Photographing Oregon Lighthouses

Cape Arago Lighthouse

One of the great joys of the Oregon coast are the lighthouses (if you are into that and I am).  From Canon Beach to Bandon Beach (though Cape Blanco is still 40 minutes past Bandon), there are nine lighthouses.  We got five of the nine on our last trip to Oregon with Mark McDermott.  Here is what you might see:I find the lighthouses here fun to shot and also challenging as they are all very different and have different access points.  I used short and long lenses as well as color and infrared.  Here are the ones we captured from North to South.

Tillamock Rock Lighthouse is off the coast of the Ecola State Park near Cannon Beach

Cape Mears is short and very accessible.

Yaquina Head is very popular and one of our favorites.

The lighthouses are fine subjects for infrared converted to monochrome

You can drive in to get close to Haceta Head, but we prefer to photograph it from the look out about a quarter mile south of the lighthouse.  This is one of the few that still has a working light, so you should try to time your shot to capture the light.


Cape Arago is another favorite, though it is a bit of a slog to drive there.  When you arrive at the parking lot, there is a short trail directly in front of the lot with an OK perspective.  The better view is on the trail on the left side of the parking lot.  It’s only a 5 min walk to another look out with a better angle.


The Coquille River Lighthouse is in Bandon and easy to get to.  You can walk all round it to find your favorite composition.


Finally, Cape Blanco is another favorite, but by the time we got there the fog had rolled in and visibility was almost zero, so we did not get a photo of it this time.  Here is one from our last trip eight years ago.


Though it’s a long drive down the coast, we enjoyed our nearly three day jaunt along the coast.

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