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When Sony's invitation to spend a couple of days shooting with the new a6300 in Miami arrived via email, I didn't have to think twice before sending my RSVP. Announced in February and shipping this...

Sea Stacks

Paul Chance , Dec 06, 2012; 07:04 p.m.

I am beginning to plan my summer trip to the Northwest and would like to shoot the sea stacks at sunset.

Are most of the sea stacks in Oregon or does Washington have them too?

Probably looking at a house rental or something on the beach (preferably with little light pollution for night photography).

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!


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David Daniel , Dec 06, 2012; 07:24 p.m.

The stacks are everywhere along the Washington coast. These are on's shi shi beach in Olympic National Park.

Shi Shi Stacks

David Henderson , Dec 06, 2012; 08:11 p.m.

Consider Bandon, Oregon. You can rent houses or take hotel rooms (specifically Sunset Motel, Vern Brown addition) overlooking the stacks and just walk down steps to the beach and stacks. Clearly there are any number of places with sea-stacks in Oregon/Washington, but I don't know anywhere else with so many and of such elegant shapes and on a great walking beach. There's some more decent stacks at the Myers Creek (northern) end of the Pistol River area south of Gold Beach which you could do as a day trip.

Stacks on Bandon Beach, Oregon, late afternoon.

Stephen Lewis , Dec 06, 2012; 08:19 p.m.

In Washington the area around La Push on the north end of the Olympic Peninsula has wonderful sea stacks...IMHO the best ones are reached by following the 1 mile trail thru the rainforest at the turnoff for Beach #2.

Matthew Brennan , Dec 07, 2012; 12:46 a.m.

Are most of the sea stacks in Oregon or does Washington have them too?

Yes, Washington has great sea stacks, as mentioned before, especially up on the north western reaches of the Olympic Peninsula.
The sea stacks on the Oregon coast are largely in cleared wide open beach situations - the sea stacks I saw in Washington are in more remote locations and have the forest growing right up to the beach. All are worthy of stopping / staying / shooting.

Ruby Beach Sea Stack - Olympic Peninsula WA.

Paul Chance , Dec 07, 2012; 09:27 a.m.

That is great to hear... I think I would prefer WA so I could do HOH rainforest and Olympic NP.

Dave L. , Dec 07, 2012; 10:56 a.m.

As everyone has said, Olympic NP has fantastic sea stacks. I personally think the best require at least a little bit of hiking, but there's great stuff regardless. If you are at all interested in backpacking for a few days, I cannot recommend that highly enough. Overnight hiking on the Olympic Coast is a special experience.
As far as rentals, keep in mind that the coast is wilderness and isn't developed. You can, however, tent camp on the beach, which is great fun if you're up for it.

Laura Weishaupt , Dec 07, 2012; 11:40 a.m.

Another nod to the area around La Push. There are a range of accommodations from camping on up and it is within a couple hours from Hoh. Bear in mind that in the summer the coast can be foggy. The map of Olympic NP shows locations from Shi Shi to South Beach, including all the above mentioned locations in Washington. It is a good tool for looking at the coastal area of the Olympic Peninsula.

David Cavan , Dec 07, 2012; 10:15 p.m.

There are few places to stay along the coast of the Olympic Peninsula. The lodge at Kalaloch is very nice, and puts you in the middle of the beaches and stacks. Its about 5 minutes from the Ruby Beach access shown in Matthew's picture above. A trip out to Neah Bay and to Flattery Rocks, and as someone else mentioned, La Push, provide great scenery, but you need to give yourself enough time (several hours) to drive there and back. However, very much worth it.

Sunset provides the most dramatic scenes I think, especially if there's a high tide so the beach is wet and reflecting the light.

David Daniel , Dec 10, 2012; 01:14 p.m.

I am shooting Big Cypress Preserve and the surrounding areas right now. Staying in the Everglades City Motel in Everglades City. Unless you are camping, I think this is the best location to travel out of. The road south of here goes to a Everglades visitor center and has a concessionaire who offers boat tours. In town there are several airboat tour companies.

I got most of my advice about where to go from the Photograph America newsletter # 56. If you don't subscribe to that newsletter, you can probably buy that issue on their website, www.photographamerica.com. Pretty much every place he suggests going, is located on the Park Service map of Big Cypress Preserve. Basically I'm taking any of the roads that egress into the preserve off of Highway 41, walking all the trails & boardwalks. I've also signed up for a National Park canoe trip up Turner River that is supposed to last four or five hours.

One of my favorite places right now is the Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk into Fakahatchee Strand. Signs direct you to it just off Highway 41 West of the road to Everglades City. It's about 3/4 miles and I spent about three hours there. I plan to go back for a late light another day.

And don't miss the Oasis visitor center in Big Cypress Preserve. I was there around 3 o'clock in the afternoon and the canal along the boardwalk had about 35 alligators along it, including one we all (along with the Ranger) agreed was the biggest we'd ever seen. Lots of wading birds on the other side of the canal. It's much easier to shoot here then try to stop on Highway 41, which I've only done a couple times.

I know you said you're from the south, but I'm trying to imagine how it would be to hike and spend time outdoors in August. Yesterday was 84° and of course very humid. I was absolutely exhausted after just a short two-mile round trip hike combined with a couple boardwalks. This morning at nine in the morning I rode my bike for about an hour. Luckily I hadn't showered beforehand. I honestly can't imagine spending much time exerting myself around here in August, I'd rather be in the middle of Death Valley. Even though I lived in Florida for sometime.

That said, this place is incredible!!

Friendly guys, huh?

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