This is a photo from Cannon Beach, a small town about 3/4 of the way up the Oregon coast. The massive rock on the right, called Haystack Rock, is a 235-ft basalt structure originally formed from a lava flow about 15 million years ago. Erosion over the eons has resulted in the Haystack being separated from the coast, producing this amazing monolith.

Unfortunately, almost the whole time I was on the coast this trip, it was either completely clouded in the morning, or completely clear (i.e. cloudless) skies later in the day - neither of which makes particularly great landscape photography conditions. However, as I was setting up on the beach, planning just to capture the amazing colours of the sunset, a very cool and talented photographer who I met there, Pete Dobre (based in Australia), pointed out a couple of nice little clouds SLOWLY making their way into the scene. After waiting for these clouds to move into perfect position above the rocks, where they were reflecting the rich colours of the sunset, I incorporated them into my final picture. I used a 10-stop neutral density filter (to allow a long exposure time) to give the water a softer look and stretch the clouds out over the sky... et voila!

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