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South Oregon Coast

I just want to first start off by thanking you for visiting my first blog post “South Oregon Coast” and my website as well! Please take a look at “My Work” on my homepage and if there are any questions about purchasing my photography, or anything  to do with photography, I am always here very happy to help!

My Photo shoot of South Oregon Coast started out leaving a very HOT Phoenix, Arizona at the end of June. I headed through Joshua Tree National Park (which will save for another blog) and headed up HWY 99 in California (which was a HUGE mistake, should have gone up thru rural NV…) and spent my first week in beautiful Bend, Oregon for the 4th of July with my family who all flew in and met there:)  After spending a wonderful time in Bend, it was time for me to head off to the Oregon Coast on my adventure by myself. I was a little nervous about being alone, but it taught me a little about myself and gave me more confidence in myself which was great for future adventures!

Heading out my first day towards Bandon, Oregon (about a 5hr drive from Bend) there were a lot of great opportunities for some beautiful photos driving over the cascade mountain range with many snow capped mountains, rivers and beautiful vista’s.   I took full advantage, but it extended my trip to around 8 hours but was well worth it…. I rolled into Bandon late afternoon, unpacked, and got right to work as I only had this one evening and the next morning to explore. The manager of the small hotel  where I was staying was really friendly and had several photographs of the area in the office so I asked him where he thought the best vantage points of Bandon were and he was very happy to help lead me in the right direction. Upon showing up to the main parking lot at Face Rock Beach viewpoint which sits high on a bluff overlooking the long sandy beaches and sea stacks,  I noticed it was very windy and would make things that much more difficult to set-up but I was going to make the best of it! You have to go down may levels of stairs to finally get down to the beach and once down there you really get a sense of how amazing this place is! The sea stacks are so grand and dot the beach everywhere!  It makes for some great compositions (as you can see in my Blog photos).  After spending all day driving and 3 hours at the beach in gusty winds photographing,  I decided I was spent and had enough for the day, and went to find some dinner which was not easy to find I found out! Everything in these small coastal towns close at 9pm and the best I could do was find a grocery store across from my hotel that was thankfully still open!

Next morning,  I headed out south (with a couple quick stops in Bandon for photos) on my way towards Brookings, Oregon,  a nice little seaside town about a half hour from the California border. Along the way,  I stopped for many photo opportunities along the coastline.   It’s really such a beautiful drive,  and having lived part-time in San Diego last 5 years,  I just love the fact knowing there are still beaches around that are still barren and unpopulated with people which was so nice to see after spending much time in California!  Before arriving to where I was staying for the night,  I came upon Samuel Boardman State Park  Scenic Corridor which was the main reason I was on this trip to photograph this area. I had first seen this area on my Instagram feed, the photo really drew me in and I was amazed by the beauty of what they call “Natural Bridges” and had to see it for myself! The whole park itself is a nature lovers dream with endless bluffs and amazing views of secluded sandy beaches and sea stack formations hugging the rugged coastline for 12 miles. There are many places to turn off the main road and view the area,  and if your adventurous, there are endless hiking trails as well,  including the famous Oregon Coast Trail!  A few of the main areas of interest to see include Cape Ferrelo, House Rock Viewpoint, Natural Bridges, Arch Rock and so many other places throughout the main points of interest in the park to explore!

The next morning,  my first and only full day to really explore Brookings and the Samuel Boardman State Park,  I woke up to very dark dreary skies and misty rain.   Imagine that happening on the Oregon coast:)  I was not going to let it ruin my day though as I drove 1,250 miles to see this area and was pretty excited to get out and spend my day in one of the most beautiful areas nature has to offer!  I spent my day driving the 12 miles stretch of the Samuel H Boardman state corridor stopping off and just quickly viewing some areas,  and other areas I hiked a few trails down to the beaches seeing as much as I could see and photograph in a limited amount of time.  Oh, and I forgot to mention before…  the day before passing through the park, I stopped off at the main attraction I was there to photograph as I mentioned before (Natural Bridges) and I am glad I did!  Reason being it was a much much nicer partly sunny day to photograph, and I would have had no change of getting down to the main vantage point had I gone on this rainy day.

When you first come to the turn-off for “Natural Bridges” it comes very quick so be aware.  It sits right off the main road and is a very small dirt parking lot. To see the Natural Bridges there are two “main ways” you can go.  One is to follow to the left side of the parking lot the viewpoint is from up above looking down and again is just right off the parking lot,  so if your just wanting a quick look and not feeling real adventurous this is the place to see it! The other ways to see the bridges is you can keep going on the trail south past that same main upper vantage point which will eventually lead down to the bridge but I didn’t go this way…  I wanted to see the vantage point I had seen in that photo I had first seen this place on Instagram,  and to do that you need to follow the trail on the far opposite right side of the parking lot.  I will start off by saying make sure you wear proper hiking shoes to do this trail (unlike I did…)  as this trail is no joke and is very dangerous!  It’s very very steep leading down and in places very close to the cliff.   It’s so steep that in some areas if you slip,  nothing is going to stop you from possibly going right over the edge of the cliff, and that’s why I am glad I didn’t have to do this in the rain! But after saying all that.. the reward of finally getting down to the vantage point, I for months waited for, was better then I even imagined!   Pretty spectacular!!! (See Blog photo) some people actually cross over the narrow rocky bridge but I don’t recommend it at all,  as is seems very dangerous! I have a big fear of heights and went maybe out 15 feet onto the bridge itself to get these photos, and that was more then daring enough for me!!!

After a long day exploring endless beautiful green trails and seeing many gorgeous vista’s, I headed back to town around 8 as it was still pretty overcast, and it was not making for very good night photography.  Plus I did not want to miss out on getting dinner like I did in Bandon!  I went to a little Mexican place right off the 101 right on the north end left side driving into town in Brookings called Poncho’s and to my surprise it was very good:) not the best I’ve had,  but very good!  I lived in Phoenix for 20 years and have had some “very good” Mexican food so I was pleasantly  surprised!

The next day I packed up as it was sadly time to slowly head back to the hot 110 degree desert,  but still planning on taking many many photos along the way, which will save for future Blog:)  When I headed out of Brookings on my way out I could not help but notice all the gorgeous pink flowers along coastal Hwy 101 (probably so happy from all the rain the day before) the spot I pulled off was very high on a bluff looking down onto this spectacular beach doted with a few sea stacks. The flowers and the coastline made for a real great composition I thought anyway.. (photo in Blog)  and ended what was an amazing little adventure on the South Oregon Coast!!


This capture was taken in Brookings near the California Oregon Border.  The lighting and clouds made for one of my favorite captures to date!
Kenneth Strieby Fine Photography
Wow what a scene this was “Natural Bridges”.  Easily the most dangerous spot to get too that I have photographed so far … but it was worth it!

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