28 APRIL-7 MAY, 2021

with Jeremy Woodhouse & Tonya Colson


Secret Beach

Join me and Tonya Colson (an Oregonian of 30 years) on a 10-day tour of the Oregon Coast. We will be there in late April/early May, so the summer crowds will not yet be there. 

We will be conducting the tour in a responsible Covid-19 fashion. You will drive in your own vehicle (or a rental), we will keep tripods 6 feet apart, and we will be eating outside where possible, and in small groups when it is not possible. We WILL use masks when necessary.


Pre-tour, Apr 28: Arrive Portland, OR
On arrival in Portland you will make your own way to the hotel in your own vehicle. The group will meet at 5PM in the lobby to discuss the week's activities. Please bring your masks.

Located in the center of the business district and near Portland International Airport (PDX), our location places you within easy reach of great restaurants, top sites, and downtown Portland.

Day 1, Apr 29: Portland | Brookings 
Today we will make the drive down south to the Oregon/California border. Arriving mid-afternoon, our initial destination will be Secret Beach where we will photograph until sunset.

Sunset at Secret Beach
Find the trail entrance to Secret Beach about 1/3 mile south of milepost 345 on U.S. 101 in Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor. There is a small gravel parking area that leads to the 3/4 mile trail down to Secret Beach.

Brookings Inn Resort, a hotel in Brookings OR with quaint charm, clean rooms and a great overall experience. Please consider our well-maintained and highly regarded hotel when you’re visiting the area or happen to be passing through.

Day 2, Apr 30: Brookings | Bandon

We will see what the sunrise has to offer at either Secret Beach or Natural Bridges. After checking out of the hotel we will make our way slowly towards Bandon stopping off along the coast wherever we see something. We will be at Bandon for the next 3 nights.

Bandon Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the Oregon Coast for photography. The beach is easy to access and is home to fabulously shaped sea stacks. 

The main area for photography is a 1-mile stretch just south of the Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint. There are several great sea stacks including Merlin’s hat and Face Rock. Due to the unpredictability of the weather on the southern Oregon Coast we may have wait for the perfect sunset.

O/N Table Rock Motel
Table Rock Motel is located atop Beach Loop Bluff in beautiful Bandon, Oregon and is just steps away from beach access to miles of sandy beaches and stunning rock formations.

Day 3, May 1: Bandon
Depending on the weather and the state of the tides, we will find a scenic spot to photograph at sunrise before heading back to the hotel for breakfast.

After breakfast we will spend the rest of the day exploring the beaches and tidepools around Bandon. Who knows, we may get stormy seas, foggy weather, it is very unpredictable but we will take what nature throws at us—if conditions are right, we may run up to Shore Acres.

Day 4, May 2: Bandon | Shore Acres
Weather and tides permitting we will head out to Shore Acres State Park, one of the best spots to watch the wild seas crashing up against the rocky shoreline.

Shore Acres State Park
Perched on rugged sandstone cliffs high above the ocean, Shore Acres State Park is an exciting and unexpected combination of beautiful natural and constructed features. Once the grand estate of pioneer timber baron Louis Simpson, Shore Acres features lushly planted gardens with plants and flowers from all over the world. Something is in bloom almost every day of the year. You can skirt the cliff's edge to see spectacular ocean vistas which often include towering waves crashing against the shoreline after a storm and migrating grey whales. 

Returning to Bandon, we will rest up for a few hours before heading out to the beach to catch the sunrise.

Day 5, May 3: Bandon | Yachats
Sunrise at the Heceta Lighthouse
Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint is located in a cove at the mouth of Cape Creek. There are picnic tables sheltered from the wind and a great view of the ocean. A short trail leads to the historic Heceta Head lighthouse and assistant keeper's house.

Heceta Head trail is part of a 7-mile network. Trails of varying difficulty feature beach and wildlife viewing areas. Wildlife refuge islands feature a view of common murres, cormorants, gulls, and other bird nesting areas. Sea lions and whales can be seen from the beach and cliff-top lighthouse.

On the west side of 1,000-foot-high Heceta Head, 205 feet above the ocean, the lighthouse is one of the most photographed on the coast. The light at top of 56-foot tower was illuminated in 1894; the automated beacon, seen 21 miles from land, is rated as the strongest light on the Oregon coast.

Day-use parking permits are required year round at Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint. We will purchase the $5 daily permit from a machine at the park.

Sunset at Thors Well
Thor’s Well is located near Spouting Horn at Cook’s Chasm in the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area near Yachats. It can be viewed by taking the Captain Cook Trailhead from the Visitor Center where it is located on the rocky shelf just north of Cook’s Chasm. When tides are right, water surges upward from the bowl carved out of the basalt shoreline and then drains back into the opening. Depending on the tidal conditions and the weather will determine how close we will be able to get to this spot.

