Photographing an Abandoned Shipwreck


What’s going on guys it’s Hai and I hope you’re ready for today’s adventure because today, I’m going to take you along with me as I attempt to photograph an abandoned shipwreck off the coast of Oregon. Now, I’ve just started my three-hour long drive and I don’t know if you can tell but I’m pretty much in deadlock traffic. It’s been stopped and go and I’ve literally just got on the freeway ao this is going to be an interesting journey in terms of timing. Today we are going through the Peter Iredell shipwreck located at Fort Stevens State Park near Warrington Oregon. This ship that we were going to visit was built in 1890 and was named after its owner Peter Iredell. According to my research the ship was on route from Mexico to Portland and it eventually just ran into some bad weather a rising tide high winds and a thick mist which ultimately led to the beaching of the Peter Iredale. Today the ship mainly just sits in the sand corroding and it has become somewhat of a tourist attraction for the area. This is going be my first time visiting the Peter Iredale shipwreck so hopefully we can make something out of it. I’m currently not in the best of situations right now. Like I said, this is a three hour long drive and with the stop and go traffic right now, my GPS is saying that I’ll arrive at 8:07 p.m. which is a half hour delay because of this traffic. Now I timed this trip out for sunset which according to my sources is 8:59 p.m. tonight. Arriving at 8:07 p.m under good conditions right now would mean that I have 40 50 minutes to really set up and get my shot and really without any further exploring or really looked around for anything else. I just have to get on location and really find what I want to take a photo of. About 33 miles out from the final destination right now and I don’t know if you can tell by the complete lack of sunlight on me, but it is definitely getting darker. Of course that can be contributed to all the trees that are surounding me and of course the Sun is setting so there’s gonna be less light but what you probably can’t see is the sky as being essentially completely covered. It’s like 90 plus percent covered in cloud right now. So this is what I was worried about and what I was gambling on going on this particular day and that this particular time. With there being so much clouds if I even get on location if the sky is completely covered in clouds even if it’s like right now 80 90 plus percent coverage, there’s not gonna be any sunset. The sky is gonna be covered. The sunset it’s just gonna be bland. It’s just gonna be flat so if that happens, I’ll have to figure something else out and make an image more from the subject than the actual conditions. Pretty exciting I’ve just officially crossed over into Oregon. I’m on the I believe the Astoria Bridge or whatever bridge that leads you from Washington into Oregon on this side of Washington, but it is essentially a giant bridge connecting the two states crossing the Columbia River channel if I’m correct. It’s the Columbia River nevertheless and like I said it’s pretty exciting twelve minutes away actually twelve miles away and a 20 minute drive so very close very close. Sun is setting almost there. Okay, I’ve made it just in time pretty much just as Google Maps predicted. I have about an hour. Oh I see it. I’m literally feet away from the parking lot and you can see the shipwreck right there. Just look at the sand who needs to go to the Middle East when you have Oregon. I have to be honest this is a little bit exciting but I planned this trip out so that the tides would be further in pretty much high tides but unfortunately the tides are still I don’t know 10 feet away from the actual shipwreck. So There’s really no water around it but I’ll just show you. And here it is. Check it out. Conditions aren’t exactly perfect. But it’s looking really good. The Sun setting right behind the ship as I expected and I’m pretty excited. And if you ever wonder what a hundred plus years can do to you just take a look at this ship completely rusted over and pretty much nothing left. So this is kind of crazy to see because this is what the ocean and the salt water can do to you over a hundred plus years. This ship used to be 87 meters long 285 feet and now it’s about the size of a school bus maybe in length. I mean just a couple of steps and you’re pretty much done with the entire ship. 285 feet down to a school bus. To be honest, the ship itself is not all that impressive because like I said, it’s pretty much corroded and there’s nothing left of it. Who knows a couple more decades and it’ll be pretty much gone. But as far as today, it’s gonna make a pretty good subject for my photo. So as you guys can see I have the camera completely set up sitting and I’m for the most part just perched with the shipwreck directly dead center in frame composed really straightforwardly. The Sun is behind the boat covered in clouds, so I’m not worried too much about flares or anything like that. The only thing the only issue for this particular composition right now is that I really planned this shot out for high tide and high tide isn’t officially the highest tide until around 10:00 p.m. but sunset at 9:00 p.m so I was really hoping for the tide to be a lot further in at least touching the boat surrounding the boat and it didn’t have to be completely up to the shore but I was really hoping for at least some water on the boat. So