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09.30.2011

Eye Scene: Photographer, Ryuichi Oshimoto Travels with Sigma Camera & Lenses

Title Photo: The grandeur of Oregon’s coastline continues for miles. On this morning the coast was sunny and the water was calm, but until the sun rose, a thick jacket and gloves were a necessity. Camera: SD1| Lens: 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM | Exposure Mode: Manual | ISO: 200 | White balance:daylight | Shutter speed: 1/400 sec | Aperture: f8.0 | Focal length: 50mm

As a heat wave warning in the southwestern part of the US had been announced in early July, I headed toward the Oregon Coast by heading north on Highway 101 from Los Angeles. By the time I reached Santa Rosa where miles of grape fields stretched out, the temperature had fallen then risen, but I drove all the way through the northern California coastline without turning on the A/C. When I arrived in Oregon, I stopped by the first park (Crissey Field State Park) I saw and went to the shore.

The sandy beaches on the border of California are flat and seem to continue endlessly. Small housings made out of driftwood were scattered over the beach. Listening to the sound of the waves, I felt like sleeping here. Camera: SD1 Lens: 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO: 200, White balance: daylight, Shutter speed: 1/400 sec,Aperture: f8.0, Focal length: 20mm

After entering Oregon and walking on the beach there, I headed north on the Oregon Coast Highway (highway 101) and stop by Brookings Harbor. There were a number of RVs parked along the harbor and many enjoyed dinner while watching the sun set. The small bay harbored fishing boats and the US Coast Guard base was built there. The bay comprised of people earning their living from the ocean, people protecting the ocean and people playing at the ocean. There was a quiet liveliness in the atmosphere.

Although it was past 8pm, the strong sunlight emphasized the presence of the US Coast Guard Ship. When I pointed the standard zoom lens at the ship, a seagull flew over. Camera: SD1 Lens: 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO: 200, White balance: daylight, Shutter speed: 1/320 sec,Aperture: f8.0, Focal length: 35mm

The bay harbored a variety of vessels. The evening was very quiet and peaceful. Although the scenery was mostly backlit, the digital camera captured the details in the shadows and the atmosphere during this moment. Camera: SD1 Lens: 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO: 200, White balance: daylight, Shutter speed: 1/200 sec,Aperture: f5.6, Focal length: 50mm

The harbor is immersed in the setting warm sunlight. The telephoto macro lens sharply captured well-used fishing equipment. Camera: SD1 Lens: APO MACRO 150mm F2.8 EX DG HSM, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO: 200, White balance: daylight, Shutter speed:1/200 sec, Aperture: f8.0, Focal length: 150mm

Driving north away from the harbor, the sun was getting ready to set on the horizon. Walking over to the coast, there were already people gathered around to see the sunset. The rocks on the coast and the people on the beach were silhouetted. I was captivated at the water and western sky saturated in red.

At nearly 9pm, the sunset on the Oregon Coast was tranquil and the breeze weak. Pointing the lens at the setting sun on the horizon, the high quality camera captured the end of the day. Camera: SD1 Lens: 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO: 200, White balance: daylight, Shutter speed: 1/320 sec,Aperture: f5.6, Focal length: 50mm

The sun sank and the moon appeared on the southeastern sky. The seagulls on the rock were motionless and didn’t seem to want to fly away. No need to rush, I set up a tripod to photograph the scene. Camera: SD1 Lens: APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO: 200, White balance: daylight, Shutter speed:1/100 sec, Aperture: f4.0, Focal length: 200mm

There were accommodations around the area where I saw the sunset, but I headed north to Gold Beach and found a place to stay there. That night while I fell asleep, the Gold Coast coastline was difficult and hard to see, but I felt I was missing out on a spectacular view. The next morning, I left the inn before sunrise and headed south and saw the beautiful view that I had imagined from the night before.

The chilly shore warmed up as soon as the sun came up. Giant rocks in various shapes scattered across the shore. Camera: SD1 Lens: 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO: 200, White balance: daylight, Shutter speed: 1/500 sec,Aperture: f8.0, Focal length: 85mm

As soon as the morning sun had reached the land, the empty beach soon became populated with some people. Facing away from the Pacific Ocean, I faced east to photograph. Lowering the saturation, the contrast was increased to emphasize the morning sun shining on the sand. Camera: DP2s, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO: 100, White balance: daylight, Shutter speed: 1/500 sec, Aperture: f8.0, Focal length:24.2mm

I returned to Gold Beach (population of 2000) where I stayed the night before and explored the harbor. The sun drenched decaying boat is eye-catching. The harbor was created by the Rogue River pouring into the Pacific Ocean. Until checking the wide river width on a map, I didn’t understand the terrain here. When this area was called Ellensburg during the 19th century, there were many placer mines around the area and later the area was named Gold Beach.

The decaying boat I saw at the mouth of the river. The paint had most peeled off, the metal area was all rusted and the bottom of the boat was covered in moss. However, the existence of this ship had more impact than the active ships. Using the macro lens, I approached the ship from the front and photographed it. Camera: SD1 Lens: MACRO 70mm F2.8 EX DG,Exposure mode: Manual, ISO: 200, White balance:daylight, Shutter speed: 1/400 sec, Aperture: f8.0,Focal length: 70mm

Crossing the Isaac Lee Patterson Bridge, I left Gold Beach and headed north on the Oregon Coast Highway. After driving for a moment, the I saw a peninsula jutting out into the ocean and two rock mountains at the end of the peninsula. The trail from the parking lot along the highway continued to the shore. I walked through the grassy field and arrived at the empty shore.

