Where the river meets the ocean

Astoria - Megler Bridge
The Bridge | Oregon | 2017

Yesterday I did a nice tour from Portland, driving up along the Columbia River to Astoria where the mighty river flows into the Pacific, then down the coast to Cannon Beach and finally back to PDX. All in all I was 14 hours on the road. The weather was very oregonic, starting with pouring rain along the river, turning to a sun / show mix on the coast and eventually finishing in a nice sunset. I will need to hit the digital darkroom over the next days to look through my images, but I’ll show you a first photo from the mouth of the Columbia River, where a mighty, 4.1 mile long bridge takes Route 101 across and connects Astoria in Oregon with Megler in Washington State. It opened in 1966. The south part has a 200 ft clearance so oceangoing ships can pass on their way to the upstream harbors of Portland and Vancouver.

I took this long exposure image from the Cannery Pier just west of it. To smooth out the water and clouds I dialed in a 13 second shutter speed, closed aperture down to f/20 and used the lowest ISO of my PEN-F. To avoid overexposure I had attached my Haida ND3.0 neutral density filter, essentially a piece of darkened glass that reduces the amount of light hitting the sensor by 10 stops, the only way to achieve these long shutter speeds in bright daylight. The camera was mounted on a tripod and I used the Haida ND3.0 filter.

I converted the RAW file to monochrome in Lightroom CC, using a monochrome preset as a starting point and then mainly adjusting the gradation curves.

You will get to see more of this trip in the next days. Today will be all rain and I haven’t decided if I drive up to the Columbia Gorge to see the waterfalls.

Wish you all a great Sunday!


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44 thoughts on “Where the river meets the ocean

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  1. You are so so talented my friend. Always such a treat to see your beautiful image and to perhaps discover a technique and something to try out for myself. Thank you xo

  2. Beautiful! I’d love to share this image on my blog’s “Capture of the Day,” with your permission, of course. If you have a chance, cross over to the Washington side of the Gorge via the Bridge of the Gods and hike the trails at Coyote Wall and/or Beacon Rock. If you drive into the camping area of Beacon Rock (left side of Highway 14 heading east) you can park at the day use area and see some amazing falls, including “Pool of Winds.” You will need a Discovery Pass for Beacon Rock trails, but I believe there is a pay station at the trailhead. Coyote Wall is further east & on that side of Hood River, Oregon, you’re actually on the east side of the Cascade mountains, which means SUN. Enjoy!

    1. Gina, thanks, it means a lot, and of course you can share it 😊🙏! And thanks for the cool tips. Greetings from Multnomah Falls (a bit too touristic 😉). Was at Bridal Veil before, there was absolutely no one. Pics coming up….

  3. Driving over that bridge is one the scariest experiences I’ve ever had. Riding back over, with my eyes closed, wasnt much better 🙂

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