Oregon Coast Photography Workshop

October 2019, Exact Dates TBD

The Oregon Coast boasts some of the finest coastline in the world. This intersection of rock and water contains an endless array of fascinating rocky points, arches, sea-stacks, and sandy shores. From the dramatic beauty of Samuel Boardman and Bandon to the south, all the way up to Cape Kiwanda and Cannon Beach in the north, this stretch of coast is as beautiful as they come. Explore and photograph this world-class coastal environment. This multi-day Oregon  Coast Photography Workshop will help photographers create entrancing photos of the breathtaking landscapes found here. The workshop focuses on understanding your camera’s settings in order to break into new creative realms. There is a strong emphasis on producing striking and powerful compositions, as well as telling a story with your photos. The workshop will cover shoot planning and how to be in the right place at the right time.

Oregon Coast Priority List


Stunning Seascapes

The rugged Oregon coast offers a wide range of interesting seascape photographic options.

Learn to Manage Light

Whether you want to use filters for the “all-in-one” approach or bracket for HDR, we’ll help you master dynamic light.

Learn to See

We will be teaching you how to see the unseen. Pre-visualizing long exposures and monochrome possibilities will be part of our focus.

More Information

Our Oregon Coast Photography Workshop topics include:

• Transforming your artistic vision into memorable photographs
• Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO – their relationship to one another and how to change them for exposure control
• Metering and getting a correct exposure
• Histograms, how to read them, and how to fine-tune exposure
• Creative depth-of-field effects using aperture control
• Capturing motion within your photos using different shutter speeds
• Timing waves to capture crashing spray, water streaks, and sandy reflections
• White balance and creative coloration
• Creating perspective, depth, and a sense of “being there” in your photos
• Creating powerful compositions with impact
• Composing to control your viewer’s attention in your photos
• Composition: balance, tension, and visual flow
• How to use filters to capture dramatic light or create long-exposure effects
• Shoot planning and how to be at the right place at the right time

Getting to the workshop

Our Oregon Coast Photography Workshop will be based out of two locations where we will photograph some of the highlights and out of the way spots along the rugged and scenic Oregon coast. If you’re flying in, Portland or Eugene are your best bets.

Below is a sample itinerary which is subject to change as more details on the workshop develop.

Day 1, Thursday
Participants arrive at a “to be determined” location and are free to explore the area on their own. A few hours before sunset we will meet to introduce the group, talk a bit about the workshop, and go out to shoot our first sunset. Then we turn you loose to get a good night’s sleep.

Day 2, Friday
An early wake up call ensures we’ll be at our first beach and shooting when the sun rises. Then it’ll be a beach-blitz day: from sunrise to sunset we’ll be covering the absolute best and most beautiful beaches in the central to northern stretches of the Oregon coast. Some of our absolute favorite beaches, such as Thor’s Well, Cannon Beach, Cape Kiwanda, and Seal Rocks, reside in this section of coast. Of course there will be breaks scheduled so we can rest, get something to eat, and recharge our batteries. After the sun goes down we’ll have an informal discussion of post-processing and digital workflow. But we don’t want to keep you guys up too late, because the next day we’re back at it.

Day 3, Saturday
Saturday follows a similar schedule to Sunday: up early to catch the sunrise, then shoot all day till we drop. Except this time we’ll be venturing further south to places such as Heceta Head, Bandon, Pistol River, and Samuel Boardman in order to take advantage of the different geology and features these beaches have to offer. This section of the coast will keep us busy shooting bizarre tafoni rock formations and incredible glassy, sandy reflections. After sunset, we may plan on night shoot if weather permits.

Day 4, Sunday
We will meet one last time to capture sunrise and some morning light at 1-2 more locations. These may be new or we may choose to revisit a favorite location from earlier in the workshop.

This workshop is organized to take advantage of the best and most interesting locations the Oregon coast has to offer. However, the exact itinerary and places we visit may change depending on the group and weather conditions.


The Oregon coast has a varied climate, with temperatures ranging from the 30s to 60s in October.  Fall also brings relief from the fog that often blankets the coast in the summer. Moreover, the Oregonl coast receives the vast bulk of its annual precipitation during the months from November to March. Along with rain, those winter storms bring dramatic light to the coast, making winter the best time for coastal photography in this area.


Pricing TBD but should be between $1600-1700 based on lodging costs.