right now it’s just a waiting game waiting for the actual Sun to set and for hopefully the clouds to break a little bit because it’s very cloudy behind the shipwreck and you can see a little bit of the sun rays breaking through but not too much. But like I said really hoping for some more water to come in and really make this shot a lot more special at least. So right now it’s pretty much just a waiting game and that’s kind of photography for you. A lot of hurrying up to really go on location and just wait it out and that’s what I’m doing. Like I said earlier, I’m really dependent on the tides as you can hopefully you can see the ties are really coming in kind of slow but it’s like a few feet away from the edge of that shipwreck and hopefully by the time the Sun sets it really gets to at least the front corner or at least halfway through the shipwreck and that’ll at least make me happier. One bummer so far when I was setting up my camera gear I was a little bit too hastily rushing and my entire filter system just plopped right into the sand so it’s pretty sandy right now and I have to spend my night cleaning it up and that’s kind of a bummer because there’s a lot of nooks and crannies and I’m just not looking forward to it. Hopefully you guys can see it. Look at that. Oh-ho. The waves are breaking. It is definitely hitting that shipwreck right now. I am so excited. Just literally seconds after recording that last clip complaining about this this tide, it’s halfway to the boat now and it’s we’re almost there. We are so close to getting this shot. All we need now is just a little bit of cloud break. Just a little bit of cloud break. Give me a little of Jesus God rays, and we’re in business. This is going to be a banger. So let’s talk over this composition real quick right now on the other main photography camera I pretty much have it centered dead on but now that I’m looking at the composition for this camera that’s recording the scene right now I’m really liking how the ship is kind of off centered using the rule of thirds but I can decide if I want to do on the right third like this or on the left third. Conventionally, I think the left third would make more sense because the front of the ship is kind of pointing that way so that makes sense for the ship to be on the left third, but I don’t know I think it just looks better on the right third because I guess just my imagination is really painting out the picture and it’s really filling out this entire hull and it’s making me think that the ship is really extending down to the sand this way. So to me, it’s kind of looking good on this far right third but then again I might just take both pictures and see which one’s better in post. So let’s talk camera filters and more specifically using a polarizer for a little bit. Right now as you can see I have my Wine Country Camera filter system attached to my camera lens but in front of the filter system is my polarizer and for something like this right now the Sun is pretty much directly straight ahead straight lined with my lens and if you were to use a polarizer it essentially has no effect when you’re composing similarly. The polarizer doesn’t work when you’re pointing directly at or the Sun is directly behind you because you essentially need the polarizer to be angled pretty much 90 that’s kind of optimal from side to side but if it’s dead-on dead behind the polarizer essentially has no effect and I still have the polarizer in because right now the polarizer really, like I said, it has no effect but I’m using it more as a a really light ND filter because the polarizer does reduce some light and this particular polarizer reduces about one stop of light and that helps me to extend my shutter speed a little bit longer, especially for a subject like this where there’s moving water. I want that smooth glass-like water and eventually I probably just bring out my ND filter and use that because one stop is realistically not enough for this this type of condition 8:52 p.m. and it’s barely making any progress from the last time that I checked in with you guys. I mean the water is getting a little bit further in but this is taking so long. Only got a few minutes left of daylight last light is probably 915 or something like that. So hopefully these bigger waves will really come in and help me out with my composition. So disappointingly I don’t think the clouds are going to break any more. It’s really forming on the horizon and getting a lot thicker so the chances of those godrays are kind of non-existent and I’m thinking that if I don’t start to take these photos now I’m really not going to get much and so I’ve set up my camera a five stop bracket and I’m just gradually taking these photos as the waves come in and really just making the best of this situation and really just hoping for the best. So let’s take some photos. Five pictures What I’m going to do now is actually put in a six stop ND filter and earlier, I was just taking photos really just with normal shutter speeds, you can see the waves kind intact but now with the six stop shutter speed and a five stop bracket some of those bracketed shots are going to be multi seconds long and that should really help to smooth out these waves. So let’s try it again. There we go. So I’ve been having fun with my Sony cameras over the past few days because I keep running into new issues with these cameras that are just like popping up out of nowhere. For today for some