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Story By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff - Story Source
Published on Sunday April 25, 2021 - 9:11 AM
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(Oregon Coast) – A bit of photographic advice which may surprise: spring is likely the best time of year to shoot on the Oregon coast – and that includes the Washington coast.

Sure, people will tell you summer or maybe second summer (those warmer days of early fall) is the best, and those provide plenty of Kodak moments as well. But there's something more dramatic about spring's fat, puffy clouds and the way those crazy, constantly-changing weather patterns create something you can't find any other time of year.

Primarily: pastels. Spring skies on these beaches, especially at sunset, make for a different kind of color scheme that just doesn't happen any other time. Case in point: the vibrant purple shades you see in the shot at top from Cannon Beach one April.

The key is those cumulus clouds, which you don't usually get in summer, fall or winter. The key to cumulus clouds is the unique way weather patterns interact in spring. You can get the full science behind spring's erratic weather on the Oregon coast here, including why there are more such fluffy, monstrous clouds. One major feature of spring's cumulus clouds, photographically speaking, is how they affect the backgrounds you shoot. Those twitchy, intermittent bouts of sun mixed with the chunky clouds join together to create some ideal conditions for photographers.

With those clouds in the background and the sun coming out on your subjects, it's a brilliant scene just about guaranteed. It's almost fool proof, really, even for noob photogs. First you have the sunlight all over the beach scene, but then in the background there are those large, cumulus clouds, providing a darker, dramatic hammer of contrast. It's even better if those cumulus blobs have blacker patches in them. This means they're practically pregnant with rain, which may cause them to dump on you at one point, but the darker the more background drama.