Ed O’Rourke  

Heceta Head by Ed O’Rourke

May 2023 - Heceta Head

About the Image(s)

This is the Heceta Head lighthouse on the Oregon coast (about 10 miles from my house). It's considered the most photographed lighthouse on the west coast, but that's probably because it's the only lighthouse with a viewpoint right on highway 101, which is where I took this shot from. Most of the photos you see of the lighthouse seem to be further back because there is about 3/4 mile of Pacific between me and the lighthouse. I wanted to experiment with how close of a view I could get so I was playing with my telephoto lens a bit. It was a nice clear day and the sun was to my back. For post processing I did increase the contrast a bit and reduced the exposure slightly. I also had to do a bit of haze reduction.

I used my Canon R; RF100-500 lens with a 2x extender on it giving me an focal distance of 856mm; aperture f/18; shutter speed 1/250: ISO 400. The camera was on a tripod however it was very windy which kept the camera shaking a bit so I used a higher shutter speed and adjusted to a corresponding ISO.

5 comments posted

Mark Bargen   Mark Bargen
I'm really impressed that you managed to get a sharp image at that focal length and 1/250s. Granted, the Canon R works together with the IS of the 100-500mm, but I wouldn't have tried anything longer than about 1/800s. Does the 2x extended have an impact?

I understand the interest in making something other than the customary side-of-the-road shot, but I'm not convinced you benefitted from eliminating the drama that the head, proper, can provide. Still, it is well composed (or so say I).

You definitely did benefit from the Sun being slightly offset.

Post-processing seems effective and unobtrusive. It's not surprising that you needed a bit of dehaze. So often, it seems makers are tempted to overdo it; no evidence of that here.   Posted: 05/07/2023 13:18:42

Neil Bellenie
A clever composition with the diagonal split between the Ocean and the hillside for a backdrop. The lighthouse looks so isolated (despite the bright sunshine) without any visible access roads which adds to the scene. I like the inclusion of the person. It lends scale and somehow helps with the sense of isolation.

Did you get any shots with a larger aperture? It would be interesting the see how they compare. Also does anyone know if there is a tripod not affected by wind? It is a real problem.   Posted: 05/17/2023 18:58:59

Paul Smith   Paul Smith
Yes...very clever composition. Good use of a long lens and tripod. Even at 1/250, you have eliminated motion blur!! I agree with Mark...the offset sun has given you engaging shadows . Well done   Posted: 05/24/2023 12:40:48

Darcy Quimby   Darcy Quimby
I like the composition and wherever your eyes go they are drawn back to the lighthouse. It also breaks up the picture.   Posted: 05/24/2023 17:00:28

Dawn Gulino
I like your use of a long lens to compress the green, ocean and lighthouse. Great job keeping it in focus!   Posted: 05/29/2023 19:32:59


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