My “White Whale”

Sometimes I see an image in my mind long before I can capture it

I hope you can forgive (and perhaps even appreciate, once you know the story) a bit of self-indulgence here.

Even if you’ve watched the sun set from Newport before, you might not have seen it quite like this. Technically speaking, there are two days each year (one in spring, one in fall) when the sunset is in position to be perfectly framed by the Yaquina Bay Bridge. But in reality, only on the second are conditions even remotely likely to be as you see above.

Figuring out what day of year is the right day, and determining the right place to be waiting with camera pointed at the sunset on that day, took me a couple of years of trial and error to pin down precisely. When that day arrived on year three, an impenetrable marine layer made sure I couldn’t even see the bridge, let alone the sun (surprise! it’s the Oregon Coast). Year four? A mixed bag of too windy and cloudy. Finally, five years after I first imagined getting this shot, serendipity smiled upon me.

Was it worth striving five years to experience the moment enshrined within this 30-second image? I dunno … ask Captain Ahab. Now that I can share it, I just hope you enjoy it, too.

And yes, for those who may be wondering: Sometimes man-made landmarks do qualify as beauty on Nature’s Coast. Not often … but sometimes.

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