reason when I plug in my shutter release the screen goes black as if it’s thinking that I’m taking an image and when I try to go into well I can’t even try to go to review my pictures because it won’t let me and and somehow the shutter release has activated my ISO control settings so all I can do is adjust my ISO. So again, having fun with my Sony cameras with new problems what seems like every shoot. So really right now, all I can do is remove the shutter cable and everything is back to normal fun. I think this is it guys. I think I finally have to admit defeat and call it a day. Because the tides are just coming in too slow. I’m losing too much light. I’m shooting at 30 seconds long exposures already and really nothing is happening. The waves are just too slow to come in. The park is about to close. It’s 9:20 p.m. 9:30 p.m. Park closes at 10:00 and I don’t know if it’s really worth just waiting it out anymore. And that is that guys I’ve officially packed up and am leaving the beach. And of course last minute as I was looking back after I already put my camera away the tides really started to come in and really covered the boat, but that’s just life. Out here just for the experience. So as you guys can see I’ve made it back home but before we end this video I wanted to share with you a few of the things I consider before going on this trip. So here’s a screenshot from my Notes app and in it I’ve written down a few things that I’ve considered to be important for this particular location. At the top we have the tide schedule high tide low tide times then below that sunrise sunset time and then finally, the amount of cloud coverage and the times it’s expected to be. You probably heard me say multiple times in this video that my composition was really dependent on the tides, specifically high tide because I really wanted a shot of the shipwreck really filled with water from front to back. I’ve seen photos of the shipwreck in low tide and of course now I know since I was there, the shipwreck doesn’t really look all that good in low tide because it’s just a corroded hull of a ship sitting in the sand. It’s not really much to look at. Unfortunately, I didn’t get as much of a high tide as I wanted because as you can see high tide was scheduled for 10:48 p.m but sunset was at 8:59 p.m. so they just didn’t really line up together, but I was really just hoping you know like with the tides it’s not exactly black and white. It’s not like at 4:39 p.m the tides are going to be exactly low tide and at 10:48 p.m. exactly high tide. It goes in and out and it’s gradual so I was hoping for the tides to be just a little bit further in than what I actually got. Next we have the sunrise and sunset times and of course being a landscape photographer I really just seek out those optimal golden hours and really optimal lighting and that’s really going to be at sunrise and sunset. Now I typically would not even go at sunset because as you saw in the video there were people walking back and forth. At sunset it’s usually, you know, not that late in the day, so people are going to be awake and up and out and about especially at a tourist attraction like this you’re gonna have people walking in your composition and you’ll really have to shoot around them or work something out. On the flip side with sunrise a person has to be pretty dedicated to traveling sightseeing and photography to even really be awake to do anything at sunrise. This just means that you really have no competition. You can just show up to a site and really do whatever you want because really nobody is going to be around. Lastly we have the cloud cover schedule and this could really play a major role depending on what you’re looking for especially if you’re looking for those really fantastic sunrises and sunsets. With the cloud coverage if you’re looking for those sunrises and sunsets, anytime that you see low-hanging clouds, that’s kind of a bad thing because low-hanging clouds are low in the horizon. They’re pretty much just right at the horizon and of course sunrise and sunsets happens at the horizon. That’s where the Sun comes up and down from so low-hanging clouds really block all of that out like you saw in this particular video. With this particular trip, I really just took a chance with the cloud coverage because well I had to go today today I had the day off and free time so I just have to make the best of it and you can’t always just plan everything out. Sometimes you just have to go out shoot and get the experience. Now if you’re looking forward to shooting the Peter Iredale shipwreck like me at sunset with high tide I would really suggest you to go later pretty much at the longest days of summer because this way the sunset will really be extended out later in the night and that you’ll have a better chance of it coinciding with the high tide. So again, just go later in summer. If you’re interested in going and shooting this location or something similar with tides going in and out I would really suggest you to look at the things that I’ve just highlighted and consider them for your trip. And that’s pretty much all I have to say about this particular trip. If you enjoyed this video give it a thumbs up. Comment down below with your thoughts or anything that you have to say. Don’t forget to subscribe to this channel for more content. Thank you for watching this video. I’ll see you guys in the next one

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