Natural renewal – Patterson beach – Oregon

Patterson State Park, Oregon, Fall copyright 2021 Douglas Stockdale

A couple of days ago I wrote what might be the first of a couple articles stemming from a holiday trip to see family up in Oregon. That post featured a portrait of a lake shoreline (Clear Lake) located up in the mountains and my thoughts on the illusion of ‘nature’ photography. What is interesting about western Oregon, such as cities like Eugene, is that within an hour you can be up in the mountains, or in this case, going west you will be soon walking the beaches of the Pacific Ocean.

This is a coastal landscapes that was easy for me to pre-visualize as a black and white photograph. From my vantage point walking the beach the highlights of the small stream as it intersected with the ocean created a lot of contrast with the surrounding beach sand. We had also timed our beach trip with the low tide, which creates really wide ocean beaches to walk, but also allows for a broader framing to take advantage of all that foreground sand and space.

Since there was a storm approaching, I was fortunate to have a sky with some slight cloud features as well as the surf was a bit rough to add to the interest of this landscape, a portrait of a southern Oregon beach. As this is also an urban landscape, there were a ton of foot and dog prints to clone out of the foreground of this image, although I did not want to eliminate all of these. Likewise, for balance, one seagull was enough, so a few others were eliminated, leaving one shore-bird that acted as a bit of visual counterbalance, otherwise this image might have become too static in appearance. (put your finger on the silhouette of the bird and see how the dynamics of this photograph slightly change).

I also added a slight warm tone with a Hue/Saturation layer, as the straight black and white seemed a bit too ‘cold’ for my liking. Earlier in my wet darkroom I usually added a selenium tone to my fiber prints, both to increase the archival quality as well as for its visual aesthetics. I suspect that I would have enjoyed palladium/platinum printing at some point, thus a third reason I add a similar warm print color into many of my black and white photographs.

Truth be told, my interest in this little stream that was feeding into the Pacific and renewing the ocean was more about what was occurring at a macro level with the running water, see below. This stems from my interest in how aspects of events that occur at a sub-atomic level, explained by particle physics, can still be visibly seen, which is absolutely fascinating for me.

I think this photograph is probably a classic (who wants to say they make cliche’s?) portrait of an ocean beach and stream. This is not going to any museums, but may a nice 24 x 36″ print might be something you might want to hang? Let me know if you are interested…




Book workshops:

I will be leading a Creative Photo Book workshop with the Southeast Center of Photography (SEC4P), a virtual event on Zoom; November 6 & 7th and 13 & 14th, 2021, 10 AM – 1 PM, EST (3 hour session each day, with a week between the weekend sessions to work your book-dummy). Registration is now open, and there is a SEC4P membership discount. It is SOLD OUT & wait-list has been started.

New dates for another SEC4P Creative PhotoBook workshop just announced (and already almost sold out), a virtual event on Zoom; January 22 & 23 and 29 & 30, 2022, 10 AM – 1 PM, EST (3 hour session each day, with a week between the weekend sessions to work your book-dummy). The SEC4P membership discount is also available.

Developing a Creative Photo Book, a virtual (Zoom) workshop I will be leading again in conjunction with Medium Photo with New dates: March 5 – 6, 12 – 13, 2022 More details and sign-up available now at Medium Photo.



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