THE RISING AND DYING OF THE LIGHT AT HAYSTACK ROCK
In September of 2015, Rich & I revisited one of our most favourite countries, the USA. We love the wild landscapes, the big skies, the endless horizons and the ever changing diversity found while traveling from state to state. There is always so much natural beauty to see and so many adventures to be had.
For this trip we explored the western coast, traveling mostly on Highway 101 through Oregon, up to Washington State. While on that amazing journey we found ourselves at Cannon Beach…
Like many people I love the ocean. The mysterious beauty of it is indescribable. While gazing out to sea, witnessing the rhythmic pull of the waves, the power of the ocean and the sense of hope it gives is almost hypnotic.
“There is, one knows not what sweet mystery about the sea, whose gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath.” Herman Melville
Cannon Beach is located on the Pacific Northwest Coast of Oregon, 80 miles west of Portland. It is one of Oregon’s quaintest and most picturesque locations, made famous by the beautiful Haystack Rock and Needles that mark its shoreline. At first sight Rich & I knew that this place had an ethereal beauty about it and that we very much wanted to capture some of its magic.
“Everywhere we look, the complex magic of nature blazes before our eyes.” Vincent Van Gough
To do this we walked the beach at dawn and dusk; witnessing the rising of the sun high over the ocean to its eventual decent back into the sea. At that beautiful beach we saw the passing of time; the lengthening of the earth’s shadows, the dying of the light…
The photographs that follow were my own way of documenting our brief pocket of time at Cannon Beach, where we experienced first hand how environments, colours, shadows and even feelings can be transformed at the moment of the rising and setting of the sun.
“For thousands upon thousands of years the sunlight and the sea and the masterless winds have held tryst together.” Llewelyn Powys
SUNRISE AT HAYSTACK ROCK
18th September 2015
Adjacent to the large rock formation known as Haystack Rock, are its brothers known as The Needles. These three independent sea stacks act as watchmen, guarding their coastline and nurturing the native wildlife. Although we didn’t see any that day, Puffins are often spotted nesting on these rocks.
The birds we did see… Although Seagulls are common all over the world’s coastlines, these little guys are still lovely friends to have while walking on the sand. Provided they understand you don’t have any food!
When isolated, their monochrome feathers looked so beautiful against the pastel colour pallet of the beach. While the sun rose, they blended in with everything around them, making them the perfect, unexpected predators…
Rich scouting the horizon for Whales…
The coming of the tide…
“Time and tide wait for no man.” Geoffrey Chaucer
“So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay.” Robert Frost
It was incredible to observe just how little time a sunrise lasts. The light changes with every blink of the eye and before you know it, the blossom pink hues of dawn are gone, the sun’s intense yellow rays are hitting the rocks and all is over.
SUNSET AT HAYSTACK ROCK
18th September 2015
After a much needed afternoon nap at our Airbnb, we returned to the beach to watch the sun go down. The difference in the light was already incredible. We waited with eager anticipation for ‘golden hour’…
The ethereal beauty of ‘Golden Hour’.
This light is fleeting. “Time is like the ocean, you can only hold a little in your hands.” Once the sun has started its descent, oh so quickly twilight arrives. Gone are the soft golden hues and long shadows of that particular moment in time, and instead an intensity of over-saturated colour floods the skies.
“The first stab of love is like a sunset, a blaze of color — oranges, pearly pinks, vibrant purples…” Anna Godbersen, The Luxe
It’s strange, it seemed that everything became the most alive with the dying of the light. One last surge of beauty and energy before inky darkness took hold.