Formations like Thor’s Well and Spouting Horn are typically formed over long periods of time geologically. They begin as a sea cave and eventually the top of the cave collapses, leaving an opening where the tide surges from below send water shooting upward with dramatic force.

On Hwy 101, Oregon's Pacific Coast National Scenic Byway, The Dublin House Motel is centrally located to offer visitors the best of the Oregon Coast both north and south. From Historic Nye Beach and the Oregon Aquarium to Cape Perpetua, Sea Lion Caves and the Oregon Dunes, beautiful Yachats is within a short drive to it all! 

Day 6, May 4: Yachats | Newport | Lincoln City
Sunrise Thor's Well
This morning we will have another opportunity to photograph Thor's Well just in case we were skunked by weather or the tide. Following breakfast we will continue our journey up the 101.

Yaquina Lighthouse
A pretty lighthouse, near-shore rocks that offer habitat and viewing of seabirds and marine life, and a spectacular tide-pool area are among the attractions here. You might see gray whales here even during nonmigratory times. It’s just one of many stops along the Coast highway to view Oregon’s historic lighthouses. Just below the lighthouse are many tide pools where you will be able to photograph colourful creatures such as starfish, urchins and anemones. 

Sunset at Cape Kiwanda
Cape Kiwanda is part of the Three Capes Scenic Route (along with Cape Meares and Cape Lookout). Kiwanda is the smallest of the three, but it is one of the best places to experience spectacular wave action. 

Conveniently located off Highway 101, this Lincoln City, Oregon motel offers ocean view rooms and free WiFi. 

Day 7, May 5: Lincoln City | Seaside | Astoria
Sunrise at Cape Kiwanda

Garibaldi is a cozy fishing village on Oregon’s Tillamook Coast, home to the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad and a bustling harbor for fishing, crabbing and boating. 

Sunset at Cannon Beach
Haystack Rock towers on the shoreline. Waterfalls cascade onto the sand at Hug Point. Marine life peeks out at low tide. It’s no wonder National Geographic listed Cannon Beach as one of the 100 most beautiful places in the world in 2013. Plus the city’s many art galleries, restaurants, boutiques and oceanfront lodging can easily spark your imagination. If you’re into those kinds of things.

After the sun has gone down we will drive north to historic Astoria

The Astoria Riverwalk Inn, built in 1968, was Astoria’s first waterfront hotel. Originally the hotel opened as the Red Lion – Thunderbird Motor Inn and later was branded simply as the Red Lion. The Inn is located within the Port of Astoria. On November 1, 2018 the Port entered in a new lease with the Param Hotel Group with a view of revitalizing operations and efficiency of the Inn.

Day 8, May 6: Astoria
Sunrise in Astoria OR
We will spend the whole day in historic Astoria. With quaint Victorian homes perched on a steep hillside above the wide mouth of the Columbia River, it’s easy to see why the bustling port town of Astoria has been called “Little San Francisco.” Astoria was founded in 1811 as a fur trading post and became the first permanent U.S. settlement on the Pacific coast. These days, Astoria presents a delightful mix of old and new experiences.

If the weather and the tides are right, we will slip across the Columbia River into Washington State and see if there is any good wave action at Cape Disappointment. It can be very spectacular from a viewing spot at Waikiki Beach.

If we have clear skies with plenty of stars, we will try to photograph the wreck of the Peter Iredale, a four-masted steel barque sailing vessel that ran ashore October 25, 1906, on the Oregon coast en-route to the Columbia River. She was abandoned on Clatsop Spit near Fort Stevens in Warrenton about four miles south of the Columbia River channel

Day 9, May 7: Astoria
Sunrise in Astoria OR

After breakfast we will head back to Portland to catch flights home. 


T Colson 3 4

Waves at Cape Disappointment, WA © Tonya Colson

Dl   Oregon Coast 8

Oregon Coast © Dan Leffel

Dl   Oregon Coast Yaquina Head 6

Yaquina Head Lighthouse © Dan Leffel

Arrival, Departure

​Arrival & Meeting Place 
We will meet at the Radisson Hotel Portland Airport. Just three miles from Portland International Airport (PDX), Radisson Hotel Portland Airport provides a quiet and comfortable retreat for busy travelers. Hop on our free, 24-hour shuttle to and from the airport for easy connections, or book one of our park-and-stay packages and leave your car at the hotel for up to 15 days.



Daily high temperatures decrease by 5°F, from 59°F to 54°F, rarely falling below 48°F or exceeding 65°F.

