madness of the tides
Twice I came here last weekend for balancing (pirouetting?) on slippery rocks and timing my shutter the best I figured how with the rhythm of the surf: Alone the first gloomy night and with the boys the following, very dark afternoon. Easily some of the rainiest, drippiest time I’ve spent on the Oregon coast (and there have been plenty of rainy days since the Willamette Valley era).
The first evening of shooting I nearly came to blows with myself, barely staving off the primal temptation to smash my camera to smithereens on the rocks suffering as it is from two known major recalls (such little faith do I have in Nikon that I’ve chosen to work around the quirks) which have been getting in the way at the most aggravating of times and then making matters worse I got sloshed undangerously but quite rudely by the surf and stood there silently- very numb and not zen before retreating to a nearby cave for the tedious chore of eliminating the salty, translucent grimy brine from the front of my glass. Rialto Beach was still very much in my head and somehow, in the hullabaloo, my ISO got turned up a few too many notches. This would not have been cause for irritation if it weren’t for the grind of a six-stop neutral density filter parked on front of the lens for most of my shooting…….. akin to riding a bike up a steep hill while squeezing the handbrakes as hard as possible.
The noise from the unwittingly higher ISO ultimately left me feeling bitterly disappointed in my pictures but on the other hand the misty night air already held a certain gossamer quality to it. This one was at least fine for the web: Uncorrected distortion notwithstanding (I feel dizzy) hopefully you find something to like about this four second exposure from the first night. Windshield wipers would have come in handy, I ended up standing here because it was one of my few good options for being sideways and having the lens stay clean from salt-spray for at least one or two exposures. The little umbrella I brought along for protection (while the shutter was open) got busted inside-out after two minutes. Incidentally, that little squall touching down on the right horizon between the near and distant rocks was the preliminary furious blast of rain and it set off Jason’s Comedy Photography Routine. The distant offshore rocks are the ones that separate Chapman and Crescent beaches. The following evening was more rewarding despite continued trials of ineptituditity (the details of which I will not burden the reader) because at least I could turn around and spy the boys having barrels of fun and so there was the feeling of accomplishment even if I was mostly perching on the rocks like an injured puffin.
It felt unusually nice back in town, cozy in the little round house overlooking Elk Creek and by the fireplace with a book and sweets (various concoctions melding flavors of peanut butter and chocolate) from Bruce’s Candy Kitchen. The boys played games, did puzzles and watched movies like Swiss Family Robinson. During the times when it did not rain, we walked on Cannon Beach proper. One morning, we met a blind pug named Blazer who was rescued from a farm where terrible neglect reigned. Speaking of which, a few days ago I finally emptied Lucy’s water dish and added it to the supply of dog things piling up by the washing machine and then another morning Adam and I took possession of her ashes from the animal hospital. Fourteen cute and silly years she was part of the family and we couldn’t bury her in the yard like I always figured- but heck if she was gonna end up anyplace but home so we had her cremated. We didn’t really know the people at the vet’s office but they were gracious. Lucy always went to the place on 15th Avenue East but the kindly doctor there lost her lease on the building in favor of a cannabis shop. Every time I drive past the place a picture sort of forms in my head of cats and dogs on the other side of the rainbow bridge getting high on afterlife.