Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Last Weekend at the North Coast


As you'll recall from my last batch of photos, I took a quick drive out to the coast last weekend.  The sunset was a pleasant surprise, the main focus was a quick visit to Forts Stevens and Columbia.  Those of you who have been following me for some time will recognize this sort of place, as I've taken many trips over the last few years to the many decaying military batteries lining the Pacific.


It's tricky trying to find new things to shoot, especially at Fort Stevens.  I think this was my fourth visit there with my camera... possibly my fifth.  It's a small enough space that there aren't many things I haven't shot already.


Once I figured this out, I realized I could try something different with the familiar settings.  Long-time fans will recognize this scene, a long-time favorite, but with a new twist.  I haven't really done any of these zoom-in shots recently, so I was happy that I thought of it while at Fort Stevens.


Across the river from Fort Stevens is the smaller Fort Columbia.  It's on a steep hillside overlooking the mouth of the Columbia River, the Astoria Bridge, and Astoria beyond.  All this, and somehow it has terrible views.  There are too many trees and fences to make any scenic pictures work.


Another little trick I wanted to try was playing around with my flashlight in a shot.  So I did!  I thought it might make things look haunted or something sweet like that, but instead it looks like I played around with a flashlight.


Another of those zoom-y photos.  Intense!  Did I mention I was there on Halloween?  It's true.  Too bad the place isn't really all that scary.  At least both of the bases were almost completely empty, I think I ran into eight other people at both parks combined.


This would be a great place to visit in the fog.  It's a shame it is two and a half hours away, I don't know how I could plan out such a visit, since the weather is so unpredictable.  One of these damp and cool weekends, I'll have to get a hotel in Astoria so I can at least double my chances.


While I was there shooting, I kept thinking about how I wasn't really finding any good shots.  Just this doorway and that hallway and some window and broken rail... of course when I got  home I looked through the photos and found a ton of them that I loved.  I had a hard time paring them down, as usual.  There are a few bonus shots on Flickr that everyone can see, if you feel like the eleven here aren't enough.


As I mentioned, Fort Columbia doesn't have much of a view of anything, and when I saw the potential for a beautiful sunset I decided I had to cut my visit short and head back down to Fort Stevens.  Twenty minutes later, I was at the beach and getting ready for the sunset.


The sand kind of got the best of me, as my tripod tended to shift without me noticing.  Many of these shots are slightly crooked, but there are a few that are way off!  And I really need to get that sensor cleaned, as the dust spots are just awful.  You can't see them in these, of course, but they're very obvious in the shots I took at f/22.


As usual, thanks for taking the time to look at my pictures!  I hope you've enjoyed.


--S said...

I can't believe I haven't come across your blog before this point. Great shots! Now I have another photographer whose shots I can look at to learn and get ideas ;)

Good luck on finishing your 365 project. I failed my first one, but I'm blaming the move across the country.

Sean G said...

Thanks! Although I've been blogging for years, I've only been cross-posting here on Blogger for the last couple of months.

The 365 project can be a real pain, especially since I have other hobbies and the weather doesn't always cooperate, but I am doing my best. I've only had to take a dozen or so shots that I think are really lame, and that's not too bad.