Some of you know about my long-standing interest in Thor’s Well.
This modest hole in the rocks along the Oregon coast south of Yachatz is a magnet for photographers who want to highlight ocean shoreline drama.
Part of its status derives from its peculiar function: it’s a 15 foot diameter hole that sits about 4 feet back from the water on a volcanic plain just feet above sea level, so waves splash into it, but because it has volcanic tubes that run down and into the ocean, it doesn’t fill up. Except when the underwater forces push water up those tubes and it comes gushing up out of the hole!
Another part of its status derives from the difficulty in getting an interesting and clear photo. The waves that make interesting pictures also threaten bodily harm! Standing back is not really an option, because the Well tends to blend into its surrounding rock. And there is usually quite a lot of wind that blows salt spray all over your camera equipment.
These issues are besides the usual ones of lighting, sky color and clouds, and frequent coastline fog or haze.
It’s a challenge, and I have wanted to see what I could get.
We parked in Waldport only 12 miles from Thor’s Well, so we drove down there as soon as we could on the day we arrived.
Poor sky, pretty strong wind, but the tide should be good, and the waves should be heavy.
From waaaaaay up in the parking lot above it, I checked the conditions, and took a couple pictures with my 300mm lens.
That’s a puff of mist coming up out of the Well, with some water running into it on the right and left sides. The late evening sun makes for a little extra interest.
The water this side of the Well is quite shallow…just inches deep…but its presence tells you there have been recent waves pouring onto that plain.
You know, like this: