I wasn't sure what to expect for weather along the Oregon Coast. It can be a bit gray and overcast at times, but we had our fingers crossed to get some nice sunsets while we were there. As it turns out, the evening we went to Seal Rock Beach, to the south of Newport, there was lots of sunshine. Maybe even too much. No worries, though, it was still going to be a beautiful evening. Plus, this would give me the opportunity to practice making some starburst images. I like starbursts. This is the technique whereby the aperture in the camera is stopped down (i.e., closed really small) to make the sun look like a star. It can also be a bit tricky to pull off. For one, you don't want to look directly at the sun through the camera's viewfinder. This is a great time to use the LCD screen on the back of the camera to frame up the shot and avoid damaging your eyes. Secondly, you want to be sure to expose for the brighter part of the scene (the sky) to avoid completely blowing out the highlights.
When I saw the little pool in the rock below with the reflecting sun, I thought I would try to pull off a double starburst. It kind of worked...
Seal Rock Beach is so named because the off-shore rocks make a great habitat for seals, sea lions, and shore birds. I didn't see any seals or sea lions, but there were plenty of sea gulls and other birds enjoying the sunset with us on this evening.
No seals, but this rock formation looked like a whale to me. What do you think?
As the sun sank down closer to the horizon, a few clouds started to move in. It was beginning to look like we were going to get some really nice colors in the sky. Early this year, I started a project to make as many sunset images throughout the year as I could. I've made a few nice sunset images, but this was the best sunset of the year so far for me. With a little bit of patience and getting in just the right position, I was able to make this image just as the sun was passing through the "V" in the rock formation.
Just because the sun goes down doesn't mean the show is over. Although most of our group left, some of us stuck around as the sun dipped well below the horizon. We watched, and made lots of images, as the sky displayed many shades of orange, blue, and magenta. It was an awesome night at the beach!