Bandon Beach

Updated: Jun 4

Why a Wonder: A sprawling beach filled with towering and dramatic sea stacks – Face Rock (shown below) being the most famous. This seascape offers photographers countless creative composition opportunities, as well as challenges.



When: Throughout the year, at low tide.


Photography: Before you head out to Bandon Beach, check the weather (which can change very quickly) and a tide chart. You want to be on the beach at low tide so you have maximum access to the sea stacks.


As you’ll be walking through tide pools and the surf, you’ll need waterproof boots. And be careful walking down the steep and uneven wooden steps that lead from the road to the beach.



Travel light: bring a wide-angle zoom like the Canon 15-35mm. For long-exposure photography, tote a tripod and an ND (neutral density) filter.


If you like bird photography, take along a telephoto zoom. And don’t forget your lens cleaning cloth to wipe off salt spray on front element of your lens or a filter.


Many photographers like to photograph Bandon Beach at sunset, when, on a clear day, strong back light and a colorful sky can produce dramatic silhouettes of the sea stacks. The reflections are cool, too.



When making photographs with the sun in your frame, check your camera’s highlight alert and histogram, and make sure the bright areas of your image are not overexposed.



Want to add some action and drama to your Bandon Beach photos? Hire a horse and rider to dash across the beach at sunset. You can arrange this through Bandon Beach Riding Stables. Plan your photographs before your actual photo session: choose a sea stack and imagine where you want to capture the horse and rider in the frame. Then, give the rider specific directions as to where to run, as well as how fast to run. Set your camera's AF system to focus tracking and choose the highest frame rate. After each run, check your photographs to make sure you have the shots you want.



Want more photo fun? Go to the beach at night and photograph the stars in the sky (as opposed to photographing the sea stars that you may see in tide pools). Here, too, check the tide chart before your beach exploration.


FYI: You don’t need expensive camera gear to get a great action shot. Susan Sammon took the opening image for this post with her iPhone.


Learn more: Visit Alex Morley Photo. Check out this KelbyOne class, The 20 Time-Proven Rules of Composition. See more of Susan's photos in: The Oregon Coast Road Trip book.


© Rick & Susan Sammon and Alex K. Morley.


This post sponsored by Delkin Devices.

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