Haystack Rock at Dusk

Dusk is my favorite time of day because of the colors on display – a mix of cool blues and purples with vivid, warm oranges, reds, and yellows. I feel that dusk has a certain mood to it that makes for great pictures and, fortunately, I don’t have to get up early in the morning to capture it!


These photos were taken a bit after the one in yesterday’s post. I was looking for a shot that would focus primarily on the waves crashing against Haystack Rock but, once I got to what I thought might be a good location to do so, I realized I could go wide and capture a pretty moody picture due to the darkness settling in, the setting sun, and the amazing looking rocks in the water. I swapped lenses, framed the shot, and then got the camera setup on the tripod. I took probably fifteen different shots like this with varying compositions, with and without a polarizing filter (I wanted the extra stops of darkness the polarizer would provide – and thus a longer shutter speed – rather than using the filter for its polarizing capabilities). I also timed my shots to coincide with different patterns in the waves and this, combined with the varying shutter speeds, made for many different variations.

The photo below was taken without the polarizing filter so the shutter speed wasn’t as long as the others, allowing for more detail and reflection in the water. Nearly all the shots with the filter had too long of a shutter speed so blurred the water too much, making the water difficult to notice.

The following photo was taken with the polarizer on. I like the balance between the water on the left and the darkness on the right caused by the “S” shape of the waves along the beach. I tried different crops to see whether I could emphasize that aspect of the shot but ended up liking the uncropped version best. I also like how the rocks are framed in this shot as compared to the horizontal frame. This shot was taken to the right of the previous one in order to get that effect.

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach, Oregon during dusk