I've been wanting to photograph the sea stacks along the Pacific Coast for a while. Three shoots had to be scuttled for one reason or another, but I finally made it to Bandon, Oregon last week.
Because flying still requires nearly six hours of driving in order to complete the trip, and since driving the whole way was going to afford me additional flexibility in terms of trying to work around the forecast, I opted to travel exclusively via ground. (This in spite of the fact that lengthy, solo road trips don't exactly sing to me.)
As I made my way across Oregon, the temperatures rose to nearly 80 degrees and there wasn't a cloud in sight. While Robin's-egg-blue, completely clear skies are pleasant, they're not a landscape photographer's friend. Finally, within 60 miles of the coast, clouds were visible over the ocean. Since I hoped to get to work as the sun set that evening, I was happy to see something going on in the sky.
Nearing Bandon, my initial enthusiasm about those clouds waned. The skies quickly transitioned to complete overcast: flat and white with absolutely no definition as far as the eye could see. Little did I know, those uninteresting skies were going to make themselves at home for quite some time. So much for the favorable forecast!
When you've driven 14-hours for a shoot, you're stuck. There is no choice but to try to figure out what kind of photograph you CAN make given the conditions - or, in this case, since the sky necessarily had to be included in the composition, to wait it out. I sat at the shore for hours, watching and hoping for some improvement. Fog would have been great, but none materialized. Angry skies, too, would have been welcome but were also nowhere to be found.
It was a challenging couple of days. The flat light would have been perfect to photograph waterfalls or to do close-up work, but there were no opportunities for either in the general area.
Coming down to the wire, with time running out on my stay, Mother Nature came through. It's hard to describe the sense of euphoria when, after nearly walking away from a location shoot empty-handed, the conditions turn in your favor.