Daily low temperatures decrease by 4°F, from 48°F to 44°F, rarely falling below 36°F or exceeding 55°F.

For reference, on August 24, the hottest day of the year, temperatures in Bandon typically range from 54°F to 66°F, while on December 20, the coldest day of the year, they range from 42°F to 53°F.

Hopefully we will be able to experience some of the coastal storms that Oregon is famous for rather than a series of clear blue sky days.

Tide Forecast


TOUR COST: $2,500
DEPOSIT: $500 
Group size 6

Tour Price Includes

  • Guiding to locations, local knowledge of weather patterns, favorable tides and surf, and best locations based on those conditions
  • One on one instruction both in the field and post processing sessions during our down time
  • Post processing sessions. (we will have a post processing session where we sit down together go over workflow and post processing techniques, all with masks
  • The pleasure of travelling with Tonya and me.

Tour Price Excludes

  • Travel to and from Portland, OR.
  • Lodging: Information on lodging options and locations will be sent out upon signup
  • Transportation: Because of Covid-19 we expect participants to use their own transport. If you are coming with a friend and you trust that they are Covid-free, that works. There will be NO group transportation
  • Fees: Parking fees and State Park entry fees
  • Meals: We will be careful when eating meals with social distance of paramount importance. All meals are the responsibility of the participant.

    Paying by check

    If you would like to pay your deposit and/or balance with a check, please make the check payable to: Pixelchrome, Inc and mail it to:

    Nicole Woodhouse
    Pixelchrome, Inc, 
    605 Rouen Drive, 
    McKinney TX 75072

    Paying by Wire Transfer

    If you would like to pay by Wire Transfer please contact nicole@pixelchrome.com for bank account details.

    Dress for the Weather

    • Important note on weather and clothing: The Oregon Coast weather in April/May tends to stay in the upper 50s to low 60s. Nighttime temperatures drop to the mid to upper 40s. Days can alternate between clear skies and Northwest liquid sunshine (otherwise known as rain showers).
    • Bring waterproof clothing 
    • We recommend you bring rubber boots so that you can photograph in the surf without getting your feet too wet

    Equipment Checklist

    • Bring you own laptop computer and storage media
    • Camera body(s)
    • Lenses, 16-35mm, 24-70mm zoom and 70-200mm zoom or similar lenses are very good
    • Tripod
    • Good quality polarizing filter
    • Remote trigger if you do not prefer using the camera self-timer
    • Light bag for easy hiking with camera bodies and accessories
    • Cleaning kit for cameras and lenses including a microfiber cloth for wiping off sea spray
    • flashlight or headlamp incase we shoot stars on the beach on a clear night
    • Rain/dust covers for cameras and lenses
    • Charger for batteries
    • Spare batteries
    • Spare Memory cards
    • Memory card reader
    • USB key to exchange images

    Oregon Coast Hotels

    Hotel reservations have been made. All you will need to do on arrival is register and pay for your own room

    Pre-tour, Apr 28: Portland 
    Ramada by Wyndham, Portland Airport (check-in 3:00PM)
    (503) 251-2000 

    Day 1, Apr 29: Brookings
    Brookings Inn Resort (check-in 3:00PM)
    (541) 813-1444

    Day 2, 3 & 4, Apr 30-May 2: Bandon  
    Table Rock Motel (check-in 3:00PM)
    (541) 347-2453
    Breakfast not included

    Day 5, May 3: Yachats
    Dublin House Motel (check-in 4:00PM)
    (866) 922-4287
    Breakfast not included

    Day 6, May 4: Lincoln City
    (800) 422-0219
    Seagull Motel (check-in 4:00PM)
    Breakfast not included
    This is a Covid-19 first responder hotel

    Day 7 & 8, May 5 & 6: Astoria
    (503) 325-8888
    Astoria Riverwalk Inn (check-in 3:00PM) 
    Grab 'n Go Breakfast

    Day 9, May 7: Portland

    Covid-19 Corner

    Covid-19 Precautions

    Instructors will wear masks while teaching at close range

    Clients are encouraged to wear masks whenever they are at close range

    Where possible, we will practice social distancing. Tripods 6ft apart.

    You are encouraged to wash hands frequently and use hand sanitiser. Bring a cloth to wipe down your tripod each day. This will serve 2 purposes. Get rid of any nasty bacteria and remove salt from the ocean spray.

    Covid-19 Travel Hacks from Kayak.com

    Tips for Flying during Covid-19

    Tips for staying in a hotel during Covid-19

    What to know about COVID-19 and rental cars

    1593663 Orig

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