Ok, I'll see myself out for that joke... I went to Cape Disappointment a few weeks ago on a Landscape photography adventure hunting for that sunset image. It was a drive out of about 2 hours to the SW Washington coast and state park where the coast guard has a small operation you can see part of below. This is where they operate their small crafts that will roll over in large waves that occur frequently in the winter months without sinking.
It was a short hike up and down the steep cliffs of the park to get to the lighthouse that draws so much attention. There is a saddle between the parking lot and the lighthouse where a hidden beach hides between the two steep cliff faces facing south towards the open ocean. It was a great channel for the light and water coming through that I took note of before continuing the trek up the second cliff to the lighthouse.
It is gorgeous up there, but it just wasn't my vision for a beautiful sunset landscape... You can see the lighthouse below that I plan to return to and photograph again in the future.
I had to retire to the location I had originally seen along the hike up, but I wasn't too disappointed. It did seem promising! Getting down was a trick as I decided to take a very direct and not easy route. (I found out later there were steps)
It was low tide, and the sun was sinking fast. I set up my tripod and set my camera on top. There was still too much light to capture the water in a way that I liked, but I had the solution in my bag. I recently bought a breakthrough filter that has 3-stops of light blocking. These filters have been raved about online for a while now, and I must say the hype is justified! I have used a handful of filters including ones from B+W that are expensive and this 3-stop from Breakthrough did a great job with very little degradation to image quality!
Infomercial over, I had all my settings and focus locked in (tip: focus before adding a filter that cuts out any light) bracketing 3 shots I kept firing away whenever I saw a wave come in. The shot above was the first shot I was sort of happy with, but it took a wave in addition to beautiful light hitting the cliff to the left to make "the shot".
The image above is what I ended up being the most happy with. The perfect and subtle light kissing the cliff to the left adds to the beauty of the location at the time of day just before the sun went behind a cloud. I was 'lucky' enough to have a perfect wave come into the bottom left of the frame swirling around to create texture and show the movement of the tide. The glow coming from the far right of frame also adds to the mood bordered on both sides by darker cliffs. I couldn't have been less disappointed with my trip to Cape Disappointment! Highly recommended location for any landscape photographer!!!