Photographing Thor's Well (Sort of)

After the squall.

After the squall.

Cape Perpetua is a particularly beautiful part of the Oregon coast, and it attracts photographers who want to capture Thor’s Well at high tide. So, of course it was at the top of my shot list. Mother Nature had different ideas. A huge low pressure system had sent wave after wave of rain, wind and storms during my first few days on the coast. When I arrived at the Cape the ocean was still angry and it was blowing 15-20 knots with seas crashing against the rocks surrounding the Well.

The Well itself is only a few yards from the ocean and a couple feet above sea level. The best place to photograph it is within a few yards. It is recommended to shoot it at high tide to capture the water draining into the opening. Given the surf and wind, it would have been foolhardy to get close enough to photograph it: there are reports of people being swept off the ledge and dashed against the rocks.

So I retreated back a bit and shot some of the surf between the rocks. Even that was a dance. I was wearing tall rubber boots that still got flooded in the surf and held on to my tripod to keep the water from pushing it over. There was spray in the air so I put a ziplock over the camera to keep the lens clear. I would wait for a wave to retreat, snatch off the ziplock, take a few frames, then replace the bag and sometimes snatch the tripod and retreat further.

I will return.

Mario DennisOregon