White flowers grew along the narrow trails that lead to the shore. The air smelled like salt and grass. Camera: SD1 Lens: 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM,Exposure mode: Manual, ISO: 200, White balance:daylight, Shutter speed: 1/400 sec, Aperture: f8.0, Focal length: 23mm

The coast at Sisters Rock State Park. There is a rock mountain after another and it seems that the rock mountain floats on the ocean. Camera: SD1 Lens: 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO: 200, White balance: daylight, Shutter speed: 1/500 sec,Aperture: f8.0, Focal length: 8mm

Heading further north from the shores of Sisters Rock State Park, I stopped by Port Orford. The temperature in Orford is much higher than Cape Blanco that is just north of Orford. The locals call this town the Banana Belt (slang for a mild winter resort.)

The harbor is sunny. The white table and hose used to clean fishes is brightly shining. The digital camera truly captured the details in the white painted surface and the texture of the white hose that couldn’t be seen with the naked eye. Camera: SD1 Lens: 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO: 200, White balance: daylight, Shutter speed: 1/1000 sec, Aperture: f8.0, Focal length: 40mm

The highway from warm Port Orford gradually moved away from the shore. I headed east to get to Cape Blanco. Fog began to appear when I approached the coast again and by the time I arrived at the cape, I was surrounded by a thick fog. The wind was strong like a hurricane and I worry that my car could be blown off to the shore. As soon as I stepped out of the car, my hat was blown away into the distance. It was a very different world compared to Orford which was only seven miles south from here. When I returned to the highway, away from the shore, it became sunny again. As I headed further north to Bandon near the coast the fog appeared once again.

The gusting wind at Cape Blanco made standing impossible, so I dropped down to photograph this image. Just a little south from here was sunny. Camera: SD1 Lens: 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 DC HSM, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO: 200, White balance: daylight, Shutter speed: 1/640 sec,Aperture: f8.0, Focal length: 9mm

A shroud of fog covers the Bandon coastline. The sun felt distant. Camera: SD1 Lens: 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO: 200, White balance: daylight, Shutter speed: 1/640 sec,Aperture: f8.0, Focal length: 50mm

Down by the north beach of the Coquille River, many people played at the beach without any concern. Camera: SD1 Lens: 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO: 200, White balance: daylight, Shutter speed: 1/640 sec,Aperture: f8.0, Focal length: 85mm

The 40 ft high Coquille River Lighthouse was first lit in 1896. In 1939 a new lighthouse was built by the south shore of the Coquille River and the former was extinguished. No longer shining, the lighthouse was surrounded by fog and created a beautiful sight. Camera: SD1 Lens: 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO: 200, White balance: daylight,Shutter speed: 1/500 sec, Aperture: f6.3, Focal length: 85mm

The highway from Bandon veered away from the shore and I was able to bathe under the sun for a short time, but when I arrived at Coos Bay, I was surrounded by fog again. The area called, Oregon Bay Area had such a large bay that when the area was consumed by fog, it felt like I was driving by the coastline.

A mountain of oyster shells was seen in Coos Bay. Parking the car on the shoulder, the photo was snapped with the compact digital camera. Camera: DP2s, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO: 100, White balance: daylight, Shutter speed: 1/250 sec, Aperture: f5.6, Focal length:24.2mm

A stack of lumber piled up in North Bend. The clouds parted and the sunlight illuminated the ship. The light did not directly hit the lumber, but the high quality camera captured each and every detail of the wood. Camera: SD1 Lens: 85mm F1.4 EX DG HSM, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO: 200, White balance: daylight, Shutter speed: 1/500 sec,Aperture: f5.6, Focal length: 17mm

I crossed the Coos Bay Bridge (formally known as the Conde McCullough Memorial Bridge), but the fog still did not clear.

The Winchester Bay had several state parks. In the thick fog, many people still enjoyed fishing and walking around in the late afternoon. Camera: SD1 Lens: APO 70-200mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO: 200, White balance: daylight, Shutter speed:1/500 sec, Aperture: f4.0, Focal length: 200mm

By the time I arrived at Reedsport, the fog had disappeared. The sun in the western sky was still high and I wear my sunglasses before crossing the Umpqua River.

I crossed many bridges before coming here, but this bridge was the most memorable. The Umpqua River bridge is a swing bridge that rotates from the center to let ships across. I drove over to the north side of Bolon Island and being careful of the passing cars, I quickly photographed the scene. Camera: SD1 Lens: 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC OS HSM, Exposure mode: Manual, ISO: 200, White balance: daylight, Shutter speed: 1/250 sec,Aperture: f10.0, Focal length: 13mm

The day started off from a clear sunrise to encountering thick fog and gusting wind and into a cloudless evening. The weather dramatically change and the spectacular scenery seemed to continue forever. I continued my journey further north.

All artwork on this page was processed from RAW data (X3F) with Sigma PhotoPro software. After processing, some selected images were imported into retouching software to remove dust. This photo essay is currently running on Sigma Japan’s site and it is published here two months later.

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