Report

Landscape PhotographyTim BoyerComment

The Oregon Coast is a fabulous place to create landscape images, with a little luck and some patience, it might all come together. the subjects are all there, it's the light that is sometimes magical, and those are the times we want to shoot!  

The first afternoon/evening session was at Siletz Bay and the Three Brothers this is a great place to start and dust off the camera gear and get start getting into the "landscape" mindset.

On Siletz Bay near Lincoln City the Three Brothers stand guard just off shore from where the Siletz River enters the bay.

On Siletz Bay near Lincoln City the Three Brothers stand guard just off shore from where the Siletz River enters the bay.

The second day of the workshop was rainy and  foggy, I'm still working on those images trying to figure out if I want them to be black & white images or not.  So in the mean time I'll just skip those.

I like to stop at Moolack beach just north of the Yaquina Head Lighthouse for the view of the lighthouse standing on the edge of the ocean.  Sometimes though the surprises are in the other direction.  By shooting looking north these bluffs look like the Napali Coast of Hawaii or someplace exotic like that.  The slow shutter speed caught some cars coming around the bend in the road as well.

Looking north up Moolack Beach.

Looking north up Moolack Beach.

I like this lighthouse because the land it sits on jets out into the Pacific, It looks and feels like a lighthouse should.  The location is dramatic, and often the clouds and lighting are too.

The Yaquina Head Lighthouse.

The Yaquina Head Lighthouse.

The weather was good so we went down to Cape Perpetua and Thor's Well for a little excitement.

The water comes up through Thor's Well before it drains back in. The water blasting out of the hole is hwer photogrphaer's need to keep thier gear dry.

The water comes up through Thor's Well before it drains back in. The water blasting out of the hole is hwer photogrphaer's need to keep thier gear dry.

The water draining back in Thor's Well is the standard image these days, but there's also something about the water blasting out that makes a pretty dynamic image as well.

The water draining back in Thor's Well is the standard image these days, but there's also something about the water blasting out that makes a pretty dynamic image as well.

The next morning from the hotel parking lot, I could see a few bright stars, so I knew it would be good at Pacific City.  Wow was it ever!

Pacific City, Haystack Rock and Cape Kiwanda on a fabulous morning of light.

Pacific City, Haystack Rock and Cape Kiwanda on a fabulous morning of light.

The beach at Pacific City just before sunrise.

The beach at Pacific City just before sunrise.

Haystack Rock and the golden sandstone of Cape Kiwanda at sunrise.

Haystack Rock and the golden sandstone of Cape Kiwanda at sunrise.

Haystack Rock and the golden sandstone of Cape Kiwanda in full morning light.

Haystack Rock and the golden sandstone of Cape Kiwanda in full morning light.

Often in late summer and early fall Common Murres can be found on beaches and rock jetties.  They molt or shed all of their primary feathers (flight feathers) at once so they can't fly.  But because they also use their wings to fly underwater, when they don't have their flight feathers they can't swim and chase fish as well.  It's as if, when they need food the most (growing feathers takes a lot of energy) it's the most difficult for them to chase fish. My theory has always been that they come ashore to conserve energy and warm up.  Their body temperature is about 100 degrees and they can lose heat quickly in the cold Pacific waters. If you come across a Common Murre or any other bird it might not be injured or sick, it could just be resting waiting for the next high-tide to take it back into the  water.

A Common Murre beached.

A Common Murre beached.

Cape Kiwanda sandstone.

Cape Kiwanda sandstone.

Newport Bridge in teh afternoon on a scouting stop.

Newport Bridge in teh afternoon on a scouting stop.

Newport Bridge way after sunset and a really long exposure.

Newport Bridge way after sunset and a really long exposure.

It was a great week on the Oregon Coast we also stopped at the North Fork of the Yachats River Bridge, one of 50 remaining wooden covered birdges in Oregon, Seal Rocks, Agate Beach, hiked up to the top of Cape Kiwanda and hiked up part of the Cascade Head trail.

Enjoy!        Thanks          Tim

Bird Quest #21

Bird PhotographyTim BoyerComment

  Catching up on the last month or so's worth of birds photographed this year.

These first three images are from a whale watching trip I took in the San Juan's out of Anacortes with Island Adventures in September.  I hadn't seen a Marbled Murrelet on the water in a long time.  I think I liked seeing this murrelet as much or more then the whales.

Marbled Murrelet off the  coast of San Juan Island.
Marbled Murrelet off the coast of San Juan Island.
A group of Common Murre.
A group of Common Murre.
Rhinoceros Auklet
Rhinoceros Auklet

The closest park to my house is Gene Coulon Park in Renton, WA.  It's just down the hill, so I can get there quickly when I need to get outside.  When the sun comes out in the  fall and winter even in the middle of the day the sun is low enough so it's possible to photograph birds and not have too much harsh mid-day light.  So, for one of my lunch breaks last week I went to the park to see what winter birds had shown up so far.

A Greater White-fronted Goose at Gene Coulon Park.
A Greater White-fronted Goose at Gene Coulon Park.

I was surprised to find the Western Grebe right in the little boat dock area by the Kidd Valley & Ivar's.  Lot's of Coots and Mallards but just one Western Grebe.  A cool bird for just taking a break in the middle of the day!

A Western Grebe at Gene Coulon Park.
A Western Grebe at Gene Coulon Park.

Mew Gulls are back now as well.  It really is fall!

Mew Gull on a log boom at Gene Coulon Park.
Mew Gull on a log boom at Gene Coulon Park.

Whenever I teach a photography workshop I always try to go a day or two earlier so I can locate the birds or just do a little photography on my own.  The gorge trip was really a landscape photography workshop but since I knew the dippers were there and I wanted to photograph them I took the big 600 mm lens with me.  There were about six to eight dippers flying up and down the river eating Coho Salmon eggs, singing and chasing each other.  it was great fun watching them.

American Diper on Eagle Creek, Columbia Gorge.
American Diper on Eagle Creek, Columbia Gorge.

When driving back from the Portland area on I-5 there are two great places to stop for birds, Ridgefield and Nisqually National Wildlfie Refuges.  This time we stopped at Ridgefield and besides the Goldfinch there were about eight Great Egrets and dozens of Great Blue Herons.  We even had two groups of Sandhill Cranes fly over us and  great close looks at a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk.

American Goldfinch on thistle at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.
American Goldfinch on thistle at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.

Enjoy!

Thanks, as always

Tim