Tide pools: Photos in Oregon

This is the second of a two-part series. For Part 1, click here.

Road Journals Blog—Two weeks later, I was in Yachats, Ore. The entire state was in the middle of its first big storm of the winter, and weather delays at the airport had kept me from making the sunset. There were freeze warnings, flood warnings, and high wind warnings from the National Weather Service (which I always check before a shoot). Yet this night, I was somehow standing under a clear sky. Lightning flashed on the horizon, and a bright full moon lit my way as I hopped along the jagged rocks.

I’d flown to Portland from Sacramento, changed my rental car to a four wheel drive (just in case) and made the three-hour drive. With the realization that this could be my only chance for a clear sky, I used moonlight for my photos. They were coming out lovely, but the lighting didn’t illustrate the tide pools like I wanted—especially for a cover shot.

This actually worked out in my favor. Having packed up early, just as I got into my car the sound of hail began clinking off the roof. I ended up at a the Luna Sea Fish House for dinner. It was an amazing little restaurant; I ordered the halibut special, and ended up talking to the owner, Robert Anthony, about fishing and his locally procured menu.

The next day’s weather was dreadful. I made my way to the Cape Perpetua visitor center, two miles south of town. The structure has large windows that look out over the cape and ocean, through which I watched system after system of heavy rain roll inland while waiting for my break.

Off in the distance I saw it—past the rain was a patch of clear sky with sunlight coming down to the water. I jumped back in the car and drove quickly down to the tide pool area. A mean ocean stared back at me. With landmarks named Devil’s Churn, Cook’s Chasm, Spouting Horn, and Thor’s Well, who wouldn’t be a little intimidated? I felt like I was walking into a battlefield.

Donning my foul weather gear, I made my way amongst the rocks. Before too long the weather let up and I found my tide pools. I shot into the dusk and drove back to Portland, my assignment complete.

For a large selection of photos from my shoot, visit dcollierphoto.com.

Christopher Hall's article, "Pool party," with photos by David Collier, appears on the cover of the March/April issue of VIA.

This blog post was first published in January 2011. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.