What’s Included

• Quality, professional, 1-on-1 photography instruction on par with your level as a photographer
• Small class size of 9 or less students with two full time instructors or 5 or less with one instructor
• 3 nights lodging
• 3 days of in-field shooting and instruction
• Water and snacks throughout the workshop
• A fun, positive, interactive learning environment

What’s Not Included

• Transportation. While participants need to provide their own transportation during the workshop we will be carpooling as much as possible
• Meals, though the group often eats together throughout the workshop

Cancellation Policy

Please view our cancellation policy here.

Camera Gear

• Digital SLR camera
• Lenses. Wide and ultra-wide angle lenses are highly recommended
• A sturdy tripod
• Footwear with good traction (waterproof or rubber boots recommended) and warm socks (very important!)
• Creativity and a positive attitude
• Warm clothes in layers, gloves, a warm hat, and a rain jacket
• A wide-brim hat and sunscreen
• A one-liter (or larger) water bottle

Recommended clothing

Due to the cool days and chance of getting wet (either from the ocean or a rainstorm), we HIGHLY recommend bringing multiple layers of non-cotton clothing, a sturdy rain jacket and rain pants, a warm hat, gloves, lots of changes of socks, some dry shoes, and waterproof or rubber boots to wear while shooting. A wide-brim hat, sunscreen and sunglasses, and a large water bottle will also be indispensable.

Highly recommended items

• Filters (ND, Grad ND, Polarizer)
• Remote shutter release
• Camera rain sleeve
• Flashlight

Fitness level

This California coast photography workshop is appropriate for photographers of average fitness levels. We will walk approximately 5 miles over the course of each day of the workshop. This includes walking on sandy, uneven, and slippery terrain. All participants are expected to be able to carry their own camera, personal gear, and water during the workshop.

Spectacular Locations
Our workshops combine the very best scenery we can find along with in-depth knowledge of the areas we’re visiting. From the coast to the mountains to the desert, our workshops visit some of the most breathtaking landscapes you can imagine. And with hundreds of hours spent scouting and shooting in each location, we know the best times to visit, the best things to see, and the best shots to get. Plus we’re constantly adding new and cool locations to our line-up so you can keep expanding your photographic horizons.

1-on-1 Instruction at Your Level
We take a three-tiered approach to our photography instruction: Philosophy. Theory. Technique. This means that no matter what level of photographer you are, you can expect to walk away from a workshop with your head bursting with ideas about how to refine your vision and find your own style, an understanding of camera techniques and composition concepts that will springboard your photography, and the actual “How-To” of nailing a shot in the field. And with our relaxed, casual, 1-on-1 approach, you can soak up just the information YOU need to become a better shooter.

Small Class Size
Our multi-day workshops insure you get ample one-on-one time with the instructors. Our small groups also help us build camaraderie, plus we can go places big photography tours can’t.

A “Go Happy or Go Home” Attitude
We believe that photography is as much about enjoyment as it is about scoring a keeper for your portfolio. We create a fun and dynamic environment where you can meet other photographers, learn at your own pace, enjoy the beauty of nature, and have a great time while doing it.

We Never Stop Scouting
Sea to Summit is never content to rest on its laurels. Before and after every workshop we are scouting, scouting, scouting. Whether it’s to find new and exciting locations to shoot or to provide a different view of the old icons, we strive to show you the absolute best places for photography.

Fully Insured and Permitted, Leave-No-Trace Advocates
Sea to Summit takes pains to ensure our activities are 100% above board. We obtain all the necessary permissions and insurances required in order conduct our workshops.

We are also strong advocates of Leave No Trace (LNT) wilderness ethics. We teach responsible photography practices and never sacrifice the environment for the sake of a photo. Our goal is to leave our photography workshop locations in better shape than the way we found them.

Your Instructors

Jim and Vinny both reside in the Seattle area of the Pacific Northwest. While Jim has recently moved to the area in 2015, Vinny has lived and explored this area his entire life. Working together at Kenmore Camera, Vinny and Jim are teaming up to lead our Palouse workshop. Through a combination of theory, philosophy, examples, and on-the-spot feedback, they help students reach those “a-ha!” moments that take their photography to the next level.

Jim Patterson

Jim Patterson’s first experiences with this area began with a trip in 2010 exploring the area in as much detail as possible. Further scouting trips have added to the list of locations to visit based on weather conditions.

Vinny Pickens

Vinny brings an enthusiasm for the outdoors and an extensive knowledge of the outdoors. He has also worked in the camera industry for well over a decade and brings a wealth of technical knowledge along with him in addition to the creative side of photography.